Just one week & I will be 26 years old! Not sure how I'm feeling about it right now, but with how amazing 25 was, I can only image how great 26 will be. Here are 25 things I had the opportunity to do at 25; some of which allowed me to say goodbye to Ms. Goodie Goodie. Every single one taught me something incredibly valuable about life. So, here goes:
25. Getting Black-Out Drunk: This was an unexpected & accidental experience that I would not recommend & that I will not be repeating. A moment of weakness & I flung myself into literal darkness. This taught me that there were things in my life that were affecting me in negative ways.
24. Adopting Kittens: Alright, so they were my neighbor's cats & my neighbor moved away, but having three months of coming home to playful cuddly kittens on my doorstep wanting another piece of cheese... (yeah I bated them)... was more than amazing. This may be the closest I ever get to having a cat of my own & I enjoyed every last minute of it. 23. Visiting Las Vegas: I'm not a partier and I never thought I would enjoy Las Vegas, but when I was invited to watch the amazing Hawks play the Super Bowl in a fancy Las Vegas hotel, I was all in and I loved it! What a way to celebrate a Hawk Win!
22. Building A Wall... & Letting Someone Knock It Down In Style: There's no question as to why I chose to protect myself when it comes to my relationships with others & in those moments where I was afraid of it all, somehow there was always a way to take every ounce of that fear away. Remnants of the wall remain, but it continues to deteriorate every single day. What a remarkable feeling I've found with this.
21. Putting Everything In At The Risk Of Getting Nothing In Return: Sometimes we know that our effort is going to waste, but it seems that I have chosen to always give the benefit of the doubt regardless of what it is that I'm fighting for - & especially when I am fighting for a loved one. I'm proud of this quality in me & I wouldn't change it for the world - not even after having been burned.
20. Finding Perfection In Flaws: I've always seen the best in people, but it wasn't until just recently that I started cherishing those so-called flaws; The sideways smile, the lack of balance & the goofy off-key singing that has me laughing every time - those things are the ones that we tend to hold the tightest to in tough times and I love them.
19. Going Whitewater Rafting: One perk to my current job is being able to go on whitewater rafting trips. As scared as I felt, this was certainly an experience that I will never forget. What a rush!
18. Planning A Big Surprise Party For An Amazing Guy: If there is one thing in my life that's certain, it's that I'm shamelessly smitten with my boyfriend. There is no question that, with how much respect & kindness he shows me, he deserves the absolute best & that certainly includes his birthday. (Happy Birthday Tim!)
17. Watching The Sea Hawks Win The Super Bowl: Tim would argue that this completely contradicts what I just said. (He's a Bronco's fan), but watching the Hawks finally win a Super Bowl after being a disappointed fan since the age of 7 was certainly something I will always remember. I'm so proud of them!
16. Recording In A Professional Studio: Along with my joining a band this year (see below), I was invited to record professionally at an in-home recording studio (and a nice one at that!). What an amazing experience THAT was!
15. Doing A Color Run: Another bucket list item, this was something I was eager to check out, but it wasn't until I got there that I realized just how much fun I'd have.
14. Joining A Professional Band: From January through September, I was part of a band & I got to perform twice as a professional singer. What a rush! Sadly I could not continue performing with this band for several reasons, but it was certainly an accomplishment of my 25th year. 13. Learning Guitar On My Own: It's a slow process, but I told myself that I wasn't allowed to get an instructor until I dedicated myself. I haven't counted it as having 'learned guitar' just yet because I'm only on my second song, but I'm certainly getting there.
12. Letting Go: I'm still in the process of letting go of several of my fears, especially in the love category. It's scary trusting someone when you were unable to trust before. Luckily, I've found someone who understands this fear & who is quick to reassure me that everything is going to be alright.
11. Jumping Off The Vegas Stratosphere: One of the scariest - & most daunting tasks of my 25th year was jumping off of the 1,149 foot Stratosphere in Las Vegas. I'm still unsure as to how I let go of that ledge, but I did & it was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life.
10. Launching Lanterns At Lantern Fest: As one of my bucket list items, this was certainly something I was looking forward to this year. What I didn't expect was just how amazing it would be. The only word for it is 'wow.' I hope they come back next year!
9. Witnessing The Youngest Cousin Graduate High School: On my Mother's side of the family, I have four cousins. Over the years we've practically been siblings, and words cannot say how exciting - & overwhelming - it was to see the last cousin graduate from high school. It was so bittersweet not only because we know that life is moving forward so quickly but also because we know we won't be seeing each other as often. Crazy.
8. Moving Out On My Own: I've lived on my own before, but this time I went into it with every ounce of excitement I could. I decorated in girlie colors, hung up inspirational signs & posters, & I allowed myself to truly enjoy time on my own.
7. Traveling Internationally Alone: This is one I'm incredibly proud of: A blonde girl off to Baja to truly experience the crazy world around her. It had its scary moments, but it certainly is a big part of what got me to where I am today: strong & ready for what's to come!
6. Transitioning Into A New Career: I'm very sad to announce that I will be leaving my position at a North Idaho Adventure Company to take on the family business! This transition will take place prior to my 26th, & I'm saddened but eager at the same time. Thank you ROW Adventures for an amazing year and half! I will miss you.
5. Getting Talked Into 'Online Dating': I never saw the outcome coming, but I need to give serious kudos to whoever talked me into this, because it lead me to one of the greatest people - & to the greatest feelings - I've ever known.
4. Launching Dare To Dream Design: I've been helping others with starting their own websites for over 4 years now, but it only seemed right this first year out of college to make it an actual business. I'm excited to be doing this & look forward to turning one of my biggest passions in life into a little extra money.
3. Truly Taking Life By The Horns: Just prior to & coming into my 25th year, I was focused on bucket list items & running, but it wasn't until January of this year that I truly started taking life by the horns. It's amazing what life can turn into when you have little to lose - & while I have much to lose now, I'm proud that I took four months to really let loose.
2. Standing Up For Myself: It's been a crazy year & I've certainly stood up for myself in almost every year following 2010, but this year I finally stood up for myself in a different division of my life - not in friendship or love. This year I stood up for myself in business.
1. Falling In Love: I've learned that there are different kinds of love. There's the kind of love that blinds you & makes you question everything; then there's the kind of love that rocks you to the core & makes you realize that you had it all wrong before. Words cannot express it, but it's real & it's unbelievable. Amy