2 days ago, on July 13, 2017, I turned 21. There are a lot of age milestones in a young person’s life – 13 is finally gaining the status of “teenager,” 16 is license time (in America anyway), and 18 is finally reaching adulthood – but I feel like I always viewed 21 as the most significant. It’s the age that I can legally drink, which opens up a whole new world of things that I can do and places I can go. More than that, though, I’m officially diving headfirst into the adult world, no longer teetering on the fence as I was at 20. I don’t mean to say that I’m suddenly a super responsible, mature individual, just that life now takes on a heaviness that it didn’t always have.
I graduate from college in less than a year and will have to face a life without school which, silly as it may sound, is a strange concept to grasp. Instead of worrying about passing my driver’s test, I’m now worrying about how much money is in my savings account and what path I want to follow for the rest of my life. I’m a pretty strong believer in not planning too much because I think it takes a lot of fun out of life, but I can’t help needing to have a general idea of what direction I’m heading. Thankfully I do, although from time to time I am plagued by doubts.
As scary as it sometimes seems, though, getting older is fun too. With age comes the freedom to make my own choices about my life. Not all will be smart, but they’ll be mine. So, to celebrate my 21 years on this lovely earth, I’m going to look forward to some of the things I would like to do in the future.
1. Live in a van and travel across the United States.
2. Go jet skiing.
3. Adopt a doggo. And maybe some guinea pigs.
4. Travel through Europe, but especially Italy.
5. See some cool wild animals doing their thing – in the wild – and hopefully not get mauled.
6. Own a home by the ocean.
7. Take my little sister to NYC.
8. Go to a BUNCH of concerts.
9. Get really good at playing ukulele.
10. Learn the Napoleon Dynamite dance.
11. Publish some of my own creative writing.
12. Read many awesome books, preferably while lounging in a hammock or curled up in some blankets.
13. Make lots of new friends all over the world, but also stay in touch with the old ones.
14. Get a tattoo.
15. Participate in animal rights activism.
16. Stop buying from big chain stores and support smaller businesses.
17. Go to a fancy, all-vegan restaurant.
18. Write a novel.
19. Become an early riser (cringe).
20. Learn how to service my own car.
21. Finally, loftiest of all, open a sanctuary for abused/rescued farm animals.
I don’t know how many of these will happen, but it’s exciting to think about where my life is heading. Even if they are tougher, I have a feeling that my twenties are going to be pretty damn great.