Ah, it’s my last day of being 25! It’s turned out to be a pretttttty cool year and I’ve gotten to travel to some new and exciting places!
Ahh September. Crisp fall air, crunchy leaves and a socially acceptable time to start drinking hot chocolate (even though we all know I drink that liquid heaven year round). The ninth month of the year has always marked new beginnings for me. A time for reflection and renewal. Not to mention it’s the month of my birth sooo that may have something to do with it. Google even acknowledges
their my birthday every year; it’s fantastic.
I’m mere days away from turning 24 and I’ve been thinking tons about what I’ve done in my 23rd year on this spinning globe of crazy. Join me on this trip down memory lane…
September 27, 2014 – midnight. I had just turned 23. I also happened to be at work at ABC News in NYC.
I used my 23rd birthday to raise nearly $2500 for one of my favorite charities, charity: water, and was invited to their yearly gala event where I met so many inspiring, philanthropic folks.
(I’m currently running a campaign for this year too! Please join in and donate to bring clean water to folks who really need it! CLICK HERE!)
At the time, I was living on the Upper West Side.
I frequented the Silver Moon Bakery where they make the absolute best chocolate brioche. NOM.
I saw Mariah Carey’s Christmas show at the Beacon Theater. And then I saw JT at MSG in Feb.
Love love love them both.
By the beginning of 2015 I was working at NBC. I moved back home. I left NBC in March.
I MET ANDERSON COOPER AND ANDY COHEN AT AN EVENT IN BOSTON!!
I grabbed some temp work here and there…
…And then I booked a one way ticket to California…on a whim…which turned out to be one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made in my LIFE.
I’ve written about my travels, but it’s worth noting again how amazing that adventure really was.
I met tons of incredible people and even got to circle back with a few who ventured to NY after I was back!
Since getting back to NY, I’ve worked some temp jobs in an attempt to build my bank account back up.
But I still made time for other adventures, like hanging in the nation’s capital for a long weekend, trying kangaroo and randomly learning ukulele in Astoria…
I just got my first tattoo (!!!) by a very talented friend of mine. Click here to see more of Heather’s other amazing work!
WOW. This year has definitely been jam packed.
Despite all the times I felt lost and unsure of what the hell I was doing with my life in these last twelve months, it’s nice to look back and see all that I’ve done. I decided to take chances and live outside the confines of what our society deems ‘the norm.’
I can reflect on my 23rd year with such happiness in all of these amazing memories.
Cheers to all that 24 brings!
Spread kindness and cheer, xo
As I write this post, I’m drinking clean, cold water which came from a filtered water machine in my office. I simply walked over, pushed a button and whooosh — clean water with basically zero effort on my part. As I write this post, 633 million people don’t have clean water. Think about how often you use water, besides to drink. We shower, clean and cook with it. We have sprinklers to literally run through it. We have water balloon fights! And we don’t think twice about how we’re going to access the water we need.
And then there are girls like Letikiros. When I read her story, I couldn’t believe how out of touch I was. Why wasn’t her story on the news? Why is the water crisis seemingly less important than Justin Bieber’s latest mugshot? Out of sight, out of mind, right? This crisis isn’t happening in our backyard, so what does it matter?
BREAKING NEWS: It matters. A LOT. Any one of us could have just as easily been born into a situation where we needed to spend hours of the day trudging along in the heat, carrying clay pots, all to get to a water supply where the water was sketchy at best.
She walked four days a week for water, and attended school part-time the other three days. Since there was no school in Meda then, reaching the classroom in a neighboring village was another 6 hour round trip walk. In order for Letikiros to be able to attend school at all, her mother would pay to rent a donkey each week which could carry four pots of water on a single trip from the Bembya River. But there simply wasn’t enough money to relieve Letikiros of her water duty altogether, and she quickly fell behind. By the age of 13, she had only completed the third grade.
Can you imagine not being able to attend school full time because you needed to allocate days to retrieve water for your family? No child should have to do that.
Last year, I started a campaign for my 23rd birthday to raise $2300 for charity: water. I became familiar with the charity through online research and have been a champion of theirs since.
Through this campaign, I ended up raising nearly $2500; Enough to provide clean water to 70 people. I was also invited to charity: water’s annual gala in NYC where I met so many inspiring folks and generous philanthropists who are just as passionate about the cause as I am.
It’s officially my birthday month again and I’m running another campaign (to which I’ve already donated because I don’t believe in asking others to donate to a cause that I wouldn’t donate to myself). I’m turning 24 on September 27 and my goal is to raise $2400. You can find my campaign page here.
I know it’s September and you’re itching for that pumpkin spice latte, but isn’t it worth the lives of others to give that up for a day and put the money towards something truly life-changing for someone else? You can learn more about the water crisis here.
Help me help the world and let’s spread some smiles!
Spread kindness and cheer, xo