26 Things I’ve Learned While 26

Today is my 27th birthday. Which is wild to me because I can still so vividly remember my birthday last year…sitting in an airport, crying pretty regularly. Yet, that birthday seems so far away, too. This last year has thrown in some amazing ups and a few major downs. I’ve witnessed friends get married, welcome new babies into their lives (human or fur), and take the next steps in their careers. I’ve personally adopted my first dog, Baxter (y’all know), my job has changed drastically in the last few months, and I’ve grown to be a better, more understanding, patient person.

This year taught me a lot. It taught me many surface level things and made me look a little deeper into myself and my preconceived thoughts and ideas. Here’s 26 of the things I learned this year:

  1. Figuring out health insurance isn’t easy
  2. I’m not invincible
  3. I don’t understand loans or interest rates
  4. Being in a wedding party makes a wedding really, really fun
  5. Reading to escape is my favorite way to read
  6. Being a single dog mom has it’s challenges
  7. I THINK I found an almost perfect pair of jeans, but I don’t know
  8. Keeping a running list of things you learn is a lot easier than trying to come up with it two days before posting
  9. Life can change in an instant
  10. Animal Crossing continues to be addictive even 18 years after first discovery
  11. Anti-racism work happens daily, hourly, minute-by-minute
  12. My dog is my favorite part of this world
  13. Baking is rewarding
  14. I can handle more than I give myself credit for
  15. It’s okay to let friendships go when you’re learning and growing in different ways
  16. Working from home isn’t as nightmare-ish as I thought, but it’s still not ideal
  17. Mornings with Baxter are the best parts of my day
  18. Wood fired pizza is the greatest food of all time
  19. It’s okay to not have a timeline in life
  20. Folding laundry is maybe my least favorite chore?
  21. Early summer may be my favorite time of year… will update when fall comes around
  22. I’m a decent leader
  23. Going to bed early is the bees knees
  24. Routines make me feel comfortable and safe
  25. Talking about the future stresses me out
  26. This was not even close to the year I expected

I never expected 26 to be a good year. In fact, I predicted this year to not even be close to a decent year. And honestly, I was kind of right. This year brought a global pandemic, peak racism and visibility to the social injustice Black people face every single day, and the loss of my sweet Mungo.

However, this year has also brought a new confidence in myself, a movement toward a better tomorrow because Black Lives Matter, and more time with my family while being quarantined together.

I’m excited to be 27. I’m excited to be one year closer to 30 (yes, I’m excited for 30 – I genuinely think that’s when I’m going to thrive, so get on board). I have hope that this year will bring necessary change, both internally and in the world around me.

I also never liked saying “I’m 26.” For some reason 27 just sounds more legit.

Thanks for reading,

Cas

P.S. I lied on my list, I’m sure it would have been easier to think of 26 lessons, but I forgot I was making the list after about….number 9.

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just a girl inspired by traveling, dogs, and the people who surround her.

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