I tried to go through these chronologically, so obviously not listed by importance. :)
1. Mission Trip: I went with my church on a mission trip to Chihuahua, Mexico. It was definitely eye opening to see the way many people in the world live. Never take anything for granted… ever.
2. Traveled to Paris: I wrote about this already, but this was one of the most influential events in my life. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to do, I learned that independence is something I want, and I learned that the world is bigger and better than I ever believed. This trip made me realize that I wanted to see the whole world.
3. Graduated High School: I count this as an accomplishment… anyone who survives those four years and doesn’t drop out gets a thumbs up in my book.
4. Moved Away to College: I attended a college about 2.5 hours away from home. While it certainly wasn’t across the country like I had hoped, I did force me out of my bubble and to meet new people.
5. Joined a Sorority: While a LOT of people say it’s paying for friends, a cult, a drinking club, or any number of other negatives you can find about the Greek system, I learned so much about people, I learned so much about myself, and I certainly learned and used many important business skills… such as working with other difficult people. I still regularly talk to multiple people that were in my sorority, and one is still one of my very best friends. If nothing else, my friendship with Kara was worth every silly t-shirt and event and eye roll.
6. Sea|Mester Trip: This trip was the best thing I could have ever done. I spent 3 weeks with 20 strangers living on a sailboat in the Caribbean. I can’t even put into words how amazing this experience was. I just can’t.
7. Lived by Myself: This is something I feel very strongly about… I think every person should live by themselves at some point. You learn so much about yourself, you learn how to keep your house decent, you learn how to budget, you learn how to be self sufficient, and you are stronger for it. I am proud to say I lived by myself and that I was dependent on no one during that time.
8. Got Married: This is my favorite, because it gave me Jake. I am thankful every day for this wonderful man, and I can only smile when I look into the future of what’s in store for us. It’s going to be a great life.
9. Graduated College: This one took a smidge longer than planned… like 7.5 years, but hey… I did it. I am so glad to finally have this off my “nagging task” list. No more brain power devoted to it, or gnawing pit in my stomach about it. I FINALLY HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE!
10. Taking Charge of my Health: Learning to be healthy is one of the best things I’ve ever accomplished. I had to learn as an adult how to exercise, eat right, and strike a balance of happy and healthy. I received premium rates on life insurance because my blood work came back so great recently, I exercise regularly and I love finding new muscle definition. I am proud of my body and the strength it has. I am not weak, I am not dependent, I am strong, I am capable, I am tough enough. I have found the ability to believe that it’s not about being “skinny” enough, it’s about being healthy, happy, and strong.
Looking at this list, I’m proud of myself. I’ve grown into a self sufficient, productive, healthy adult and that is a lot more than many people can say. I pride myself on my independence. My feet itch daily to take me somewhere new and explore something else I haven’t seen. I lay my head down at night and I know that it’s going to be okay. Even if I don’t have it all RIGHT NOW, in time it will come. Life is a journey, after all.