Happy Birthday to Me! 24 Goals for My 24th Year

Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday Miss Leah
Happy Birthday to me

Birthday, Challenge

I case that little diddy didn’t give it away, today is my birthday! Ok, really it was yesterday! But since the festivities continued into today then it’s ok for me to fib. I’ve always preferred other people’s birthdays to my own. I’d much rather shower friends with baked goods and gifts than receive them. I also feel like there are always expectations surrounding birthdays that, quite frankly, I never feel like surpassing. As a child, you have to have the coolest theme, the tastiest cake, and the most pimpin’ party favors. As an adult, you have to book a table at the trendiest restaurant or best bar. If you don’t, you’ve failed. And who wants to fail on their birthday?

This year, however, I was actually excited for the big day. On Friday, my boyfriend took me to Olives where we dined  an assortment of rich, fall foods. He followed it up with homemade lemon cake — my favorite and his least favorite. A guy has never made me a cake before, let alone one that he hates. It was the perfect pre-birthday celebration.

Our dinner of artichoke salad, chicken meatballs, and rabbit tagliatelle.

Our dinner of artichoke salad, chicken meatballs, and rabbit tagliatelle.

Yesterday, the actual big day, I went to Yankee Stadium and watched the Red Sox destroy the Yankees. And I got to do it from mac-daddy suite filled with food, drinks and sweets. Today, I went to see Matilda with my best (and newly engaged) friend.

Even though I hate them, the Yankees wished me happy birthday.

Even though I hate them, the Yankees wished me happy birthday.

Our suite, the view, and Joe Girardi chilling with my dad.

Our suite, the view, and Joe Girardi chilling with my dad.

A Broadway birthday!

A Broadway birthday!

Yes, it was a bad ass birthday, I won’t lie. But the festivities were a small reason I was excited for the big day. For me, turning 24 means a chance to start over. As you know, 23 was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year. Heartbreak, unemployment, and illness were only some of the things I struggled with this past year. Turning 24 gives me a fresh start and a chance at being completely happy with my life and myself.

So this year, instead of making a wish on every candle, I made a challenge for each one. And with all the cake I’ve consumed, I have the energy to tackle each of them!

24 Goals for My 24th Year

1. Say something positive every day.
Fact of life: Some days are f*****g terrible. But by saying something optimistic about myself before I go to bed, I can turn the bad day into a good one.

2. Stand up for myself. 
Some say I let people treatment like crap. Sadly, I agree. No more! If I believe in what I do, then I will make others feel the same.

3. Do something that scares me.
Whether it’s defending myself at work or diving through the sky from a plane, this needs to happen. After all, we have nothing to fear but fear itself, right?

4. Find a cause and fully support it.
I’ve already begun this by working with half full, llc, but I want to do more to help!

5. Rediscover religion.
Despite over 10 years of Sunday school and altar serving, I am a horrible Catholic. I go on the Christmas and Easter, but to be honest I have a beef with God. Hopefully this will be the year we work out our issues and I find a reason to go back to church other than making my mom happy.

6. Reconnect with “lost” friends.
Keeping in touch with people is a huge challenge for me. I hate talking on the phone and a busy schedule keeps me from catching up over drinks. But there are many amazing friends that I have lost touch with over the last year that I hope to bring back into my life, provided they welcome me into theirs.

7. Learn how to apply makeup.
Even tomboys can benefit from some blush and lipstick.

8. Go gluten free(-ish).
As much as I love a eating loaf of fresh baked bread, I hate the aftermath. Hopefully this change can save me money on antacids.

9. Clean up my life.
Throw out the jeans that don’t fit anymore. Toss out pictures that remind you of sad times. Eat more veggies. And for God sakes Leah, keep clothes off the floor!

10. Learn to say “no.”
As a people pleaser, I agree to anything anyone asks me. Even if it means sacrificing my time, money or sleep. Unless I will enjoy or benefit from something then I shouldn’t do it.

11. Make time for myself everyday.
I have to make myself a priority, but to be honest I don’t know how. So I’ll start small. Whether it’s taking ten minutes to polish my nails or window shopping at lunch, it’s important to treat myself. If I don’t do it, who will?

12. Parlare più italiano.
I took 4 years of Italian in high school and another 4 in college, which came in handy during my two week tour of the country. Sadly I haven’t spoken much of it since that trip two years ago. I miss the sound of rolling Rs and want to bring it back.

13. Learn a new skill.
I can cook. I can snake a drain. I can (sort of) speak Italian. But there are a lot of things I can’t do that would be beneficial. Any suggestions? 

14. Stop spending and start saving!
To preface, I really don’t spend that much money. I only throw down for the essentials like food and transportation. And, ok, the occasional pair of jeans at Loft. But I want to make smarter spending decisions and start putting more money away for the future. I’m already starting by moving to a significantly cheaper apartment. How do you save money?

15. Take a first aid class. 
You never know when you’ll have to save someone.

16. Turn off my effing phone!
Ok, maybe not literally, because every time I do I lose my contacts. But I do spend more time on it than I should. When I’m out to dinner or having a girls’ night, my phone will stay in my purse.

17. Give more time to my family. 
When I’m in New York, I’m so busy I forget to call my godmother. When I go home for a weekend, I usually have a dozen doctor’s appointments and  forget to visit my aunt. But there are the people that will be there when the rest of the world walks out, so I should give them the time they deserve.

18. Stop planning every moment. 
There’s nothing wrong with staying in the weekend or taking an impulsive day trip.

19. Forgive myself for my “failures.”
I’ve made many mistakes in my life and still beat myself up over them. I need to realize that these things happened and I can’t change them. Time to move on.

20. Run a half marathon. 
Ok so this may be cheating, since my race is a week away, but it’s still on the to-do list.

21. Stop biting my nails. 
It’s so gross!

22. Cook more.
Now that I will have a huge kitchen, I want to whip up more amazing meals.

23.Cry less, laugh more. 

24. Blog more. 
Always a go-to-goal that I really need to work on.

Seems like a lot? Well, maybe it is. But even if I accomplish half of these goals I know I will come out a better person.


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