28 Collage

I turned 28 a few days ago (although according to some sources, I actually turned 29). And since I love nothing more than a good round of reflection, I came up with this list of 28 things that have happened so far in life that I’m really happy about. It’s not an exhaustive list, and I’m sure 5 minutes after I hit Publish I’ll think of 10 more things to add, but these are the ones that have come to mind so far.

In no particular order:

28 Things I’m Really Glad I Did

  1. Smashed 1/4 of an avocado on toast (Wegmans Marathon Bread – the best!) and topped it with a fried egg. It’s just the nicest, easiest meal.
  2. Bought a real camera. I used my first tax refund to buy a Canon Rebel XS and had no idea what I was getting myself into.
  3. Started running. I needed a win, so I set out to conquer the one thing I hated more than all the other things: running. Through 5k’s and 10k’s and my one and only half, running has become a constant, faithful friend. (Even when I have been anything but constant and faithful.)
  4. Worked in admissions. Learned how to find obscure locations, survive on obscene amounts of caffeine and Emergen-c, and bond for life with some of the best people and best friends I’ll ever know.
  5. Went to the Nike Football Coaches Conference, the only girl in a conference room packed with a hundred guys, soaking up every ounce of education and loving every minute.
  6. Made a concerted (and successful!) effort to like foods I previously did not like. The convert list includes tomatoes, carrots, salmon, and, most recently, olives.
  7.  Spent 3 Days in Maine with my parents. You know, the trip with the carnivorous woods.
  8. Talked my parents into letting me go to public school for high school. Burnt Hills is far and away one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
  9. Watched Friends. Over and over and over again. There are few things that make me laugh more than a well-timed and well-executed Friends quote.
  10. Drove around the country in a minivan for 10 weeks. And slept in the back of said van in various hotel parking lots.
  11. Spent innumerable nights after work at Planet Fitness with Buzz, the most resilient and inspiring person I know.
  12. Watched the entire series of LOST in a year at home with Jacs. (Bonus: the other Jack.)
  13. Danced for over a decade, in supermarkets and parades and concert halls and elementary schools and bars and every other place imaginable.
  14. Got new glasses at Warby Parker that made my face match my heart.
  15. Started using Instagram, the great reviver of my passion for everyday beauty.
  16. Lived in the squirrel-infested Orchard Street apartment and bat-infested Dartmouth Street apartment, teaching me valuable lessons about what it means to a) create beauty in shabby spaces and b) not be a wimp.
  17. Drove to North Carolina, met me in the future, ate a ton of amazing food, and learned about Making Things Happen.
  18. Stuck with the Packers since 5th grade. I’m convinced that loving a team – like, really, truly loving a team – is one of the best parts of life.
  19. Started The Orchard News, my first blog, while working in admissions. There have been plenty (plenty) of renditions of the blog since then, but the point has always been the same: embracing everyday life.
  20. Experienced the Face Plant of Faith, the gift that keeps on giving (and teaching).
  21. Everything CURE. I don’t have words for it yet, but just everything CURE. I can’t wrap my mind around how big of a blessing this season is.
  22. 15 jobs in between walking across a stage and walking into a job I want to keep forever. I will never, ever regret the 5 years of career confusion that led me here.
  23. Used the internet as a place where real friendships happen with people I never would have known otherwise. I can’t imagine life without Mackenzie or Jess or Lindsay or Liz or Sus or countless others. Blogging + Skype have enriched my life tenfold.
  24. Tried Bruster’s Graham Central Station ice cream, a decision that has led to my having the home phone number of the local owner so he can order the ingredients to have them on hand whenever I’d like a pint. (Fortunately/unfortunately, that’s 100% true.)
  25. Listened to Zac Brown Band, NEEDTOBREATHE, Ellie Holcomb, the soundtracks for seasons in life.
  26. Read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, the book that gave words to a pile of thoughts that turned into life-changing actions.
  27. Sat in the Patriots parking lot for hours after training camp, just basking in the pure love of football.
  28. Followed Jesus. The one decision that makes all the rest matter.

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