For those of you who don't know me, I just celebrated my 22nd birthday on the 11th of June, and it was AMAZING! I know some people have struggled with finding things to do given our current social climate, but I'm here to drop some ideas on how you can celebrate your birthday quarantine/pandemic style and leave you all with 22 things I've learned so far in life.
How did I celebrate in the middle of a pandemic?
I tend to have horrible birthdays (because I don't plan or do much for them) but, thanks to some friends and family, we flipped the script this year! I turned my birthday into a "stay-cation" so, we kept this local while practicing social distancing. We booked a hotel in downtown Charlotte and turned it into a weekend long celebration that kicked off on Friday. (Thursday, we just checked into our hotel, got dinner, and the turn up began.)
Friday, I planned for us to do yoga and have a picnic in the park. We love our aesthetics so we went to Target and bought a red & white table cloth and our hotel had extra blankets, a breakfast tray, and a wine bottle opener, so we took everything and returned it after we finished (oh, we even took the ice bucket......).Next, we bought some of our favorite snacks and fruit, a bottle of Moscato, cooler mugs, and a "build your own cupcake" kit. We then headed to Rosmare Bearden Park downtown, paid $5 for parking a block away from the park, and met our yoga instructor (a family friend who took donations for our session). It was so liberating. We worked on grounding ourselves, we laughed, we ate, we listened to music, it was just so wholesome and peaceful. Friday ended with us having an after party in our hotel room......iykyk lmao.
Saturday, I planned for us to go to Lazy5 Ranch, a quarry in Mooresville, and the Drive-In movie theater in Kings Mountain. Well, we didn't make it to Lazy5 Ranch but we will be going before summer ends. It's not a vacay if you don't check at least one item off of your list. So, we settled for breakfast and headed to Carrigan Farms to enjoy swimming at the quarry. Given that only two of us out of a group of 5 could swim, it was still a good time. They provided us with life jackets so we we're good to go. (To get into the quarry, you have to register for open swim and sign the waiver. Registration was $5 per person which will go towards a food voucher at the farm then you pay $20 per person at the door.)
Disclosure: I'm all for doing things on a budget and all of these activities were extremely affordable and we split the cost of everything down to the food. Make sure you have a clear understanding with how things are going to go budget wise with the people you celebrate with. The more people you split purchases with, the cheaper transactions are for everyone.
After the quarry, we headed back to our hotel room to change into dry clothes before heading to the drive-in theater. It cost $20 per car to get into the drive-in. The theater makes their money off of the concession stand and their prices are extremely reasonable and they have a large menu. I'm all for supporting local businesses (but this business isn't black so feel free to sneak snacks in if you want......for reparations).
Sunday, we didn't do anything because everyone had plans. So that's how we ended the weekend. Overall, I enjoyed every moment with my girls during my birthday weekend. Everything went smoothly and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Please feel free to reach out to me for more information about any of the places I mentioned in this post or questions about how I managed to plan everything.
22 important lessons I have learned so far in my 20's
The act and concept of growth is so important to me and I wanted to commemorate that by compiling a list of 22 things I've learned so far in my 20's (they are in no particular order).
) Self love is the best love
2.) Never go out of your way for others who wouldn't do the same for you
3.) It's okay to not know your purpose yet
4.) Never compare your place in life to someone else's
5.) Stay optimistic
6.) Always work towards growth
7.) It's better to have a small group of solid friends over a large group of unreliable/lousy friends
8.) It's normal/okay to outgrow people
9.) Quarantine has taught us that time is a social construct so trust in divine timing
10.) Give thanks to God and the Universe
11.) Take a break from social media at least once a year
12.) FORGIVE (doesn't matter if it's someone else or yourself)
13.) Release any bad behaviors or toxicity from your life
14.) Set boundaries with yourself and others
15.) Never forget where you come from
16.) Be fearless, take more risk
17.) Take accountability
18.) Your feelings are valid
19.) Choose a career for yourself and not your parents or society
20.) Be passionate about everything that you do
21.) Take a break and regroup
22.) HAVE FUN!
We tend to forget that we are young and have time to take risks and make mistakes so it's important to reflect, acknowledge, and express gratitude for everything that you have and everyone in your life. So, before the summer ends, I challenge all of you to take the number of how old you are and create a list of things life has taught you so far (similar to mine). Or, you could even create a list of things you challenge yourself to work on or improve before your next birthday. These small exercises help you focus on the now and lightens a load off of your shoulders because everything can't be changed at once.
With all that being said, stay blessed loves!
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