From My Golden Year to Jordyn Year

“I’ve failed over and over in my life and that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

As a young kid, I knew that I would be a full-blown adult when I turned 22. That was the year that I would have achieved the wisdom, intelligence and confidence to properly navigate the world, I thought.

It was also the year that would be my “Golden Year.”

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Celebrating my 22nd birthday on Feb. 22, 2016.

When it comes to birthdays I’m a very meticulous person. So when I learned about the concept of a Golden Birthday – the year that you turn the age of the date you were born – I made it my goal to make that the best year ever.

I had February 22, 2016 marked on my calendar for at least ten years. I knew I would throw a party where I would wear a gold dress (gotta keep with the theme, ya know) and there would be gold balloons and the song “Living My Life Like It’s Golden” would play as I walked into the room. I achieved 2.5 out of 3 of those goals (Party City only had one gold balloon for me).

And after that party, would commence my best, most adult year yet. And as most of us know, you can’t always will your dreams into realities.

To be sure, this past year hasn’t been to shabby for me.

I graduated from the University of Southern California with a journalism degree that I truly cherish (thanks to all those articles written and hustling done), I made the cross-continental move from Los Angeles to New York, I continue to be surrounded by friends from my college life as well as high school years — and this can’t go without saying, but I have a full-time job in the exact field I wanted on in.

It’s weird though. Now living through this phase of my life that I had carefully planned for the better half of my existence. I think with that kind of pressure, it’ll never truly live up to what you imagined.

There’s a lot that I still haven’t accomplished nor have a grasp on. I still rely on my dad’s email reminder telling me to pay my Citicard bill. I still text my mom complaining about going to the gym in the morning, secretly hoping she’ll give me the OK to just keep sleeping. Navigating a national newsroom is a whole different ballgame than growing accustomed at your college newspaper. I traded in warm weather for the harsh winter wind as I walk to the subway in the morning. I still don’t really know how to cook.

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Yup, 22 isn’t what I thought it would be. This week leading up to my birthday has felt weird. I’m afraid I set way too high of expectations on this past year, and scared that nothing else can come from this next one. Is it possible that someone can reach their peak during their Golden Year?

Melodramatic as that is, in this world of social media, where you live and die by the double taps on a picture, it truly can feel that way.

But as I write this now, on the eve on my birthday, I’m realizing that’s not exactly the case.

My 23rd year on this earth will be a good one. Maybe sometimes you can will your dreams into reality.

This year, there’s no golden-themed party. No golden balloons and I haven’t even ordered a special dress. Most people at my work won’t know that it’s my birthday tomorrow. Luckily, for me, my parents sent me a card. They at least remembered!

I’m going to use this year as an opportunity to create something out of nothing, however. Each birthday leading up to my Golden Birthday held some outside significance. There’s the Sweet Sixteen, 18th birthday and of course 21st one. But what comes with year 23?

It’s going to be my Jordyn Year, a play off of the Michael Jordan themed one 23-year-olds claim. Many people dub it that because the Chicago Bulls player wore that number during his time with the franchise and made the number legendary.

I’m going to now re-claim the number and make it my own. I mean, come on, it was almost destined to be celebrated as my own special year once more (thanks Mom and Dad for the name). This year, I’ll set new goals. Not ones based off of societal expectations, but ones that I want – ones I need – to accomplish to get to the next step. I don’t have the safety net of college or the dictated steps of childhood anymore. Nope, I’m out here in New York making my own path.

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And that’s what I’ll do.

It’s my Jordyn Year – the year where I will set new goals for myself, ones that I never thought I’d want to achieve. I’ll accomplish those goals that scare me to death.

Here’s to 23 Goals:

  1. Drink more water
  2. Run a 5K
  3. See all of New York’s boroughs (I’m coming for ya Staten Island & the Bronx!)
  4. Get interviewed on Bloomberg TV
  5. Learn how to make a five course meal
  6. Go to gym at least three times a week
  7. Speak up more in meetings
  8. Feel more comfortable styling my hair
  9. Pitch more stories
  10. Read more books that weren’t meant for me
  11. Go to more museums
  12. Call my grandmother more
  13. Give myself more credit
  14. Remember to pay my credit card bill
  15. Go to church more regularly
  16. Do 50 hours of volunteer work through Bloomberg
  17. Spend less time on my phone and more time talking to people
  18. Fully catch up on Grey’s Anatomy
  19. Visit Los Angeles at least once
  20. Go home to Chicago at least twice
  21. Feel comfortable asking for what I’ve earned
  22. Go a whole week eating Bloomberg’s soups for lunch
  23. Don’t lock myself out of my apartment
  24. Remember to look back on these goals on February 22, 2018

Setting goals is a scary process, achieving them can be even more daunting. But I’m in it to win it.

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And like the original Jordan said, “I’ve failed over and over in my life, and that is why I succeed.” Not everything has to be perfect, but I have to make life worth it.

Time to get started. Ball’s in my court.

#JordynYear

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