Today is my birthday and I am so excited! And for those hard-core The Office fans, yes, the title is a quote from the time Dwight and Jim were in charge of throwing birthday parties.
This year has been quite a journey for my spiritual and emotional self. Throughout this year – and even as recent as last week – thoughts of inadequacy, of lacking purpose and everything the world says I should have at this age, flooded my mind. However, I have been able to combat those thoughts with truths more this years as well. And while I may not be where I want to be, my journey is unfolding exactly how it should be.
So instead of focusing on all that I don’t have, I wanted to focus on 28 of my favorite memories during this year. Why 28? I turned 28 today. And these memories are in no particular order…
- Eating at Pioneer Woman’s restaurant, Mercantile
- Listening to Pastor Michael Todd preach at Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Going to my first silent disco party
- Continuing to step out of my comfort zone and lead a women’s Bible study group
- Growing closer to the women in my women’s Bible study group, my other Bible study group, and others in my church
- Growing spiritually and mentally
- Reading/Listening to ten books so far this year (comment below if you want recommendations)
- Throwing a birthday party for my father’s 50th birthday (although he looks much younger lol)
- Highlighting some dope Black people that I know for Black History Month on my blog (check out part 1, part 2, and part 3)
- Biking and riding around NYC with my father and sister
- Experimenting in the kitchen. Some of my favorite dishes were: homemade apple hand pies, homemade linguine pasta and Alfredo sauce, teriyaki salmon, kale salad, homemade olive oil and rosemary sourdough bread, and zucchini noodles
- Watching Gem of the Ocean and Fences by August Wilson (by next April, I would have seen all ten of his Pittsburgh Cycle plays)
- Going to see Jonathan McReynolds (twice) and Tori Kelly with my mom
- The Unashamed Forever concert. Literally, the.best.concert.ever.
- Watching baby LayLay grow up and turn 1 years old
- Hiking through the Shenandoah Valley with my sister and our friend
- Putting myself out in the dating world
- Making my jewelry organizer (minus the part where I burned myself with the hot glue gun)
- Improving upon my makeup skills, especially putting on eyeliner without making the line too thick
- Eating churros with hot chocolate at Boqueria in DC, which reminded me of eating them in Barcelona.
- Watching my friend get baptized
- Watching South Pacific at a local theatre with my sister, which made me nostalgic about the time I played in the pit band in high school for this play
- Being consistent about going to 21 Days of Prayer at my church.
- Going to the Poets in Autumn Tour and meeting some of my favs like Jackie Hill-Perry and Joseph Solomon (my future husband unless Lil’ Romeo and I work out lol)
- Growing more into the confidence that God has given me
- Treating myself and my grandma to a “treat yo’ self” weekend. Staying at a super fancy hotel, eating at a one Michelin-starred restaurant, and getting a massage to end off the trip
- Finally trying duck…and yes, it was good
- Being alive one more year to help others, love, learn, and experience all that God has created
I want to leave you with two pieces of advice that I have received multiple times this year. One: don’t compare your journey with the highlight reel that other people post on social media. Two: you’re doing better than you think. Reflect on all that you have and not on what you don’t; and an easy way to do that is to start a gratitude journal. Life will pass us by always looking at the future or at others.
Comment below with some of your favorite memories from this year, I would like to read them! Also, stay tuned because I’m going to write a post of all the freebies I got for my birthday (and how you can too). See you soon!