24 Hopes for Year 24

Five days from now, it will be my twenty-fourth birthday. Twenty-four years of learning to walk, learning to love, learning to fall down and fail forward. The age twenty-four feels like an arrival—no longer a fresh graduate, paying my own car insurance, watching old classmates marry off one-by-one. An induction into the reality of adulthood. Just starting to settle into my own rhythm. And while I considered writing all that I’ve learned during these twenty-four years, I think the best and biggest lesson I know is that twenty-four years is hardly time to really know anything at all.

But I do have an idea, a few ideas, of what I’d like this next year to look like. Who I’d like to be. I want to start this next year of my life drenched in optimism, and so I made a list. A list of 24 hopes for the person I will be in another 365 days. Hopes of what I can use these coming 365 days for.

1.     I hope to start my mornings with God. I’ve ended my twenty-third year on a 40-day prayer challenge, waking up each morning to thank, adore, and grow closer to the reason for my being here. I am still just digging into this relationship, but have already noticed a significant increase in my capabilities by praying to God for guidance and strength at every sunrise.

2.     I hope I stop telling myself I need to give up pizza. Pizza is my happiness—it’s time I accepted it.

3.     I hope I travel abroad. I only made it out of the country once this past year, and I hope I can get away as many, if not more, times during Year 24.

4.     I hope I’m slow to anger.

5.     I hope I trust myself to achieve. When presented with opportunities, I’m so quick to dismiss my ability to handle them—I hope I stop doubting the things I know I’ve been equipped to handle.

6.     I hope love comes easily.

7.     I hope I always remain grateful for work. I spent a significant portion of this last year unemployed…even in the monotony of a 9–5, I hope I never forget how lucky I am to go to a job I love and receive a paycheck every two weeks.

8.     I hope I write. Every week. Every day. I hope I never give up on this passion. I hope I never move on from the dream that’s burned in me since I was old enough to read.

9.     I hope I read more books. Books that challenge me. Books that inspire me. Books that I find in secondhand stores and books that come to me in the mail. I hope I read all the books.

10. I hope I prioritize the people who love me. I hope I prioritize them over the people who I want to love me.

11. I hope I stop feeling embarrassed about the things I love just because the people around me don’t love them. I hope I give up the shame of being myself.

12. I hope I learn how to stick to a budget. Money equals numbers equals I try to ignore it and hope it all works out in the end. I hope I give up that thought process.

13. I hope I eat a vegetable every once in awhile. I hope I don’t have to wrack my brain to figure out the last time I ate a vegetable.

14. I hope I go to the beach. A lot.

15. I hope I never say no to someone asking if I want to go see a concert.

16. I hope I remember that it’s okay to just tell a friend, “I think I need a night in tonight,” when I’m feeling burned out by plans. I hope I remember that my friends love me and always understand.

17. I hope I’m not afraid to dance when my favorite song comes on. Ever. All the time.

18. I hope I smile at the strangers on the street, even when they look at me like I’m insane for doing so.

19. I hope I smile a lot. I hope I earn so many wrinkles this year from smiling so big.

20. I hope I let go of the idea that one person getting something I want takes away my chances of getting it too. I hope I learn to be genuinely happy for anyone who receives and achieves the thing they’ve desired.

21. I hope I never use the past as a reason to feel dissatisfied with my present.

22. I hope I get a lot of hugs.

23. I hope the adventures I go on, the highs and lows that will be thrown at me, the people who come in and out, and the life that I live this year will always be felt. That I’ll always remember those things are parts of what it means to be human. That it’s a miracle to wake up every day and go through them. I hope I live every moment of this life.

24. I hope to be so confident in who I am, and so happy to be playing my role in the world, that I can’t help but to radiate joy.  

Amanda Beadlescomb