Growing up, we learn to associate birthdays with gifts, party hats, streamers and cake. We blow out our candles and wish for our next year of life to bring us a pony when we’re five and a car when we’re 16. I love the celebration of birthdays, and how special we try to make each other feel on the day that however many years ago, we made our grand entrance into the world.
As I get older though, I’m realizing that I’m not just celebrating the new year ahead of me, or the fact that I’ve made it this far. I’m celebrating all that I’ve learned and the ways that I’ve grown. I’m celebrating the love I’ve brought into my life with new friends, the life I have lived in the short 365 days past.
I think birthdays, while an excellent excuse for cake, presents, and dance parties, are also a great opportunity to reflect on what we loved about our last year and what we’d like to leave in it.
This Sunday, January 16th, I’m turning 18. Seventeen was full of lessons, about myself, the world, and the way people have the power to change your life for better or for worse. On my birthday this year and every birthday hereafter, I’ll be journaling and answering the following questions for myself to look back on every birthday moving forward, as a way to check in with myself and see how far I’ve come. I’m sharing them with you below, and I invite you to start this new tradition with me, too. <3
- HOW DID I BRING MORE LOVE INTO MY LIFE THIS YEAR?
- WHO MADE AN IMPACT ON ME THIS YEAR?
- WHAT DID I DO TO CHALLENGE MYSELF THIS YEAR?
- WHAT ABOUT THIS YEAR WAS HARD? WHAT ABOUT THIS YEAR WAS EASY?
- WHAT DO I WANT TO DO MORE OF?
- HOW CAN I BE BETTER TO MYSELF?
- WHAT WORD DO I USE TO DESCRIBE LAST YEAR? WHAT WORD DO I HOPE DESCRIBES NEXT YEAR?
- WHAT AM I MOST EXCITED FOR?
- WHAT AM I SCARED OF?
- WRITE A NOTE TO YOUR FUTURE SELF. WHAT DO YOU WANT HER TO KNOW?