23rd Birthday

Yay me, one step closing to looking like this:

OldWoman
http://katieverickson.blogspot.com/

But on the reals, the half of me that keeps feeling sorry for me lost out today to the half of me that wants desperately to succeed and is somewhat winning to be happier and look at all the green grass I’m standing in now.

Gratitude

  1. My parents took me out to Korean BBQ, which is actually what I would choose as my last meal.  Sashimi, side dishes, perfect grains of white rice, and KAL BI??  What more can a person want?  ~ pics to come ~
  2. They also are taking me to see my first Broadway show, and it’s Lion King no less, this Sunday!!
  3. My best friend gave me a beautiful handmade card and $100, which I was super reluctant to accept.  But then she explained that this money is going specifically to me buying music software, and that made me feel so happy that someone believes in me so much that they’re willing to encourage me and invest in my skills. :’)
  4. I’m going to let myself splurge a little to reward myself for everyday that I struggle.  After GREs, Lauren and I are finally going to try out that Island Spa.
  5. At my birthday event, whatever that ends up being, hopefully I’ll see a lot of people I just miss, and do something to cross off my bucket list, like Indoor skydiving or going to a shooting range.
  6. My brother called me to wish me a happy birthday even though he’s super swamped with work
  7. My study abroad friends immediately granted my wish to mass Skype them all!  It was such a good feeling. Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.24.26 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.04.59 AMI’ve never clicked so easily with a group of people so fast before, even after almost a year on and off of communicating, we pick up right where we left off being dumbasses and laughing and reminiscing.  We’re going to reschedule another one so more people can make the next one 🙂
  8. Even though I feel a bit bummed about close friends not wishing me a happy birthday, I was able to look at the glass half full rather than half empty.  Two years ago, I just kept counting every single person who didn’t wish me well, but this year I was able to shift my focus instead on every single person who took even a few seconds out of their day to say happy birthday.

I now know what older friends have been saying to me in recent years: that once you hit past that 21st mark, each birthday really isn’t exciting anymore.  But 2015 has been generally decent to me, and hopefully my 23 is the same or better.

Highlights of the past year or two:

  1. TCNJ Memories:
    1. Artificial Intelligence/ Etsy seminar / RJ Mitte / Cristina Milioti / Nick Offerman – gave me a lot to think about
    2. Paramore concert- not a particular fan, but was cool to see their live performance regardless
    3. Fondue nights with friends surprising me with late birthday gifts
    4. My lanyard and key turning up randomly, which saved me $50
    5. Eating at a Michelin star restaurant in NYC and visiting the Whitney museum
    6. Morning graduation! Holy shit made it
    7. Teaching me the value of my favorite quote:  “You’re either a Blessing or a Lesson.”  I think Frank Ocean said this. Too true.  Senior year answered and offered me everything I felt I had been missing the previous year.  Friendship, epiphanies, great college professors, more independence, and branching out on new skills I really wanted to gain
  2. Amazing summers:  Taiwan 2014 (of course) and Princeton Chinese Immersion 2015- learning about kids, meeting great people
  3. Venice, Montenegro, and Greece- wow.  Got really sick, but still so beautiful and unforgettable
  4. Working out of my comfort zone at Lindt to develop interpersonal skills and learn about chocolate
  5. Proud of myself this winter for continuing to fight forward in just learning about everything and anything within reach – more on this and new personal goals to be met for the rest of 2016.
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Happy Valentine’s Day

To my father- who tirelessly works to make sure we have everything we need.  Who singlehandedly comes home from work in the late evening, but still has time to run errands, wash the dishes, cook dinner, vacuum the house, watch Jeopardy and Family Feud with me at 7pm, help with GREs, and fill up my humidifier for me before I get to bed.  Drive me to Penn Hospital, make my favorite beef noodle soup, and let me nag him endlessly on eating healthier.  Who patiently listens to me and tries to cheer me up with punny jokes that are only sometimes punny.

To my mother- who always did her best to put our needs before hers.  Who moved to a foreign country to give us a better life, and lecturing us to make sure we knew the value of hard work and discipline.  Who would stay up late nights to give back rubs when her child was feeling discomfort or had trouble breathing.  Who would make sure they were warm enough every night.

To my brother- who in his own way is there, trying to be there in his own way.  Who is a solid role model to look up to by taking care of himself and being successful and independent.  Who spoils with Christmas gifts, comes home on the weekend with a birthday cake, makes sure the family is somewhat sane, and who wrote a Facebook post saying how proud he was of me.

To my neighbor and childhood best friend- who played with me despite me being different, who carried my oxygen tank around the playground so we could hang out, climbed Mabel (our tree) and broke her damn arm and didn’t sue me, survived our friendship despite a brief fallout in middle school, tolerated my Korean drama life, and saved me from my darkest hours.  Who is goofy, doesn’t give a fuck about others who are rude, has no censorship, and burps the most wondrous sounds.

To my high school best friend- who stood up for me when others didn’t, offered me sanctuary at her house, generously showed off Chicago (Bean and Deep Dish Pizza, ‘nuff said), and genuinely cares.  Who is level-headed, intelligent, and kind.

To my college best friends- who fended off Brazilian men who came on too strong (and maybe other dudes) for me, housed me as the 5th roommate, fed me,  braced awkward moments with me, listened, argued, encouraged, and comforted, whose willingness to drop me off in front of places so I don’t get sick, carry my heavy bags, Tinder troll with me, debate the meaning of life, tolerate rants and rambles, and accept me.

Thanks.  I love you.  End sappy letter.