It’s my birthday! 29 things I’m excited about being 29

First: I want to let everyone know the surgery went well, and I was able to go home that night, and except for one ambitious shopping trip yesterday, I’ve been home resting ever since. Recovery means pain, soreness, and boredom… but I’m forcing myself to rest so I can actually heal properly.


I like birthdays. And I’m really excited about 29. This birthday’s a little different because of recovery — it could be my first birthday spent alone, and first one without any cake/cupcakes — but I’m sure I’ll still find some way to do something special for myself.

So, in no particular order… 29 Things I’m Excited About Being 29.

1) Saying goodbye to my 20s and ready to move on to big things.

2) A summer full of Mucca tour! We’ve got 3 big trips planned this summer and I’m excited about going all over this country with my favorite peoples, my Mucca family.

3) Phase 2 of healing! Surgery was phase 1, and in a couple weeks I’ll meet with my doctor for our follow up and discuss what the next steps are.

4) Getting back into cooking. The past year has been crazy and I sort of lost that passion and took the lazy route with food. But with WW and Nicole’s Sugar Detox, I’m ready to really love food again.

5) Time for a hair change! It’s been 13 months since I’ve cut my hair, and while I’m still not exactly sure what I want, I know I’m going to change something up. Some plans in the work is continuing growing it out, but styling it… and coloring it. I’m completely inspired (and in love with) Kaylah from The Dainty Squid’s wonderfully bright hair. I especially LOVE this pastel lilac and turquoise!

6) Diving deeper into my Nintendo love with some amazing games! I was gifted Animal Crossing New Leaf to help with recovery, and holy wow is this helping me a lot! Bored? Spend HOURS playing ACNL. And while I missed E3, the news I am hearing is making me excited about all the games coming up! Like, I can’t even pick a favorite coming up. There’s too many.

7) MOAR PICTURES! With help from mom, dad, and my stepmom, I picked up my birthday gift a day early. It’s a Samsung “smart” camera. Basically a digital camera with wi-fi, for easy sharing! But mostly I got it because from what I read, it’s one of the better cameras at the price for video and low-light. Which means concert pictures. But we also know it means more cat pictures. I don’t need an SLR and wanted something better than my phone. (Oh, and did I mention this camera has a “gif maker” mode? yeah. LOLs.)

8) Grad school? It’s back on my mind, and if I want to go, the application will be due in about 6 months. So, that means time to start working on it. I’m still in the research stages, but looking into joint MFA/MA programs.

9) Testing the waters in digital/online education! I’ve taken an online course before, from Stanford, with mixed results. (I passed, but didn’t like the lack of accountability.) But I’m giving it another shot with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). I’m signed up for THREE. A nutrition one from University of California, Science of Gastronomy from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative from Vanderbilt.

10) Build a writing nook in my home! So far I do everything from my sofa. I have a desk, but it’s in a corner and I never use it. I might not stay in this apartment, but I need someplace to go and be creative. I also want to establish a habit of going out in the neighborhood and writing a few times a week.

11) Get back to journaling. I bought a new journal. And rather than fill it with all the emotional dribble I normally fill my journals with, it’s going to be with encouragement. Growth can still come from pain, but I need to make sure the focus of my writing is the growth and not just an outlet to vent (though those are good too).

12) Re-fall in love with my city, Chicago. This city has so much to offer, and recently I haven’t taken advantage of it. Museums. Galleries. Concerts in the park. The zoo. The aquarium. Festivals. Farmers Markets. So. Much. Stuff.

13) Invest more time in keeping in contact with my little sisters. Being home recently reminded me that my sisters won’t come right out and say how much they miss me. So I need to remember to reach out to them. Hoping to find a weekend to invite them up for a sisters’ day on the beach. Same thing with my niece (but she’s vocal about missing me).

14) I want to continue working on my brand, Adorkable Me, and continue to define and focus and push this blog. It’ll always be a work in progress, but growth is a good thing and I’m feeling closer to having this thing I’m really proud of and will be a good reflection on myself.

15) Along with #12, I really want to explore Chicago’s great eateries. I never felt like I was the type of person who belonged at those fine dining places. But F that. There is some really good food around here, and not all of them have wait lists to get reservations.

16) If WW is working, continue a little longer. If it’s not working, then don’t continue it. Simple as that. Make thoughtful decisions about what I eat, and understand the emotional impulses with food.

17) Buying stamps. I love the idea of letters, but suck at executing them. Given the travel this year, thinking postcards are a good way to start again.

18) Adulting up and chipping away at my debt. (I’ve still got a tiny bit left from my original endo hospital trip from 2010.)

19) Bring back the impromptu dance parties. (post-recovery, of course)

20) For the first time in almost ever, I’m in to jewelry, so I’m looking forward to finding some awesome necklaces this year. Right now I have 2 necklaces I sometimes wear.

21) Though I’m excited about continuing to change up my wardrobe, I’m going to not go overboard on the clothes shopping. I don’t need to buy 8 dresses all in one shopping trip.

22) I’d love for there to be more social gatherings. I tend to close off and hole up at home, but I’d like to change that some. Game nights, craft nights, just going out to a bar (but not to get drunk) nights… or you know, a beach day or brunches…

23) Beyond the MOOCs, and maybe Grad School, and re-finding my passion for foods… just keep harboring a natural curiosity. AND pick up one new skill this year. I don’t have to decide it yet, but before 30. One skill. It’s not too big of a task to accomplish.

24) Do not grow complacent or stagnent. Settling for “just ok” ended when I decided to have my surgery. Being comfortable is ok, but settling for subpar when I can obtain better is not ok.

25) Be open to whatever comes. It’s worked out fairly well so far, let’s keep going with it.

26) Not judge my life off of someone else’s goals. Am I a photog? A runner? Yogi? Someone who eats chia seeds? Someone who watches Arrested Development? A solo-prenuer? No. And just because I’m not any of these things, it doesn’t mean I’m less of a person. I don’t need to live up to anyone else’s list. (It also doesn’t devalue anyone else’s passions because they love them and I don’t.)

27) Allow myself to say no. I can quit the things that aren’t working out, and move on. Mistakes do not equal failure; in real life, you can change your mind and flip-flop.

28) Give myself credit for the positive changes I’ve made. Stop beating myself up over things. Find ways to emotionally reward myself (rather than with food or material things).

29) OK. The big one: Reclaiming my life. I’ve been battling with feeling authentic, and also with just determining what authenticity means to me… But there’s things I’ve been battling with, and the big ones I’ve kept hidden away hoping they’d just disappear. But they never do, do they? So if I want to heal, I have to deal with these things. I talk a lot about all these things I want to do, and this person I want to become, but I fall short so often. I’m tired of being all talk. I’m ready to move forward, to stop being haunted by my past, and to embrace every wonderful thing about me.

Spending today resting on the couch, playing some Animal Crossing, watching random things on Netflix… you know, it’s really not a bad way to spend the day. Even your birthday.

Also, guys, 29 is a lot of things…