25 at 25: My Birthday Bucket List

10642782_10154513491505627_1672977676_oIt’s hard for me to believe this, but tomorrow is my 25th birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ The last year, with all of its ups and downs, truly flew by, and it’s so weird for me to say that I’ve been around for aย quarter of a century. I still think of myself as a college student, half worried that I have an exam that I forgot about — not as a professional who has been in her career for two and a half years. Where does the time go?

In order to get a little more excited about my birthday this year, I decided to put together a bucket list of things I hope to do while I’m 25! I am looking forward toย trying some new things and visiting new places in the next year, and can’t wait to share my adventures with readers. ๐Ÿ™‚

I plan to blog about some of these experiences as they take place, but I will also be tracking them on the 25 at 25 page on my blog. Here are the things I hope to accomplish at 25!

  1. Leave the state of Florida for a vacation.
  2. Go to the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.
  3. See a local performing arts show.
  4. Visit my sister in her new apartment once she leaves for graduate school.
  5. Go to the planetarium.
  6. Pursue public speaking opportunities.
  7. Roam around Leu Gardens in Orlando.
  8. Take a wine and painting class.
  9. Spend theย day inย St. Augustine.
  10. Visit the Morikami Museum.
  11. Go on a behind-the-scenes tour of Magic Kingdom.
  12. Apply to MBAย school.
  13. Start a small side business for career coaching and resume writing.
  14. Ride the swan boats at Lake Eola.
  15. Take a Spanish class.
  16. Tour the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont and attend a wine tasting.
  17. Go berry picking.
  18. Attend a class at the East End Market.
  19. Try a meal from a food truck.
  20. Host a murder mystery party.
  21. Embark on another round of Whole30.
  22. Drive out to New Smyrna Beach.
  23. Watch a mob movie.
  24. Eat a macaron for the first time.
  25. Treat myself to a spa day.

What’s on your bucket list for the next year? Share your goals in the comments section below!

Timing Is Everything: Why Patience Isn’t Always A Virtue

“I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen but as the years wasted on, nothing ever did unless I caused it.” – Charles Bukowski

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Every day, time passes us by. Regardless of how we spend each of those moments, the clock continues to tick, refusing to wait for our permission, and yet too many of us choose to sit around and hope that our happily ever afters will work themselves out.

There is certainly something to be said for patience. After all, if not for patience, the world would consist only of grumpy, anxious people who live to check their watches and beat the rush hour traffic; no one would ever stop to breathe. However, there comes a point when our attitudes become too “que sera sera” and, even worse, when we miss out on opportunities and experiences because we’re still waiting for others to come around.

To start, we can think about this in terms of relationships. Picture this: Emma likes Joey, but he has given her mixed signals from the beginning and has never given her a complete answer, even upon confrontation. Mutual friends of theirs suggest that Joey is interested but perhaps emotionally unavailable. Meanwhile, Emma meets Zach and they instantly hit it off. Zach asks Emma on a date, and Emma thinks that a future relationship with Zach definitely has potential. Should Emma: a) Say no to Zach and hope that Joey will get his act together one of these days; b) Swear off men entirely and join a convent; or c) Accept the date and be open to the possibility that it could actually lead somewhere?

So many girls choose Option A and then find themselves disappointed. Either they realize that Joey is never going to ask them out, or they doย finally end up with Joey and learn that he isn’t all they built him up to be, or they develop stronger feelings for Zach and regret turning him down in the first place. Of course, Option B is only acceptable if you are actually Catholic and willing to take an oath of celibacy, so that leaves us with Option C. Option C is usually the most difficult because it requires a leap of faith. With Option A, Emma never has to leave her comfort zone — she already knows what to expect with Joey and by waiting around for him, she doesn’t have to change anything. In retrospect, Joey could have some mediocre qualities, but Emma has invested enough time into this crush that she has become more and more willing to overlook them. Zach could be everything Emma has ever wanted and then some, but unless she is willing to let go of the fragmented possibility of being with Joey, Emma will never be able to find out for herself.

We often follow the same logic in other areas of our lives. We wait for that one person, company, team or organization to notice us, when there are so many more options out there. I am notย suggesting that we give up on our dreams, but rather that we broaden them a bit. You might want to work for one company so badly that you sacrifice interviews with other companies that could be just as fulfilling. You might pass up one opportunity because there’s one-thousandth of a chance that another one might come up in the future. But when that in-a-long-shot chance never comes, what do you do?

In the end, we need to make our decisions wholeheartedly, but we should also keep our options open. It all boils down to timingย — if someone is interested in you but can’t make the commitment now, and you’re at a point where you needย a commitment, you can’t sit around and twiddle your thumbs while you wait for both of your needs to line up. If your dream company isn’t hiring and you needย a job now, you have to start looking elsewhere instead of hoping that your chance will come in six months or so. Try not to make a decision that you’ll resent, but don’t wait around with the mere hope that life will answer itself. Most of the time, it won’t.

I’m not telling you to settle for something you don’t really want. I’m telling you to keep an open heart and mind so that you can stumble upon something better than you ever could have dreamed of.