Personal · Recovery

26 Intangibles I Want to Give Myself for My 26th Birthday

This practice of gifting hopes to myself each June 30th has become a tradition of mine. I did it for my 24th and 25th.

This was an enormously impactful year – I wrote a lovely little section about this but it got lost in bad wifi, apparently, and I don’t have the patience to redo it! – and I’m so excited to see what comes next.

  1. Deep trust in those beautiful moments when people say that they love me or admire me. 
  2. Space to be wildly imperfect as I start my first full-time job as an adult. 
  3. Time to clean and do other maintenance tasks each week so that those don’t pile up and add unnecessary stress to my life. 
  4. Openness to the lessons I will receive by living simply in a very small space for a year. 
  5. Continued willingness to say no, even to things that I would desperately like to attend and know that I would enjoy, so that I can be stable and as healthy as possible in the long-run. 
  6. Road trips at least once a month to places that inspire me, where I can go hiking and be immersed in ridiculous beauty. 
  7. An increasing habit of mine to spend significantly less time on social media than I used to. 
  8. Permission to hold personal details closer to the vest to be shared only with those closest to me or during in-person conversations when it is fit. 
  9. Exploration of how, why, and with what content I want to continue to run this blog and my Tumblr, especially as my body continues to surprise me with the things it can do (even though I still inhabit a liminal space between severely disabled and perfectly healthy – whatever those terms mean). 
  10. Time dedicated to finding spiritual, social, emotional, and vocational homes in Minnesota, even though I may only be there for a year. 
  11. Motivation and space in my schedule to get myself to the gym and do other things that are part of my self-care even more consistently. 
  12. Sometimes, silence when I think I need noise and noise when I think I need silence. 
  13. Space – both temporal and literal – to write my book, as well as a dedicated place where I write. 
  14. Continual challenges that push me to the limits of what I think I can do, as well as the grace to tap out when I hit my limits and the compassion to respond to myself with a necessary balm. 
  15. Love for myself, no matter the day. 
  16. An even deeper sense of humor that gives me the ability to laugh at myself and the world. 
  17. Openness to the many ways in which I’ll respond to the vicarious trauma of my job. 
  18. Discernment about which people make up parts of the very core of my daily, weekly, or monthly life. 
  19. The kind of self-respect and dedication that will guide me to buy the kinds of food that will make me feel well, even when my budget is tight. 
  20. Deeper faith in what God can do with my prayers. 
  21. Moments to step outside of whatever I’m doing or thinking about just to go watch a sunset. 
  22. Continued fire in my soul to believe that I can do something positive to change the world at large. 
  23. Patience to live in the questions and not rush to answers. 
  24. Space to write cards. 
  25. Few to no specific expectations for any day. 
  26. Total awe that, even when I’m exhausted or even feeling burned out, I get to work at the hospital that gave me my life back. And that – and what’s already happened there – is nothing but a gift and a miracle. 
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