“Let go of the idea of what is normal, and go live your life the way you really want it to live.” ― Shanti

Today I am 22. That is so weird to write. In the time between when I slept and when I awoke (not too long ago), I became 22. Wow.  Of course, this is not original at all, but I started my morning with (1) a flurry of text messages about my sister’s and friend’s airline struggles and (2) Taylor Swift. The Taylor Swift bit is the unoriginal aspect of this morning.

I like to treat my birthdays like New Year’s Day. I made birthday resolutions or goal posts for emotional, spiritual, and physical growth. In addition, I tend to make lists of what I have learned over the past year of my life. Today, I’m going to share with you my list, some of my goals for the next year of my life, and my plans for the day!

Flashback: May 29th of 2013 – May 29th of 2014

(1) One year ago — exactly one year ago — I created this blog to be a space for me to express my anxieties about the medical school application process. Over the process, I have come to learn how cathartic blogging is for me as well as how wonderful and supportive the #almostdoctor online community is.

(2) I learned how to do basic science, and I learned how to it well.

(3) I learned how to be a supportive friend and also when to let a friendship drift.

(4) I started to read the news again. So much knowledge. So much drama.

(5) I came to develop an appreciation for psychological research (especially since I was an experiment subject in about six studies this semester).

(6) I learned about classical mythology (life-changing class), reproduction and reproductive rights in american (life-changing class), health psychology (absolutely interesting field), pharmaceutical development (I know!), philosophy of the mind (completely outside of my comfort zone), and

(7) I went to religious dinner discussions. I used to avoid political/religious discussions but I found that having your opinions challenged is extremely important.

(8) I learned that people who are prone to become jealous are not good friends…and they really can’t be good friends ever. It’s better to let them go than to tip-toe around their self-esteem.

(9) I tried calamari! I liked it!

(10) I tried lobster! I didn’t like it.

(11) I ate eggs for the first time in years. I didn’t like it.

(12) I had tofu! I love it!

(13) I went to the gym consistently over the past year (for the first time since my varsity tennis days). The gym has been such an outlet for me during the high-stress times of this year (application season, decision season, thesis season, finals season, and the list goes on).

Goals: May 29th of 2014 to May 29th of 2015

(1) I’m afraid of four things: lizards, frogs, birds, and heights. Before, I would have said that I was afraid of airplanes but interview season helped me to really make progress in regard to that fear. I think people who make fun of what you are afraid of are terrible human beings — but actually, I really think this — and I don’t feel pressured to knock some of these fears off of my list because I am afraid of ridicule but because I think that I can (at least with some of these). I aim to be less skittish around birds which is…definitely going to be a challenge for me. (It’s a long story, don’t ask).

(2) Three meals a day. I tend to skip meals entirely or eat one meal (sometimes two) if I am extremely stressed out, which is terrible and throws off my eating schedule. I want to attempt to have a normal meal schedule.

(3) At Princeton, many students respond to compliments (such as: “you’re so good at x, y, or z” or “you look so nice in “x, y, or z” or even “that color looks nice on you”) with “you’re so nice, but no it’s not really true” or sometimes “I don’t know how I tricked you into thinking that, but thank you.” I too adopted this way of responding to compliments and I think it’s definitely not the best way to handle such things. And so, I resolve to be comfortable when acknowledged, not embarrassed.


Today, my sister and my best friend (since sixth grade) are coming from Louisiana to celebrate my birthday with me as well as attend Princeton reunions festivities and graduation shenanigans (the rest of my family will be here for graduation events as well). I don’t generally celebrate my birthday but today I have a picnic planned with free Chipotle (thank you Chipotle) and baked goods that my amazing friends are bringing. I’ll share photos when the festivities subside.

2 thoughts on ““Let go of the idea of what is normal, and go live your life the way you really want it to live.” ― Shanti

  1. Happy birthday! Wow, 22 is really young! I was always a little peeved that that song didn’t exist when I turned 22. Anyhow. Sounds like you had a very successful year. I too make goals and resolutions on my birthdays – but my birthday is pretty close to New Year’s, so I’ve always equated them to the same thing.

    I especially like your third goal for this year. My little sister (an occupation therapy student) recently learned all about assertiveness training, and then proceeded to teach me about the “correct” way to accept a compliment. I’d never even thought about it before!


    • Oh nice! I didn’t know that others had birthday resolutions as well! This is great to hear. Yep, I’m a fan of my third goal as well. It’s so important…but not often discussed.


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