five worthy endeavors before I turn 25

Today I turned 24. Actually, today at 7:21 a.m. I turn 24—alas! So I’m still just a mere 23 official years as I write to you. That’s a lot of twenty-somethings. Sorry.

return of the fringe

Much has changed over the past year. Isn’t that just how your 20s are supposed to be, though? Full of shifts, ups & downs, mistakes?

While 24 doesn’t seem like much of a big deal, I realize that means I’m nearly 25. Twenty five. Veinticinco. A quarter of a century.

But wait, I’m still 23. I have time. And before I reach this milestone, I’m making a list: 25 things before 25. Some of the stuff on it—which is still in the works, suggestions gladly accepted—is rather silly, but some means a bunch to me.

I want to share five of these ideas with you. And hey! I think anyone can strive to fulfill these worthy goals at any stage in their life, so here we go:

#1. Make a career change. While I enjoy my day job and love the people I work with, I have a few professional years under my belt now. I’m ready to apply my skills and ideas to something I’m truly passionate about—conservation, nature, adventure, minimalism. I’m not sure what this will look like or when it will happen, but my goal is by October 28, 2014, to be on a more passionate path, career-wise.

#2. Put significant effort into a cause. This could mean volunteering regularly for an organization, protesting, organizing an event, doing pro bono work, or much more. I think one of the easiest traps to get into is reading about all this awful stuff that needs helping in the world and not actually doing anything, or maybe just tweeting or blogging about it. I’m ready to get my hands dirty and spark some significant change.

#3. Fly only once. Or not at all (preferably). Air travel is what they call ‘The Biggest Carbon Sin.’ I say I’ll do it only once because my dad lives far away, and I need to see him at least once a year. I would prefer to take a train anyway, so I’m going to truly try and limit my flights to just one or, better yet, zero, for this year.

#4. Know I am enough. Although I’ll have no clear cut way to measure if I’ve completed this goal, it needs to be here. You see, for the better part of my life I’ve lived believing I am deeply flawed, inherently evil, and, more or less, undeserving of anything good in this world. This year was a big turning point for me, emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes I fall back into my old patterns of self disappointment, but this year I will try my best to remember that I am exactly who God created me to be, and I need to love myself just as I love every other human being on this planet.

#5. Give up the car. That’s the dream—no car, no insurance, no gas. Save money and reduce my impact. This opportunity will hopefully open up after the completion of #1. For now, living in suburbia, I believe going without would not be the wisest decision. But soon, friends. Soon.

Well look at that—7:26 AM! I have officially turned 24. And I couldn’t think of a better way to start this day than to set some awesome intentions for the next year over a cup of coffee and writing to you fine folks.

Now it’s your turn—what are your goals for the next year? I still have 20 slots to fill for my official list (well, 17—I’ve already resolved to run a marathon, get a tattoo, and camp alone), so I could use any suggestions you’ve got. Let’s hear ‘em.

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  1. m @ two handfuls of

    i agree with the reader above… although i found your blog just a bit ago, each time i read it i truly feel inspired, encouraged, and thoughtful. thank you.
    i turned 24 a couple of months ago and it has, somewhat on its own, become a turning point for me. especially in point #4. i am becoming more comfortable in the body, mind, and emotions that God created me to have, and there is less striving. may this upcoming year hold more of this for both of us! i actually don’t have any set goals, per se, because I am such an overachiever and future-planner that my only goals are to be more still, more content, and more grateful. nothing particularly concrete. but i do love your goals!

    • athriftyhippie

      Hey there. Thank you so much for this thoughtful bit. I am sure this next year has many wonderful things in store for both of us. And I TOTALLY get the whole not-setting-goals thing. I feel like that’s been much of this past year for me, and once you let go of expectations, you truly discover what it means to be free. Here’s to a fun and free 24th year! Thanks for reading.

  2. Anne

    Happy Birthday! It’s my birthday as well, however I’m 18 years older today. I think your goals are great ones. Hope it was a lovely day!

  3. Pam

    Happy Birthday :) I’m with you on the car thing – especially now that I’ve moved to a new state and insurance doubled. As well as all expenses, really. Having a car is truly a luxury, I’m surprised at the amount of people who have cars.

    I don’t have anything to add to your list, unfortunately, because mine would’ve been to run a half-marathon (but a full? dang! go you!!) because I just ran my first 5k not long ago :) Good luck on your pursuit of the 25 before 25!

  4. livingsimplyfree

    Happy birthday. 24 for me was so long ago, but I know I wasn’t any where close to accepting myself as enough. My turning point seemed to come around my 40th birthday when I realized I was still here but didn’t feel I had made the contribution to life I thought I would when I was young.

    My goals now are simpler, than they were back then.

    You have set some lofty goals, I believe the hardest one may very well be the changing of your career in this tough economy, but I wish you all the best in finding employment that fits with your values.

  5. Amber!

    My birthday is January 2nd. You’ve inspired me to do this when my birthday rolls around. I must put serious thought into my goals. The career one is for sure going to be on there. Anywho…I really love your blog. I’ve found a lot of good stuff on here as well as a lot of inspiration. Happy (very) belated birthday. Take care!

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