I’m two months into my 24th year on Earth and what do I have to show for it?
A lot. But in a way, not as much as I know I could have, if I put my mind to it.
I found out the hard way over the years that while I had always thought I was a rebel, doing what I want and not caring what other people think, I am in fact a textbook people pleaser. In third-year university, during a radio broadcast class—I studied journalism—I was in charge of the newsroom for the day, which meant everyone had a handful of hours to run around, find a story, interview sources, prepare their piece, and set it up to run live. I was the cat herder that day, making sure everything ran smoothly so that we produced a passable broadcast.
During the day, my reporters had found intriguing and inspiring stories to cover and I loved all of them. I loved all of the stories so much that I decided I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. We’d run all of them, just shortened versions of each. No one wants to spend an entire day working on something, only to have it thrown in the trash. Especially in front of the whole class. Makes sense, right?
Wrong. After we got through the day, our professor, in front of everyone, told me I was a people pleaser and managed to put together a mediocre broadcast at best. There were some stories that were obviously better than others, he said, so why didn’t I run the entirety of those ones and skip over the others? There’s no room in journalism for tending to the sensitive feelings of your entire newsroom, Cassie.
He said these words nicely, but truth be told, this was the first time in my life I realized I was a people pleaser. And while that can be a positive trait to have, it can also lead to a life of mediocrity in the pursuit of others.
Another interesting and related epiphany happened while chatting with my psychologist, who, even during our first session, noticed something about how I spoke.
“Why do you always say ‘should'”? she asked. “I keep hearing that from you, what you think you should be doing.”
I should stay at home today and not go hiking because it might rain and mess up my hair. I should just order in pizza because I’m afraid I’m going to mess up that delicious, complicated recipe I’m dying to try. I should stick to writing recipes and taking nice photos of food because that’s the sole focus of this blog, right?
No, not anymore.
In a little over 10 months, I turn 25 years old. And while I don’t think I’ll ever get away from being a people pleaser and a “should” devotee, I want to challenge myself to do things for me. I want to learn to live life for myself, unrestrained by notions of “should.” I want to learn the sacred art of not giving a f#¢k. I’m turning a quarter of a century old, after all. Might as well try some new things.
So, here are my 25 goals I want to achieve before I turn 25. I’ve accomplished a few since my 24th birthday almost two months ago, and those ones have been crossed off. For all the others, I’m hoping this post will act as a motivator and accountability tool because god knows I need it. A big thanks to Girl Gone Good for the inspiration for this post, as she created her own lovely list here here (check her out!).
- Complete a Tough Mudder-style event.
- Try SUP (stand-up paddling).
- Perfect my sourdough skills.
- Hike three “new-to-me” trails in Gatineau Park, QC.
- Eat vegetables every day and legumes at least twice per week.
Cycle 50 km easily.<— Completed the 52 km MEC Summer Century Ride in August.
- Be able to lift an Olympic bar over my head 10 times (without weight, because I’m not there yet physically) at my fitness studio.
- Hike alone in a new place.
- Walk 15 km in one day.
- Transition to a 90 per cent dairy-free diet (fun times with lactose intolerance).
- Be able to do 10 full-range push-ups and five pull-ups.
- Cut down on TV/Netflix time.
- Grow herbs on the balcony.
- Hike or snowshoe at Mont Tremblant.
- Transition away from household paper products.
- Contribute the entire annual amount into my TFSA in the new year.
- Go apple picking with friends or family.
Hike Eagle’s Nest at dawn.<— Completed today!!
- Visit five new neighbourhoods in Ottawa.
- DIY the heck out of our living room furniture.
Decorate our balcony space.<— Completed in August, featuring a swanky outdoor carpet, DIY coffee table, fake plants and Edison lights.
- Sell or get rid of non-essential items or junk.
- Take an outdoor photography course.
- Create a capsule wardrobe for work and everyday clothes.
- Volunteer at an event.
Do you folks have any goals for the year? Let me know below.