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.
- Survived getting bit by a dog in the face without being afraid of dogs (age 4).
- Performed the role of “The Mother” in Tikki-Tikki-Tembo, including a singing solo (age 7).
- Saved up money to buy my own horse, then bought Nutmeg (ages 7-10).
- Worked on my family farm, feeding calves, milking cows and doing various other odd jobs (ages 7-17).
- Learned to play the saxophone (ages 11-18).
- Became president of my 4-H Club (age 15).
- Auditioned for and was selected for my high school Jazz Band (age 15).
- Traveled to El Salvador and realized I wanted to be fluent in Spanish (age 16).
- Got accepted to Colby College, even though it wasn’t my first choice (age 18).
- Graduated 5th in my High School Class (age 18).
- Mentored S., a middle school student in Waterville, Maine (ages 18-22).
- Met some of my closest friends in the world, even though we are scattered throughout the world (age 18).
- Got my first non-farm related job at Ben and Jerry’s (age 19).
- 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).
- Fell in and out of love, a couple of times (ages 20-24).
- Became fluent in Spanish (ages 20-21).
- Studied abroad in Chile for 6 1/2 months (ages 20-21).
- Wrote a 100 page Honor’s Thesis on the Revolución de los Pinguinos and the Chilean Education System (ages 21-22).
- Graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Colby College (age 22).
- Started this blog, which has been updated regularly for more than 2 1/2 years (age 22).
- Moved to Santiago, Chile (age 22).
- Learned to teach English as a foreign language (age 22).
- Got my first real job, teaching English in Chile (age 22).
- Rented my own apartment (age 23).
- ETA: Got Charlie! My first pet as an adult (age 23).
- 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. 🙂