With a life so hectic, time escapes me. I wanted to start on the 1st and end this challenge on the 31st. However, because of everything that has been going on, I haven’t been able to do so. The good news about this is that I have been so busy living life that I haven’t had time to blog. The bad news is that I’m failing one of my own personal goals for this year because of it: Try something new everyday for a month. That ‘something new’ was supposed to be blogging.

I’m failing at that.

HOWEVER, I’m hitting the restart button. This is my trial month. This is supposed to be getting me used to trying new things. And at least I’m trying. I haven’t exactly decided what my new thing will be next month. I have some ideas, but nothing set in stone. I have a couple weeks to decide.

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m still in May. Still in the blog-everyday-month. And I’m not even doing that -_-

But here’s to trying! Here’s to me setting aside some time everyday to do this starting now. I feel like, because I’ve tried blogging before and never made it past the initial “create your account” step, that I’m doing very well so far. I mean, this is like my fourth blog post. Sure, it’s supposed to be my 9th, but at least I have four.

Now, there’s a few things that I need to address today:

  1. Today is Bestie’s birthday! (Bestie is my mom, FYI)
  2. We literally just got home yesterday from our vacation–To the Kentucky Derby!
  3. My 24 in 24 List


So, first things first, happy birthday to my Bestie! She is my everything and I have to wish her a happy birthday even though she doesn’t know I’m blogging yet and even though she probably won’t see this. I love you!


Next, about that list…(I’ll save the Derby for another day. I just wanted to mention it now because I’m still riding that excitement high)

Every year, on my birthday (April 22) I make a list. The number of items on this list increases one every year. I started this tradition the year I turned 18. It was an epiphany year for me. I was growing up and I felt like, even though I had done so much and was successful by any normal standards, life was flying by and my greatest fear became the thought that I wasn’t living–I was merely existing. The song wasn’t around then, but Drake sums up my mentality perfectly in Nicki Minaj’s song “Moment 4  Life” when he says “Everybody dies but not everybody lives.”

So I sat down and I did what I did anytime I felt stressed and overwhelmed. I wrote a list. And I didn’t realize exactly what kind of list I was making until I was finished. I just wrote things down: 1, 2, 3, 4…until my hand stopped writing at #18. And it felt fitting to stop there. 18 things for my 18th year. And at the top of the page I put a due date: April 22 of the following year. And I realized exactly what my list was. It was a to-do list for the year. 18 things that I wanted–or, rather, needed–to do before I turned 19. And it became a personal tradition.

The following year the list had 19 items.

The next year it had 20.

I don’t always cross everything off of my lists. Life doesn’t work that way. Last year, when I turned 23 I had “Start an MFA program” as one of my goals. That didn’t happen. Not because I changed my mind or wasn’t able to get into a good school, but because life isn’t a list. Life is surprises and golden opportunities that have to be seized when they come along. I was offered a job instead, working right out of undergrad in my field. So I took it and didn’t move away to graduate school.

But I work hard to cross off items. I wanted to travel abroad one year so I flew England. I’ve lived in China, I’ve bled on the Great Wall (long story), I’ve rode horses, I’ve fallen in love and had my heart broken, I’ve made people fall in love with me only to break their hearts, I’ve cried and I’ve laughed, I’ve cursed and I’ve stood awestruck, I’ve graduated from college with honors, I’ve made friends, I’ve made enemies–I’ve LIVED.

And I wholly believe the reason that I have lived to the fullest is because I’ve been active and aware that I needed to live to the fullest. I can’t say with complete honestly that I live everyday this way, because I don’t. I get lazy, or too busy with work or school, or I just want to chill with my friends and family. But I do try, at least a couple times a week to actively make sure I make lifelong memories.

And so, without further ado, my list from this year. The 24 things I want to do while I’m 24.


24 in 24

4-22-16 through 4-22-17

  1. Be healthy and get in shape with Bestie. Turn myself into a 10 and Bestie into a dime.
  2. Write everyday. Be published more.
  3. M.Ed. in Educational Media and Technology
  4. Become an independent, mature, and responsible adult who has their stuff together.
  5. Kentucky Derby!!!! Completed 5/7/16
  6. Finally go to the beach and see the ocean for the first time!
  7. Do the things I “have no time” for. Screw time. Become the all powerful master and Queen of time. I control time, not the other way around. Learn fluent Spanish, play the piano, rediscover my lost love for reading–everything I always want to do but don’t because of “time.”
  8. Read the Bible from cover to cover.
  9. Become organized in all aspects of my life and never go back.
  10. Learn (to the point I’ll actually remember) to ballroom dance.
  11. Go Skinny dipping before I’m too old to blame bad decisions on being “young and foolish.”
  12. Become a librarian
  13. Be a certified super teacher (English Completed 8/1/15/Psychology Completed 4/15/17/Spanish/History)
  14. Go white water rafting and ziplining
  15. Be experimental. Try something new everyday for each month.(May is this blogging challenge, and I’m probably doing a solid C+ job of it)
  16. Write a book of poetry.
  17. Be accepted into the perfect MFA program for me.
  18. Write for Buzzfeed.
  19. Go to an upscale spa.
  20. Watch the sunrise and the sunset in the same day.
  21. See a fortune teller.
  22. Go on a cruise.
  23. Fill a fancy sketchbook with art.
  24. Learn to play poker.


And that’s my list. Parts of it I have already accomplished. #13 I had half of it completed before my birthday. I am already an English teacher and I had just taken the test for certification in Psychology 7-12. I just took the Spanish test and I’m taking the History test next week.

I literally just got to cross off #5. I knew I’d be crossing off #5 when I made the list because the trip had been planned since November. But since I pull these list items from my over-arching Life List (Which I call my “Samazing To-Do List”) I decided to include it. For those who don’t get it, a Life List is just a Bucket List with a different name. I don’t like the term “Bucket List” because it’s all about the things you want to do before you die. I feel like that’s a little dark. I call it my “Life List” because it’s all the things I want to do while I live.

Some of the things I know already won’t exactly be crossed off before I turn 25. #3 will almost be completed but since the Commencement Ceremony is May 6th I’ll miss having my degree before my birthday by a week or so. But it’s okay. My classes will technically be all finished by my birthday so it’s close enough.

# 12 is also a stretch. I’ll be a librarian when I get my degree. However, because I have to work 100 hours as a librarian during my degree program, I’m going to count that as being a librarian.


So that is my list. Those are some of the things I am working towards this year. I hope that on your birthday, or any day, you will take the time to evaluate your life and see if you are living or just existing. Because there is a difference, and once you experience the difference, you will never want to merely exist ever again.





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