25 Candles: One (Challenging) Wish I Have On My Birthday

Today is my birthday and I’ve officially turned the big 2-5. I am 25-years-old. 

To be honest, I thought time would creep slowly to this point in my life but it still feels like yesterday as I watched the time on my alarm clock moving steadily on my last time being 19 on the eve of my 20th birthday. I imagined one thing when the clock struck midnight that my 20s would be a thrill and an episode of Living Single brought to life.

Well, I’m halfway through my 20s and quite frankly….
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I’ve had multiple quarter-life crises by the time I reached 23, in a panic about wanting to make the best out of this time of my life that’s flying by and I won’t get back. I don’t want to look back years from now and sum it up with miserable. I want to make the remainder of my 20s sparkle, right up to the last second before I turn 30.

Then I could set up the rest of my life to with what I’ve started now.

I’m an introvert with a flaw of being pessimistic when things in my life aren’t going right instead of channeling my optimistic self that can easily be boosted through an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.  I’m guilty of keeping the things that are interesting, colorful and out-of-the box about myself to myself. I can be stubborn but at this point I can see how much all of that hinders me from letting my artistic nature run free. In 2015, I got a glimpse of the good that my visions bring when I let go and let God…a flood of people who appreciate and relate to what I have to bring.

I will use this as an example until you get the point! That article I did for Black Girl Nerds changed my life when I decided to cut the strings of one of my colorful balloons go (I like metaphors, okay?) and to my surprise, being admired by readers. It was the most liberating feeling in the world with all the messages I received on social media with people thanking me for writing it and making me feel that I wasn’t alone. And I almost didn’t write it. I would’ve robbed myself of a moment that made me want to keep telling stories and let every balloon free to float around.

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After reading Shonda Rhimes’ hilarious and insightful book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person (buy here), I was inspired.  A fellow introvert, Rhimes was propelled to say YES to things she was afraid of doing —  like avoiding press interviews, college commencement speeches and having a panic attack before an interview with Oprah that she doesn’t remember not one moment from — when her sister mumbled to her, “You never say yes to anything.”  

Those words set of a grenade for Rhimes who decided to dedicate a year to pushing that inner introvert conscious screaming no to say yes to what scared her and it changed her life. I flipped through the pages of her memoir and saw every thought reflected

So in honor of my 25th birthday, I’m making one birthday wish for myself that’ll be a challenge: to put myself and my dreams out of my comfort zone. I also thought, you feel awkward and self-conscious about being on camera, document yourself in the process. Put a bunch of eyes on you.

Thanks, me. I guess nicknamed myself after a fruit, claiming I could make it into lemonade would come at a price…making it.  Hopefully this will inspire at least one person who reads this and that’ll be the frosting on my birthday cake.

xoxo,

Ashley