I’m 22 Today. Here’s What I Have To Say.

Today, I am 22.

But I’m not writing this today. (Thursday.) No. I am writing this on Tuesday before work while watching Gossip Girl for the 80 millionth time. Now I just pick my favorite episodes according to my mood. I’m wishing it was warmer and sunny, so I’m somewhere in the very beginning of season 2 where the gang is stirring up drama in the Hamptons and Blair wears that adorable green and white mini dress that reminds me of my mother’s old comforter in the best possible way.

Anyway, no I couldn’t write this on my actual birthday because I’m at the spa. That’s how I’m spending today – with Cam. At the spa. I’ve never been to a spa! I’ve had a massage and gotten my nails done of course, but the whole nine yards? Nope. So I’m excited. And as you’re reading this, I’m probably zen’d out at my aromatherapy massage. Namaste.

But most days of 21 didn’t look like that. You know…all zen. No, there were some really messy times. There were times I cried over something and then felt silly for crying and then felt justified for feeling silly for crying and then just felt like I’d like a cup of tea and a warm blanket. There were days I felt really warm and snug and happy driving around with Cam – the sunroof open and the air warm. There were days I felt confused and hurt – where I felt like there were more questions than answers and that my energy to find answers was as lost as my mind was that day. There were days I had to pluck up the courage to wear my favorite dress and put on my own skin and be me, but I always felt proud at the end of the day that I had done it.

For Christmas last year, I was gifted some beautiful notebooks, and that began my love for journaling and capturing these little moments in between the big milestones. I remember what I did on my 21st birthday last year, but if it weren’t for my journals, I wouldn’t remember the time Cam and I went to Target on January 9 and I tried to sneakily buy him beard oil, but he caught me trying to pay for it without him noticing at the self-scan. You know?

So, last year in these journals, I wrote “21 things I want for 21”. And I’m happy to report that while I wasn’t able to check everything neatly off the list because I am not Beyonce nor am I going to hold myself to some kind of standard of perfection rather than growth, I can say that I rightfully pursued all my little goals.

And because I can never seem to keep the pages of my diary shut from the internet, I’ll share them with you all today.

More time with friends…and maybe more friends

I had almost weekly coffee dates with friends of mine and can think of a couple newfound buddies that came to me this year – thankful and happy for shared conversation and lattes.

I want to face fears. Specifically – planes and cars.

Cars, yes. Brilliantly! Planes, eh. I think I only took one plane trip at 21. We’ll work on that. But I’ve gotten so much better with my driving anxiety. Like it’s barely there anymore! I drive 20 minutes across a busy highway to work and I also drive to visit Cameron in Cypress now rather than making him come to me. Pretty stinkin proud of muhself.

More yoga. That seems very adult.

Eh. I don’t love yoga all that much. That’s good to know though. If you don’t love something – don’t do it just because everyone else is.

New recipes. Because veggie pasta will get old soon.

Yes! My favorites are this chickpea curry (I usually omit the potatoes and add extra greens) and then I make some form of a nourish bowl every week for work lunches. I just started a “Weeknight Dinners” Pinterest board because I have to eat dinner at school two nights a week this semester, so more recipes are in store for 22.

Don’t always feel the need to follow someone’s story with mine.

This is basically a specific guideline for “listen more”. I could put this into practice more!

Be more compassionate.

Ditto. It isn’t necessarily a strength for us Capricorns!

See more movies.

Flop. But I did squeeze three into one week recently…haha. It’s a goal of Cam’s to take me to more movies (aww) cuz he knows I love them, and my mom recently told me about a local theater that has deals Tuesdays and Thursdays and I think Thursdays will be date nights, so I see this manifesting more in 2018 and at 22.

Find what keeps me zen and stick with it.

The first thing that comes to mind is my morning routine. I’ve really kept up with it this past year – especially since being in Bishjano downtown since July. If you’d all like, I can blog about if for you in full, but basically I just do a lot of journaling and some reading + devotionals in the morning and I’ve found that this is very, very grounding for me. Extremely therapeutic! There’s also little things here and there that I know bring me calm, and at 21, I wasn’t ashamed or shy to turn to these things – even if it wasn’t what everyone else was doing at the moment. (i.e. a cup of tea, an early bedtime, staying in, reading a book, going to the library, painting, etc.)

Go somewhere I’ve never been.

Does a bar count?

Rock an interview “The Intern” style.

Ok guys this one is WILD. A nod to one of my favorite movies, but I really must have done some serious (and somewhat subconscious manifestation with this one) because it totally came true. Just a couple months ago, I went on an interview and the space looked EXACTLY LIKE THE OFFICE FROM “THE INTERN”. It was insane!! Not what I meant by this goal, but it was pretty cool. I was shocked, and sat on the antique leather couch waiting for my time slot and sneakily taking pictures with my phone. I got the offer, and even better – turned it down because I liked another offer better. Just because you walk into an office that looks like it belongs to Anne Hathaway and her trusty sidekick Robert DeNiro doesn’t mean it’s meant to be 😉

Do more of what I want to do, less of what I think I should do.

Done and done. More of this at 22, please.

Sleep late sometimes.

I used to feel bad about doing this. I don’t anymore. Snooze button and I are on good terms.

Read tons of books and have a beautiful bookshelf.

Another “WHOA” moment! When I wrote this list in January of 2017, I had NO idea I’d move into Bishjano downtown in July and would have built in shelves in my new room. After two hours and a screwdriver, I dismounted the doors that made these shelves cabinets, and then filled them with my books and nick nacks. (sp?) And reading tons of books? Yes, yes! Thank you, Houston Public Library, Goodwill, and my Uncles Jerry & Tolga for the Barnes and Noble gift card.

Figure out how to really save money.

Who really knows how to do this?

Explore my creativity.

I think I’d say I did this with my writing at 21. High five, girlfriend!

Fill journals with my words.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Do a service project and give back.

Dang it! Totally missed this one. Looking at you, 22.

Only say kind things or be adorably witty.

I think I’ll just paint this and hang it up somewhere…a good reminder.

Love my body.

Easier said than done – am I right, ladies? It’s a journey…a marathon not a sprint and all that other stuff. 🙂

Call my grandma more. Maybe call other people, too.

^^ more of this!


Find I drink I actually like. Cuz, ya know, I’m 21.

Ok here’s the thing. Actually, here’s a few things. I’m a lightweight, so I only really need half a drink. However, most times I have that half a drink it makes me feel horribly dizzy and not great, so sometimes I skip that half a drink altogether and just eat a bite of Cam’s Zoe’s cookie. But if I do have a drink I’ll either do Jameson & ginger ale, a gin and tonic (or gin with ginger ale), a Moscow Mule, a mojito, or some kind of cocktail that is gin or champagne based. I kinda like wine and I definitely like sangria, but again I’m a dizzy delicate flower and I’m also not currently drinking on my headache meds, so I’ll just have a water and all the snacks, please!!!

This post is already a bit long, but I can’t leave without sharing my 22 Things I Want For 22. Or, I mean, I guess I could, but in the art of sharing more of my writing and thoughts and FEELINGS at this age, let’s go for it, shall we?

(Did it a little different this year…the first three are my “Big 3” and then the rest are some fun, little goals. I figured I better make these lists a bit more concise as time goes on or I’ll make things difficult for myself, haha.)  

One // Be me, unapologetically. Don’t hide myself, my feelings, or my light for fear of sticking out, missing out, or just appearing sensitive. Place the complicated order. Read when everyone’s on their phones. Sleep when everyone’s awake and be awake when everyone’s asleep. Be Cristina.

Two // 22 is the year I put down my phone and pick up menus, books, and small talk. I’ve gotten better in the past couple months. (I’m no longer active on Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook) but I love Instagram and I scroll and explore (and compare) a lot. I want to set designated times to check social media and keep my phone in my bag while out with others. Good thing I like reading books.

Three // Stop the glorification of busy. Being overworked and stressed has proved to be terrible for my health, so in conjunction with sleeping well, taking preventative headache meds and vitamins, daily movement, and veggies, I am going to REST at 22. No overdoing it with studying, projects, blog posts, and extra commitments.

Four // Speak kindly + keep a positive attitude. 

Five // Cook something in a dutch oven.

Six // Send the damn e-mail.

Seven // Buy a cute piece swimsuit. 

Eight // Make a hair change. 

Nine // Read and write often. 

Ten // Don’t drink bad coffee; life’s too short. 

Eleven // Sing more. Loudly. 

Twelve // If you can’t get out of it, get into it. 

Thirteen // Keep a morning and night routine for work. 

Fourteen // Accept compliments. 

Fifteen // Embrace humor. 

Sixteen // Remember love. 

Seventeen // Be intentional with time, money, and leftovers.

Eighteen // Practice better posture. 

Nineteen // Try more single-tasking. 

Twenty // Allow for more whimsy. 

Twenty-one // Let people know how they make you feel. 

Twenty-two // Be who you always wanted to be at 22. 

I hope you are who you want to be this year.



P.S. Here’s my post about being 20.