T H I S P A S T W E E K E N D I turned 28. Another year had past and another list of goals went unmet. I tend to end up focusing on all the things I didn’t accomplish than to really reflect on the life I lived during that past year. So I wanted to come on here and do that reflection with you.
I want to say that 27 wasn’t all that interesting–that it was another same-old, same-old year. But that answer isn’t the real truth. That answer is full of not wanting to look-back at the previous year. Sometimes I like to ignore the previous years because some things didn’t go how I wanted them to, because I *still* hadn’t “lost the weight” or become “Instagram successful.” I see all the failures and feel like the year wasn’t really all that different from the year before.
But honestly, that’s not true.
27 did have it’s days that were all the same and a lot like the year before, but it also had its moments that were different and unique. I spent my 27th birthday exploring the Philadelphia Art Museum with friends that I was slowly starting to reconnect with. While it had been about a year since I returned home from Boston, I was still doing my best to connect with friends I’d know since high school, some even as long ago as elementary school. Connecting in-person & being vulnerable outside my digital world is hard for me. My INFJ personality (& honestly just myself) leads my first-response reaction to be to close myself off, keep my emotions & my opinions locked inside. Over this past year, I really worked on opening up with my friends, family & yes over this digital platform. I’m truly happy with the progress I’ve made so far even though I know I have so much more to do on that journey.
27 also brought me time to travel. I didn’t get to go many places, but I was able to spend some time in D.C. which I’m truly in love with as a city. I have’t seen much past the downtown area, but I know I definitely want to explore more of the city & all it has to offer in terms of history, politics & yes, food! With year 28, I’ve already scheduled 2 trips & a work related trip. I’m keeping with my yearly word–bold–& saying “yes to myself” more this year. I cannot wait to take you all with me along in this journey!
This past year also had its challenges. 27 brought me my first full year of working full-time in a job I loved. While I’ve worked full-time in other jobs, this job was the first one where I got to do something I truly loved. As a children’s librarian I do more than just read books (I promise!). I spend days planning programs, working on early literacy skills with families & young children, maintaining a good collection for patrons to explore & most importantly–helping people of my community. So much of my time is spent interacting with and working with people from all walks of life. I’m truly blessed to be a part of people’s lives whether I’m only talking with them for a few minutes or seeing them every day. I’ve come to learn how much people yearn for connection and for someone just to listen to them. While some days I’m working as a social worker, other days as a teacher, and other days managing mini crises–fulfilling job roles that aren’t my actual job role—I wouldn’t change my job or role in the community for anything! My biggest accomplishments this year were planning & running a successful summer reading program (we were the only branch to meet our reading goal, even if it was mainly due from adult participation) and helping plan a screen-free coding program for elementary-aged children. There are still so many other things I want to accomplish as a youth librarian and I’m excited for what I can make happen in year 28!
27 also brought more confidence. I’ve mentioned before on Instagram how I’ve been continuously working on my self-love. As I grew in self-love, I also grew in confidence. I started believing in myself, my abilities and what I have to offer. I was more confident in posting photos of myself & the fashion I love. I was more confident in going out to events & places & being open with taking photos in locations outside of my house. While I still have work to do in terms of confidently reaching out to others, confidently going after my dreams, and confidently sharing more of myself, I’m excited by the progress I made over this past year. I’m happy with the photos I was able to produce, the blog posts I was able to get up on here (which I know I wasn’t the best at all the time) and the person I’m continuing to grow into.
Lastly, 27 brought me more small, but special moments with family & friends. This past year, it really hit me how little time we have with those we love. My parents are getting older and it slammed into me one day how little time I have with them left on this earth. Yes, people are living longer, but we really never know when someone we love will leave us. When that hit me this past year, I broke down in tears because my family means the world to me as do my friends. It’s hard for me to imagine them not here with me and to imagine that one day, I won’t be here either. Having that sink in really changes your outlook on the every day and life in general. I’m even more grateful now for the time I get to spend with family and friends. I’m cherishing the low-key nights with friends playing board games and chatting about inconsequential topics. I’m cherishing the after-work dinners with my parents; the weekends shopping at Marshalls with my mom; the hours of house-cleaning or helping my parents buy a laptop. Those small moments of life mean so much to me and I’m so grateful for the ones I got to have this past year. I’m looking forward to being more present in the upcoming moments in year 28. Also, this past year we welcomed my little niece, Aubrey into the world and that has made all the difference to our family. My parents are over-joyed to be grandparents and I’m the luckiest Aunt in the world to be able to call Aubrey my niece!
Whatever year 28 brings, I’m welcoming all the moments–good and bad–that will shape me. I’m hoping to work harder, love more & cherish all the small moments. I’m hoping to be bold, to say yes to myself and continue to believe in myself and my dreams. Thank you to all of you have supported me, followed my journey & continue to inspire me! This community both here on the blog and on the ‘gram is more than I could ask for. There is a kindness, a love and a sense of support that I didn’t know existed.