Last year, I wrote about how I felt different on my birthday, because I had finally given myself permission to live. I referred back to that permission throughout the year in different ways, and I think I’ll continue to refer back to it (remembering, that being myself is a life journey, not something accomplished in one go – I am allowed to reinvent and renew myself as much as I want to). This year though, I don’t feel different. I am different. I’ve changed – more over the last year than I have in a while, but especially more over the last three years than I have since I was young.

I like it, I like looking back and realizing that I can see how far I’ve come, and that I’ve traveled far.

I started a health/fitness quest – which is very much a journey. I haven’t been perfect, or strictly disciplined, but I think I’ve learned how to listen to my body, and I think I’ve gotten better at it. Progress is slow, but rewarding in the little things. The fact that I’ve actually started it and stuck with it is change – I never gave a second thought about my body until I realized something wasn’t balanced correctly. That decision lead to getting help for my PMDD/depression (evening primrose, progesterone, and vitex weren’t enough to battle it – I tried), which is quite possibly the best personal-help decision I’ve made in the last year.

I think I have become braver, or at least more honest with myself. I’ve started to embrace the slightly more ethereal, prose-like, bashfully eloquent bits of myself that so easily run into hiding.

I’ve done things that I used to talk myself out of. A mental breakdown in March lead to the birth of a youtube channel and the introduction to so many wonderful amazing people that I can’t imagine not knowing. I’ve learned to value those meltdown moments, because for some reason, after working through them – I find a sense of clarity, and I know myself better than I had before. My psyche and subconscious had a voice and I learned the importance of centering myself, patience, and drive.

I remember where I was on my birthday last year, and I’ve changed so much. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey I started last year, and granting myself new permission to just revel in life this year; to keep doing what I’m doing, and have new experiences (to go, where no kiery has gone before).

Make it so.

 

Last year, around this time, I made a list of 21 things I wanted to do (because I turned 21):

212012

 

I’m really proud of myself for getting so much of it done! This year I just put down a lot of things I wanted to do between 2.28.13 and 2.28.14:

2013things

 

“old things” are things maybe I started doing last year, or wanted to do and hadn’t done; “new things” are things that I haven’t put on a list or done before or in a really long time. I want to remind myself to read more, I maybe finished one or two books last year, so one a month would be a good starting point.

I bought pink dye (Manic Panic: cotton candy) at Newbury on Saturday, so I can haz pink hairs whenever it won’t interfere with continuity, and piercings when it won’t interfere with continuity (but I didn’t pre-buy the earrings ;)). I have tickets to Friday and Sunday of PAX East! I’m 2 levels away from hitting cap, I’ve finished 1 of 12 books, started learning Ruby via Team Treehouse, and playing with Rum and Coke – Gin and Vermouth are next on the list.

*This list currently excludes film/production related goals such as: become an epic makeup artist, costumer extraordinaire, and killer actress.

2013, I AM IN YOU (you know, 2 months late, but it’s my birthday, and the year doesn’t start until 2.28, right? we can pretend…)

 

Do you feel any different now?

PartyI’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little different. Because for the first time in a while, I do. It’s a weird sense of accomplishment, being 21. Maybe it’s because I’m giving myself permission to step completely out of my box and just live as myself, as unashamedly as possible. Maybe, it’s because I feel like I’ve arrived into the world of adulthood (except for car rentals) and I feel a new sense of freedom – I can have a drink if I want to, go to that dance I’ve been wanting to go to for 3 years that’s 21+, get one of those champagne and chocolate and dinner/wine resort packages and actually use all of it. I can stand in line when we get beer, finally (that one cashier really ruined it for me :P) and I can even buy my own if I want to.

I feel in a way like I’ve finally “caught up” with myself. Like I’ve been just waiting for my legal age to catch up with where I felt like I’ve belonged for a while now (the real test is going to see if I still think I’m 21 when I’m 60 ;)).

Actually, I’ve noticed a bit of a change, however slight, since granting myself that permission instead of just groaning under the pressure I put myself under. I’m a little more sincere, and I don’t feel as bad when I’m just honest with how I feel about things.

I’m excited about my list, and this year, and my personal progress. Hopefully I’ll get to the point where I can actually say I’m happy about who I am, instead of shy and ashamed. I think I just might start to get there – starting with not defining myself with who I used to be years ago, but with who I am inside and who I want to be.

I’m 21, and I’m happy.

 

Balloon

list - 21 things in 2012

Turns out, I’m really happy that I started thinking about this list ahead of time. Because 21 things (of ranging feasibility) can actually be a little harder than you’d imagine to come up with. But most of these things are actually really doable, which is what I was going for.

Now I’m going to take this moment to revel in the fact that today marks the first day of the rest of my life that people can’t patronize me for being under-age. I want this year to be epic, and I think it will be.