I woke up on the morning of October 18th, 2014 with vertigo.
But I didn’t know it was vertigo. I just thought maybe the moose meat I had eaten the night before had caused some weird allergic reaction. Or maybe there was something in the air in Three Forks, Montana that my body did not like. Or maybe I had thrown out a spinal disc riding horses the day before.
All I knew was that everything moved too quickly when I turned my head. The room seemed to be spinning when I sat perfectly still. I felt uneven and off-balance and I was sure I was going to collapse and die at any given moment.
The vertigo persisted several days onto my 23rd birthday, and I guess that should have been an indication of what the next year of my life would bring.
A dizzying blur of new experiences. A roller coaster of feelings and emotions that, at the end of the day, left me feeling numb. Challenges that made me feel like I was actually going to die.
To put it simply, 23 was an insane year. I experienced mind numbing heartbreaks, disappointments, and trials. Anxiety slapped me really hard in the face. There were times I wanted nothing more than to give up. But I didn’t.
Instead, I tried new things. Made new friends. Saw new places. I gave up on trying to keep toxic people in my life. I let go of the past. I went on crazy adventures. I took chances. I stayed up too late. I ate too many cupcakes, if that’s even possible. I kicked anxiety right in the ass.
I kept fighting. I survived. I lived.
And now that I am officially 24, I plan to do the exact same thing over the next year. Except this time, I won’t think about giving up or giving in. I won’t let anxiety and depression get the best of me. I won’t dwell on my shortcomings or the negative things in my life. Instead, I will set goals. I will dream dreams—big ones. I will go on exhilarating adventures and make amazing memories.
And above all, I will celebrate life and all the amazing things in it by doing some super rad things.
Here are the top 24 things on my bucket list for 24. Who wants in? :)
1—FINALLY do a pull-up (keep me accountable, Ben!)
2—Hit up Glacier National Park
3—Have lunch (or dinner?) with a homeless person
4—Learn to rock climb a little better
5—Do not give up on Country Hipster (instead, monetize it)
6—Visit Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon National Parks to complete all 5 Utah National Parks
7—Start volunteering again
8—Beat self harm
9—Kiss a cute boy on top of a mountain
10—SKYDIVE (or bungee jump)
11—Finish Atlas Shrugged (I got about halfway through and have not picked the book back up in two and a half years!)
12—Run a 5K in less than 20 minutes
13—Get a massage (Lord knows I need it)
14—Hike one of the 14ers in Colorado
15—Make another stained glass lamp shade
16—Road trip it to somewhere completely new—Oregon, Nebraska, maybe even Canada!
17—Buy a plant and actually keep it alive
18—Write in a gratitude journal every. single. day.
19—Finally watch Space Jam, Little Rascalls, Ghostbusters, The Godfather, and Fight Club
20—Fast at least once a month
21—Take a design class
22—Get a puppy and name it Optimus Prime
23—Camp in a hammock under the stars
24—Actually use the 75/200mm lens I have
23 year was a roller coaster of a year—it brought some incredibly high highs and some even lower lows. It was exciting and scary and amazing and devastating and straight up crazy. I will not miss it.
And like 23, 24 is probably also going to be a roller coaster. But instead of hanging on for my dear, sweet life, I’m going to let loose on this one. I’m going to put my hands straight up in the air and revel in everything 24 has to offer. I’m going to enjoy it—all the ups, all the downs, all the unexpected twists, turns, spirals, and loops. I’m going to get off at the end and say, “LET’S GO DO THAT AGAIN.”
So who’s with me? :)