Nobody Likes You When You're 23: 5 Goals Before 24

Here’s the thing, I don’t like putting my goals or aspirations down on paper for others to see; the main reason being that if I don’t accomplish them, it’s always embarrassing to have failed. This is the age I aim to stop being embarrassed by the small defeats and just keep working at them until they’ve been accomplished. So, feel free to disregard the title of this post (aside from the Blink-182 reference, take that baby in), as I’m not pushing myself too hard to get it all done before my next birthday. BUT, as the great Michael Scott once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky”.

1) Get better (or at least make a valiant effort) at preparing and cooking meals. I get to move back in with one of my best friends in March, and she’s going to be working 5 days a week. I’m still in the process of getting a job back in the city (I’ve been living at home for a bit because Vancouver is so dang expensive. So expensive in fact, that it recently beat out Manhattan and San Francisco as the most costly city in North America. Yikes.), but I’ve been interviewing for one that I think I would really enjoy. It’s shift work, and would require me to be away from home for days at a time, sometimes on weekends — but when I would have the chance to be home, I’d be able to prepare meals and try to better myself in general… which is a perfect segway to…

2) Get in shape. For real. No, actually. I have never been, and never will be, that person who finds joy in being active. Yes, I love hiking and I will hike to the ends of the earth, but there is no way — and no one — who will ever convince me to join a fitness class. (Been there, done that, cried a lot in the locker room). There are several contributing factors to my weight fluctuation. I’m not sure I feel comfortable getting into all of them right now, but one of the reasons is my constant battle with depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder. Yes, here’s the written confirmation. I eat a bunch, and then hardly eat anything. It’s a vicious cycle. Sometimes I eat one meal a day, sometimes I sleep all day and skip food entirely, and other days I eat anything and everything in sight; consequently feeling like out-and-out shit and full of self-loathing. I try and I try to get it under control, but it’s one of the most difficult things in my life to take charge of. I do 3 to 5 miles of aerobic walking a day, 7 days a week. I also fall in and out of doing HIIT circuits (basically when I don’t feel like walking) with weights, etc. In short, my life is a mess and I want to try my absolute darndest at being kinder to myself and my body.

3) Write more. When I’m on my medication, I find it more difficult to get the words out on paper. Like, I need to work reallyhard at it. I envy those who can just decide that they’re going to sit down and pump out 10 pages of a script on Monday evening. I’ve tried weaning off pills to increase creativity in the past, but it caused more problems than it solved. A lot more. It’s devastating to be mentally unable to do something when it’s what you really, really want to do. I figure that there must be a way to train myself to just sit and spew out whatever comes to mind on the page, even if it’s absolute garbage. Rewrites are the divine sanction of the writing world. Being able to complete another feature and a pilot would be a major accomplishment.

4) Change someone’s (or something’s) life. I mean, preferably for the better. Try to get that bad juju out of their hair. In all seriousness, if I can change someone’s life for the better, be it sponsoring a child in need, saving an animal’s life, or simply being the most supportive friend that I can. I would love to travel to developing countries and teach them about sustainable menstrual care, or entertain children in refugee camps, but the money to do will be slightly out of reach, living in the city. I’ll find a way, one of these days. Another downside of city life is that it’s impossible to adopt pets when you’re renting a place. One day I’ll own all of the animals in the whole wide world that need homes.

5) Learn more. I love to learn. Contrary to my opinions on high school, the learning aspect wasn’t so bad. It was the social aspect. One time, I made the mistake of taking French and Spanish in the same semester, which made for the respective teachers asking if I was currently taking the other class (the verbs are very similar, yet different). At the moment, I’m only fluent in French and English, but I would love to learn more. The two I’m most interested in are Arabic and Romanian, but I feel since Romanian is also a Romance language, I may have an easier time grasping it than something as unique as Arabic. I’m still working on memorizing all the world’s capitals too. I have all of them down except the African countries, which are harder than they look. Of course, the best way to learn is through experiences, so traveling is naturally included in this. This year I’ve done pretty well on the travel front. In January 2017, I went to Disneyland, then in May I ventured off to France and Madagascar, in October I was touring Central Park in New York City, and in December, I was dining with ghosts in New Orleans. On the 10th, I’m heading back to Southern California (I was just there for most of January), with 3 wonderful ladies, where we will spend a fabulous Galentine’s Day (and our birthdays!) dining at Goofy’s Kitchen and riding ALL the rides at Disneyland and DCA.

Anyway, here’s to 23.

PersonalEmily Koopman