Yesterday I turned 27. It doesn't really feel that monumental other than it already takes me a minute to remember how old I am. Nothing exciting happens when you turn 27, does it? You can already do all of the things you get at a certain age until you get to retire, right? So it's just another "in between". Your tribe is suddenly people who are in similar places in life rather than making friends with people born the same year. But even so, it still causes a little jolt when you befriend a lovely couple and you chat about marriage stuff and house stuff, but then you found out they're on year four of marriage and two years younger. This is 27.
26 is a chapter of my life I never could have predicted. It's been the best one so far, even though a third of it took place during the infamous 2016, a year we're all happy to be rid of. But being 26 in 2017 has been different. I said yes to the man I'm going to marry. I quit my dream job, packed my bags, and moved to a new country where I only spoke 90% of the language. 26 was a big year for me and I didn't expect to be ringing in 27 an engaged, unemployed expat.
27 will be an even bigger year, I think. I'll be 27 when I get married. I'll be 27 when I find my next dream job. And I'll be 27 when I buy my first house. (Good vibes only on those last two.) Maybe you've noticed I'm all about setting goals, being public, and holding myself accountable. Or at least trying to. So without further adieu, here are 7 things I'd like to accomplish in these 365 days.
O N E
Read 27 books. Man, I used to read all the time. There's a question in my 5 Year Journal that asks what the last book I read was. My answer from 2015 to 2017 has been pretty pathetic because I think it's been the same. Meanwhile, I've watched Parks & Rec on Netflix half a dozen times... One book every two weeks? (Ish.) Bring it on.
T W O
Learn to sew. I learned to sew in my home economics class in middle school. I loved that class. I also remember sewing with my mom at the house I grew up in. Before I moved to England, my mom fixed and altered a bunch of my clothes on her new sewing machine. I was impressed with each and every piece from the simple hemmings to the complete transformations, but saddened when she said in folk tradition, you learn those kinds of skills (sewing, cooking, etc.) from your family. I regret not sitting down with her before I left to learn those things, but maybe with the magic of technology, she can still teach me from across the pond.
T H R E E
Visit 5 new countries. I live in Europe now. 5 countries seems reasonable. It's relatively cheap to travel and incredibly accessible. We could by roundtrip tickets to Germany or France or Italy or Ireland for the price you'd pay to fly one way...on Frontier...on a Tuesday...at 6:00AM...to Phoenix.
F O U R
Take a class to learn a new skill. I've had my eye on a water color class that I'd love to get into. My first week in England I bought paints, brushes, and paper, but I've only attempted it once. I'd also love to take a photography or graphic design class. Something like that. Something to get my creative juices flowing.
F I V E
Find somewhere to volunteer my time. We've talked about fostering puppies or kittens, something I used to do in Colorado. But I'd also like to explore something new where I can pour in time and energy and maybe spark a new passion.
S I X
Join a team at church. Our church really emphasizes joining one of their teams, though that's probably like most churches, right? Luke volunteers on the hosting team and I think I might also hit my stride there as well. Either way, I need to get more involved in my new church.
S E V E N
Focus on being present. It seems like there's a lot of talk out there right now about the ugly side of social media. And so many of us are guilty of spending too much time aimlessly scrolling through our feeds or trying to perfectly curate our dream life for these tiny little squares. Me too. So this is my major goal for the next year. I want to be more self-aware of my habits with my phone. I want to put my phone away and spent quality time with the real people who are sitting right across from me wanting to do life with me.
Here's to the year ahead and the next 27!