25 Things Completed

In English, we celebrate the day of someone’s birth, aka The Birthday. In Spanish, we celebrate years completed, aka El Cumpleaños. Since I would need my mother’s help to accurately describe the day of my actual birth (even though I have an excellent long-term memory, I unfortunately do not remember this day), and I live in Chile where I try to speak Spanish most of the time, I thought I’d commemorate my quarter of a century with 25 things I’ve completed in my life. There won’t be one for every year, because the first five years would be something like, “Learned to eat with a spoon”. “Learned to pee in a toilet.” Although I am very glad I learned these things because it would be kind of awkward living so far from home if I needed someone to change my diapers…

Mooooooving right along…here are 25 things that I am proud to have completed.

  1. Survived getting bit by a dog in the face without being afraid of dogs (age 4).
  2. Performed the role of  “The Mother” in Tikki-Tikki-Tembo, including a singing solo (age 7).
  3. Saved up money to buy my own horse, then bought Nutmeg (ages 7-10).
  4. Worked on my family farm, feeding calves, milking cows and doing various other odd jobs (ages 7-17).
  5. Learned to play the saxophone (ages 11-18).
  6. Became president of my 4-H Club (age 15).
  7. Auditioned for and was selected for my high school Jazz Band (age 15).
  8. Traveled to El Salvador and realized I wanted to be fluent in Spanish (age 16).
  9. Got accepted to Colby College, even though it wasn’t my first choice (age 18).
  10. Graduated 5th in my High School Class (age 18).
  11. Mentored S., a middle school student in Waterville, Maine (ages 18-22).
  12. Met some of my closest friends in the world, even though we are scattered throughout the world (age 18).
  13. Got my first non-farm related job at Ben and Jerry’s (age 19).
  14. Won a Watson Fellowship from Colby to do an internship in El Salvador, then lived for three months in the middle of the countryside where no one spoke English(age 20).
  15. Fell in and out of love, a couple of times (ages 20-24).
  16. Became fluent in Spanish (ages 20-21).
  17. Studied abroad in Chile for 6 1/2 months (ages 20-21).
  18. Wrote a 100 page Honor’s Thesis on the Revolución de los Pinguinos and the Chilean Education System (ages 21-22).
  19. Graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Colby College (age 22).
  20. Started this blog, which has been updated regularly for more than 2 1/2 years (age 22).
  21. Moved to Santiago, Chile (age 22).
  22. Learned to teach English as a foreign language (age 22).
  23. Got my first real job, teaching English in Chile (age 22).
  24. Rented my own apartment (age 23).
  25. ETA: Got Charlie! My first pet as an adult (age 23).
  26. Landed the ideal job (age 24).

Looking back, it’s been a good 25 years. No, I haven’t traveled the entire world or found a cure for an incurable disease or found a solution towards world peace or anything like that. BUT, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished. Thank you first of all to my family, for being the constant support that I always need, even from afar. And thank you to my wonderful friends, both here in Chile and scattered throughout the world. I love you all and am so glad that you have made my life what it is today.

P.S. There are now 26 things because I realized I forgot to add Charlie! I can’t believe it, but he made sure to remind me this morning when he woke me up bright an early with a loud meow. 🙂

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24 thoughts on “25 Things Completed

    • Thanks Ayngelina. I do find that things tend to be more poetic in Spanish, and often add a new perspective. That’s what I love about language!

  1. That was his hapy birthday meow, right? Also, good list of great stuff you’ve done. I wonder what this next year will bring! Good thinkgs hopefully all good things!

    • Nice gravatar! Hehe. Yes, I’m sure it was a special happy birthday meow and not “I’m thirsty please turn on the bathroom sink so I can have some water” like it is all the other mornings. 🙂 Thanks for the well-wishes.

  2. I am most proud that you get a non-farm-related job… go you!! And I am a little depressed that you are 25… because I can’t even remember 25 ;-(

  3. Good congrats! I really enjoy ur writing, and I had no idea you had this blog since 2.5 years, I thought was recent LOL
    BTW: it is ok having 26 things in the least, because turning 25 means that you completed 25 years and you are beginning your year number 26 (that fact is sad for me to remember, since I am 29! LOL)

    Happy B-Day!

    • Hey Caro! Yeah, I’ve had this blog for awhile, although it was hosted on blogger before and I just recently switched over to wordpress. And you’re right about having 26 things, absolutley appropriate. 🙂 Looks like your next birthday is going to be an important one for you!! 😉

  4. Happy Birthday Abby! I honestly thought you were maybe a year or two older (I truly mean that in a good way) because you have accomplished so much- but it turns out we’re the same age! Everybody says 25 is a big number because of the whole quarter of a century thing… and I think I mostly agree with that. I turned 25 in February and things were so busy that I didn’t take much time to think about it. But now I want to do that and think back on what I’ve done and then write a list similar to this on what I want to do in the next 25. Kind of like a bucket list. Anyways, way to go on completing 25 and taking sometime to meditate on it!

    • Hey Tammy, thanks! Yes, no worries, everyone always thinks I act older than I am, even though they say I physically look younger. Best of both worlds, I suppose ;). Yes, I suppose the next step is to think about what I want to do in the next 25 years…although I have almost no idea about the next 5, so that’s gonna take some more thought.

  5. I already said it on Facebook, but it can’t hurt for you to hear it again…happy birthday!

    And also, love the new blog! It looks great!

  6. I’m very impressed that you managed to save up enough money to buy a horse. That was always my dream as a child.

    I’m glad you had a good birthday:)

  7. A Happy Belated Birthday, Abby! 🙂 I hope you had a really lovely time. I loved reading about what you’d achieved. You should definitely be proud of yourself.

  8. Pingback: The ups and downs of 2011 « Abby's Line

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