27 and Still Not Barbie

barbie president

About a month ago I realized my birthday was coming up and I had a mild panic attack. “My birthday goals! I haven’t even been looking at them! I’ve probably failed at everything.” Overall I feel like this year went by really fast. I’m chalking that up to the fact that:

  1. I’ve been really (productively) busy.
  2. I’ve spent a lot of time in airplanes.

When I actually opened up my 26 and ready post to grade myself for the year, I realized I had given myself a relatively un-quantifiable list of goals [here they are, along with my ‘grades’]:

  1. Leave the country [A++].
  2. Visit my #2 in Chicago [D].
  3. Create a product [C-].
  4. Be more observant and connected to my surroundings. Try to see something every day that I’ve never seen before [P].
  5. Say No enough that I can really mean it when I say Yes [A].
  6. Surprise people. Do something that exceeds the expectations of those closest to me [P].

I passed the first goal with flying colors.

The grand ole’ U.S. of A. was without my presence on two distinct occasions over the past year. In December of 2012 I hopped on a flight to Seattle and surprisingly enough the Canadians let me in for a visit. @Tritico and I found this crazy place called the Capilano Suspension Bridge and I took a selfie in front of it so you would all believe that I was really there. Exhibit A:

I stood on a giant suspension bridge in a rainforest in Vancouver (December 2012).

THEN, in June of this year I used the Delta miles I’ve been hoarding for the past year to hop a transatlantic flight to Berlin via Amsterdam. The worst part of the trip was when @Tritico made me ride a rented bike all over Berlin, partially in the rain. He even took this series of pictures of me to prove what an awful time I was having:

I was obviously not as successful on my second goal. My #2 travels almost as much as I do, and he is never home when I happen to be free to visit him. I did make an effort to find a time to visit him though, so I give myself a teensie bit of credit for that. Here’s a picture of him throwing a frisbee at me circa 2005 to make up for my lack of a visit this year.

If I told you about #3, I’d have to kill you. Also, I’d ruin my secret sauce. I would have been further along in this goal, except this. #4 is a wishy washy one; I don’t know quite how to grade myself. Maybe it should be a pass/fail class? I’ll go change that now… Yay, I passed!

#5 is a big fat “A” because I said NO to all kinds of stuff this year, and I’m in the process of saying NO to even more things. Saying NO feels really good, you should try it. This is my NO (see also: “are you crazy?!”) face:

The pictures from this photoautomat are actually really good and have taken up residence on @Tritico’s fridge.

#6 is also a hard one to judge. I threw a surprise party for @Tritico and learned that some people don’t like surprises. Did I surprise you? I’m starting to feel like I’ve been surprising people for so long that people are no longer surprised by me. Is that a thing?

Anyways, that’s all the fun for today.

EXCEPT here are the (noticeably more achievable) goals for the 28th year of my life:

  1. Visit my #2 in Chicago.
  2. Complete “The Daily” list every day (see below).
This is a daily checklist I wrote for myself a few months ago. Right now I actually complete the whole thing about once a week. From here on out, DAILY.

BONUS. 

After a lot of pressure on twitter, @Tritico took me to the Barbie DreamHouse in Berlin. I’m pretty sure I would’ve played with Barbie a lot less when I was younger if I’d realized how tall she is:

See you next year!

26 and Ready

On this day last year I wrote a birthday blog post. It included a list of goals that I referred back to periodically. I didn’t fulfill all of my goals. I could (and have) call(ed) myself a failure.

Here are the goals I posted last year:

  1. Do more yoga & meditation; spend more time tuning myself into my intuition. [C]
  2. Only take on new work that provides an expansive learning opportunity or excites my love of ___ (too many things to list). [C]
  3. Jump out of a plane (with a parachute). [A]
  4. Take another big trip (Asia, South America, Europe, all of the above, I’m not picky). [D]
  5. Karaoke as often as the opportunity presents itself (thanks to advice from Peter Shallard re: public failure). [A-]
  6. Externalize my internal passion, drive, and love in a more open way. Remember that I have nothing to hide. [A+]

I added grades for myself next to each goal. I passed a few classes with flying colors but ended up with an overall goal-GPA of 2.83. Not so great but it could be much worse. Remember that time I got a 7 on a test?

Anyways, there are other things I failed at this year besides those goals. I failed at keeping up with some of my oldest and dearest friends. I failed at fulfilling some of my volunteer and work commitments. I failed at keeping my bedroom clean.

Perhaps my most consistent and biggest failure has been my lack of timely and clear communication. I’m going to email you back, I promise. [That’s probably a lie.]

But in as many ways as I’ve failed this year, I’ve succeeded.

Very recently, I jumped out of an airplane with 6 of the coolest guys I know.

I’ve made amazing new friendships. I’ve been momma-bird-fed by #roomierebecca. I’ve cried over more breakfasts than I can count with @heyitsmegan, @tritico, and @irishcajun [#breakfastclub]. I sang and danced almost every day. I told more people that I love them. Because I do.

I’ve gotten on stage in front of big and small crowds alike for everything from moderating panels to telling stories for a comedy show. I became Editor In Chief of Silicon Bayou News. I read more books than was probably healthy. I traveled to New York, Boston, Denver, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.

Nothing to Hide

The most important part of my goal list for last year was the last part of the last goal. “Remember that I have nothing to hide.” For me, this is where I succeeded enough to call the whole year a win. I told stories I was scared to tell. I talked to close friends in a more open way about my hopes, dreams, and fears. And I started Molly in a Minute.

Doing daily video posts felt like a huge step out onto a shaky limb. It was just risky enough and just crazy enough and I’m still surprised every time someone watches one of my wild rants.

A barrier has been removed between me and the rest of the world thanks to #mollyinaminute. I’m more real on those videos than I could ever be on twitter or in a written blog. For that one minute every day I have nothing to hide. 

Without further ado, here are a few publicly stated goals for the 27th year of my life: 

  1. Leave the country. [Rollover from last year. Italy, anyone? New Zealand? Thailand?]
  2. Visit my #2 in Chicago.
  3. Create a product. [From a conversation with @tdavidson that has been bouncing around in my head for months.]
  4. Be more observant and connected to my surroundings. Try to see something every day that I’ve never seen before.
  5. Say No enough that I can really mean it when I say Yes.
  6. Surprise people. Do something that exceeds the expectations of those closest to me.

Here’s to another year of you and me. I’m ready.