27 was always my favorite number when I was growing up. When I exaggerated…there were 27 dogs in the car, 27 bug bites, 27 loads of laundry, etc. When I got to pick a number, it was 27. It’s not like I ever noticed that anything great ever really happened on the 27th… but I just liked it. And… if I want to read really, really far into it, Trey’s favorite number is 9. Born on the 9th of July, always picked that number in sports, etc. 2+7=9.

Yesterday was my 27th birthday and it felt like a big one for me. I celebrated it with yacht rock, crepes for breakfast, a trip to the botanical gardens, purchasing a whole lotta plants, and then working in the yard until our dinner reservations. By the end of dinner, my cheeks were rosy from the whisky and I was tired from a day spent in the sun. It was a really, really great birthday.

I have a few goals for this next year, and I feel confident in each of them. I want to start habits this year that will carry over into every facet of my life. Each of them are backed by my need for self care and self preservation, and the realizations that I have had about myself over the last year. Here they are:

  1. I want to build a garden and an outdoor space that I’ll never want to leave. I felt starved creatively and starved for sunshine over the last year. For a long time, I didn’t have the physical space for making art, which was really hard - and I didn’t have enough hours in the day left for it even if there had been enough space. So, we have over an acre of land now - and a garden is in the works. I’m excited to wake up with the sun and spend the first hours of the day in it. And, since this is our very first garden, if everything ends up dying… I’ll still have an outdoor space for my soul to soak up the sun.

  2. I want to learn to cook. Cooking has always been very intimidating to me. Everyone in my family can cook, but it has almost always seemed like every attempt of mine has failed miserably. That kind of thinking just doesn’t come naturally for me. But, I’ve got a pretty perfect cook that can teach me and I’m going to open myself up to it. I’ll start by picking several recipes that excite me, and I’ll go from there. I also know that it can be therapeutic, and I want in on that kind of tasty therapy.

  3. I want to care for my body inside and out. My mom has always stressed the importance of caring for your skin, and I’m sad to admit that I’m getting a late start to the game. But, I want to create a skincare regimen that works for my lifestyle, and a fitness routine that works for my schedule. I’ve noticed just over the last couple of weeks that the mornings spent in the sun seem to give me the boost needed to get some physical activity in. And, if i can work some meditation in there… that would be great. But I’m not going to kick myself if it doesn’t happen.

  4. I want to visit home more. I hear myself say this from time to time, but then life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen. I love going home. I love my family. I love being back in my little town. I’m grateful to have the family that I have, and I’m going to go home more even if just for the day.

  5. I want to stop sweating the small stuff and focus on what really matters. I’m a carer. I care about everything…a lot. Even the things that I shouldn’t care about. I consciously make mountains out of molehills and then I crawl under those self-made mountains and get lost under their weight. It’s a bad, bad habit. In doing this, I lose the energy that should be being devoted to the people and things that really do matter. In all of this caring, I do a lot of worrying. I worry about big things and small things and everything in between. My hope is that I can retrain my mind to focus on the positive so that the worries won’t have as much space to make themselves at home. In all of the “stop sweating the small stuff” biz, I’m also going to stop caring as much about what people think. Instagram is the worst, and it’s easy to get sucked into some negative self talk because of it. So, I’m releasing myself from that self talk and going to focus on living my actual life with the people around me and not the people in my Instagram feed.

I’m extremely excited for my 27th year. These goals won’t be easy but they’ll be worth it, and I know that I’m worth it.