Just a few weeks ago, I celebrated my 26th birthday! 🙂 I still can’t believe how quickly the time has passed or how weird it feels to know that I’m now inching a little closer to 30 than 20. It’s a weird transitionary time in my life: I still call my parents every time I need to know how to do something, but I also sometimes catch myself sharing really sage wisdom with a random college student and it truly feels like an out-of-body experience. (I’m pretty sure Britney Spears had a song about this.)
I started to feel this way leading up to my 25th birthday and was less enthused about turning another year older, so last year I created my “25 at 25” bucket list. I can get a little too wrapped up in the day-to-day craziness and find myself saying, “I wish I went there” or “I wish I had done that,” so at 25, I was determined to change this. I embarked on a Shonda Rhimes-esque year of yes, taking charge of my life and saying yes to new opportunities and adventures. I completed almost every item on my list, and many of those items led to new interests and hobbies.
After attending a class on health and wellness at the East End Market, for example, I developed a newfound love for essential oils and aromatherapy. The class also led to my purchase of a gorgeous jade money tree, which brightens up my home and makes me incredibly happy every time I walk in the room, and a succulent — neither of which have died yet! My trip to Saint Augustine with my mom was one of the major highlights of my year, and visiting my best friend in the mountains of North Carolina was the exact change in scenery I needed.
Having this bucket list encouraged me to prioritize myself and be more open to new experiences. It translated to other areas of my life, as I found myself saying yes to local festivals and social gatherings I might not have otherwise attended (and having a great time).
Below is a quick recap of my 25 at 25 bucket list. Stay tuned for my 25 at 26 list, coming soon to a sporadically-updated blog near you. 🙂
Leave the state of Florida for a vacation. I took a trip to Boone, North Carolina, from 3/6 to 3/10, with a stop in Tennessee. Check out my recap of the trip here and my day trip to Asheville here! Go to the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.Anyone who knows me can probably guess that the goats were my favorite animals at the Central Florida Zoo when I visited with friends on 11/7/15. Read more about my experience here! See a local performing arts show. I went to see the Orlando Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on 5/1/16. It was beautiful, and I can’t wait to attend another performing arts show at such a gorgeous venue. Visit my sister in her new apartment once she leaves for graduate school. I visited Julie’s apartment for the first time on 11/27/15. Go to the planetarium. I visited the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College and attended The Star of Bethlehem show on 12/12/15. Read more about my experience here! We had such a great time that we ended up attending the Winter Sky Festival in January and have been keeping an eye out for more planetarium events this year. Pursue public speaking opportunities.This was a big one for me! I participated in several guest speaking opportunities that allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and become more accustomed to public speaking. Here’s what I did during that time:
- Taught Junior Achievement classes focused on identity theft prevention for high school seniors (9/21/15 and 2/16/16)
- Spoke as guest panelist on career panel at Seminole State College (9/22/15)
- Presented as guest speaker for the Knights Special Events Society (10/14/15)
- Participated in OCPS Teach-In to teach elementary school students about how to be a “super saver” (11/18/15)
- Spoke as guest panelist for the Month of the Woman Panel at UCF (3/14/16)
Roam around Leu Gardens in Orlando. I visited Leu Gardens on 7/24/16 and had an amazing time. If I ever meet the right guy, we are getting married in the rose garden. I decided this the moment I saw it. Take a wine and painting class. I loved this! The ladies in my family and I attended one of these classes and painted the Eiffel Tower on a starry night background on 4/8/16. The painting is up in my apartment now and is such a great reminder of a wonderful night. Spend the day in St. Augustine. My mom and I ventured out to St. Augustine from 1/9-1/10/16 and had so much fun. Check out the recap here! We are planning more mother-daughter trips for the future. Visit the Morikami Museum. I visited on 10/16/15 with my parents. The gardens were beautiful, and I learned so much from my visit. Read more about my experience here!
- Go on a behind-the-scenes tour of Magic Kingdom. This one did not happen because of scheduling conflicts, but it is on the list for 26. 😉
Apply to MBA school. I not only applied, but I officially began my MBA program in May 2016 and am now in my second semester. I have a great cohort and am excited to see where this program takes me!
- Start a small side business for career coaching and resume writing. This one did not happen because my priorities changed. I realized with growing responsibilities at work and school, I didn’t want to add to the mix at this point in time.
- Ride the swan boats at Lake Eola. I’ll be honest… I sort of forgot about this one. Maybe next year!
Take a Spanish class.I took a “Spanish for Tellers” course through CUNA Professional Development Online, focusing on banking and financial terms, and completed the course on 12/22/15. Tour the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont and attend a wine tasting.I went to Lakeridge Winery for the Annual Grape Stomp Festival on 8/13/16, which included complimentary wine tastings. Go berry picking.I picked 2.5 pounds of blueberries at the Tom West Blueberry Farm on 5/22/16. U-Pick was such a fun experience, and my only regret was not doing it earlier in the season so that I could go back. Check out my recap here! Attend a class at the East End Market. I attended “Be a Resolutionary” workshops at East End Market on 1/30/16, which led to a new love for aromatherapy and houseplants. Check out my recap! Try a meal from a food truck. I attended Jazz on a Green in Lake Nona and ordered a grilled chicken gyro from It’s All Greek to Me on 11/14/15. It was pretty good!
- Host a murder mystery party. This was too difficult to coordinate while juggling new responsibilities, but it may happen in the future.
Embark on another round of Whole30. I completed a round of Whole30 from January 1-30. Always a great way to detox my system! Drive out to New Smyrna Beach. I spent the day out at New Smyrna Beach on 7/30/16, received a parking ticket after parking in the wrong spot on the actual beach (oops), and enjoyed a late lunch at Breakers. Watch a mob movie. I watched and enjoyed Key Largo on 9/3/16, among other movies featuring mobsters in the past year. Eat a macaron for the first time. I tried a vanilla macaron from Le Macaron on 10/17/15 and have since had them several other times in other flavors as well. I can’t believe that a year ago, I’d never eaten a macaron in my life! Treat myself to a spa day. I spent a morning at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa on 3/27/16. So relaxing!
What was on your bucket list for the year? Share in the comments section below!