BIRTHDAY REFLECTIONS: LIFE AT FIVE AND THIRTY

Birthday Candles
Image: Annie Spratt

Although I am definitely an adult in age ( I am now 35 years old 😮 ), I still feel like I’m just playing an adult on TV. In reality, I’m sliding down the hill towards 40, and there are just 5 short years until I become a man. But for now, I’m going to be mindful in the moment and celebrate my 35 years on this earth. So…in celebration of my three and a half decades of thriving while surviving, here are the 3 accomplishments that have shaped my life thus far and the 5 goals that will take my life to another level. LEGGO!!

Three Goals Down

Becoming a doctor before age 30. No, it’s not an M.D., but it’s still prestigious and hard to get. In my opinion, it is even more difficult to successfully complete a Ph.D. because you have to do more than pass classes and exams. In fact, C’s don’t make degrees when it comes to getting a Ph.D (#TruthBomb). Not only is it necessary to maintain a certain GPA, but you have to pass both written and oral exams and navigate the politics and egos of academia. To be honest, I had no idea what I would do once I got my Ph.D., and I still kind of don’t…but I got it, and in the end that’s all that matters to me. ‘Cause like the wise philosopher Beyoncé once said “I see it I want…I dream it I work hard I grind ‘til I own it.”

Starting Reel Literature. September is full of celebrations! I am not only celebrating my birthday, but I am celebrating 1 year of blogging! Like many first time parents, I’m just glad that I kept the baby alive. I’ve always been a lover of books, even when I didn’t always have the time to read them, and one of my dreams as a kid was to write a novel that would one day become an American classic. Reel Literature has allowed me the opportunity to explore my passion for both books and writing. This here blog has even help me become a Book Riot contributor!

Studying Abroad. In college, I had the opportunity to spend a semester at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. This was one of the most AMAZING experiences of my life!!!! It was the first time I spent extended time out of the country and the first stamp I received in my passport. The experience enriched my life in so many ways: I took a class where I was the only student (#Awkard), I survived the Kakum Canopy Walk (#Terrifying), and I stood at the “Door of No Return” (#Heartbreaking). And I know it changed me for the better.

Five Golden Goals

Buying a House. I don’t want the typical house in the suburbs because Suburgatory is where fun and lively souls go to die. I prefer a downtown condo where I can still enjoy the vibrancy and culture of city life. In all honesty, it boils down to one day I would like to stop renting and start owning my humble abode. Also, as a former military brat, I never had the experience of having a childhood home or a hometown, which contributes to my nomadic and wanderlustful lifestyle. I would love to put down roots somewhere and finally call some place home.

Eliminating Student Loans. This goal goes along with reaching financial independence, buying a house, and even getting married because none of those goals are possible without first putting a huge dent in my student loan debt. Thanks to not having any money and going to school for fifty-eleven years, I have quite the chunk of change still owed to Uncle Sam. But every month I put something on it and one day I’ll owe no mo’!

Getting Hitched. I never really saw myself getting married, even though I hoped to find a life partner who would get my quirks, but that all changed when I met my current beau. Although I’m not ready to tie the knot just yet, I know that one day I will walk down the aisle in a beautiful lace boho chic gown and marry my love.

Reaching Financial Independence. I have been financially illiterate for so many years and have only recently taken personal finance seriously. Over the past few years I have been working semi-diligently to reduce my debts and increase my savings because this 9-5 desk jockeying thing is not the business!! My new dream is to reach the point where I can work the job I want on my own schedule without being dictated by a paycheck or a schedule.

Visiting España. It has been a dream since I was a kid to visit Spain. The first push pin I placed on my National Geographic world map poster was in Barcelona. I studied Spanish in high school and college and listened to SOOO much Spanish music in preparation for the day I would spend months travelling the country with my hot Spanish boyfriend. Well, the future husband is not a hot Spaniard, but I would love to traipse across the country eating paella and drinking wine with him.

Your Turn

So…are you reaching a milestone birthday soon? What are the accomplishments that make you most proud? What do you want to accomplish next? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Reel Lit? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Reel Literature Digest!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Wizard Profile Picture

I’m Katisha, the wizard behind Reel Literature. As a longtime book nerd, I hate to see an amazing book spoiled by a lackluster movie. Join me as I read the books that have definitely been watered down and most likely ruined by Hollywood. With a lot of humor and a little snark, I share my thoughts on all things books and the movies they inspire. Find me in these internet streets on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

14 Comments

  1. Congratulations on all your great accomplishments! And sounds like you’re just getting started!

    For our milestones, I just reached thirty-eight, and the husband is hitting forty this year, too, and he’s not sure how happy he is about it. We are currently in a great place – we bought an awesome house and both have jobs that we really love and we think we’re doing a great job of balancing travel with all the rest of that. We have a few goals, too. For one, we’d like to either have kids or adopt. Then, sometime in the next five or more years, I’ll retire from the Army and we’d like to move somewhere where we don’t have to move all the time! And we would love to park ourselves out in Italy for a month or more and just spend time living and learning about food and wine and culture.

  2. Amazing accomplishments and goals! You should be so proud of where you are. I too am 35 and understand exactly how you feel. It’s like I know better now than my 25 yo self but I still feel young with so much to learn. It is so weird, this adulating thing sometimes lol. So far I have accomplished getting my master’s, becoming a mom, scoring a leadership position in my field of work (day job), and starting a blog. I plan to cultivate a successful writing career, get married, and just continue to become the best version of myself letting God use me!

  3. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Second… I am going to be 35 next month and now I want to crawl into a hole because you mentioned 40. SOBS. Seriously though you’re doing AWESOME. Getting a PhD?! That is such an incredible achievement! So is studying abroad, I cannot even imagine how amazing and life changing that must have been. And of course, yay for blogging! I am so happy you have someone so special in your life- I teared up a bit at your story of your dream gown! And YES to Spain! I was only there for a VERY short time (less than 2 days!), and I want to go back so, so badly. Financial independence, that sounds freaking incredible, too. Share some tips if you get there, okay? 😉 Hope your birthday was fabulous!!

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes!!! Thinking of 40 being right around the corner really blows my mind too…LOL I try not to think about it because in a few birthdays I’m probably going to have the same breakdown Meg Ryan had in When Harry Met Sally. I will definitely share my journey to reach financial independence because I want everyone to get there too!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!