The 24 Things I Did For My 24th Birthday
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The 24 Things I Did For My 24th Birthday

24 things in 24 hours for my 24th birthday

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The 24 Things I Did For My 24th Birthday
Maria Cecilia Pereira da Rocha

I sent this article a little late this week, but I have a good excuse for it: My birthday was on January 3rd. And I decided to write about it. Because I have never had a birthday celebration like that in my whole life.

I always spend my birthday with my family, usually by the sea somewhere in Brazil, enjoying the south hemisphere summer. I usually have good time, but people are often unreachable during this last bit of the holiday season, so it's also kind of a chill day. This year I had the opportunity to spend this day with The 181 in New York, meaning it would be completely different from all the birthdays I had before. So why not?

On January 2nd, we went to Brooklyn for dinner. The lovely staff at the Concord Hill surprised me with a delicious dessert with a candle on top. But it was just the beginning.

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After dinner we went to a bar close by. At midnight, they handed me a letter. It was the ultimate Harry Potter fan dream: a letter from Hogwarts apologizing for the 13-year delay on my acceptance. It said my welcoming ceremony would be held at 11 a.m. and they would see me there. Signed, 181.

The next morning, at my dorm's Student Lounge, there was a beautiful table set for brunch. And then was when they handed me my real birthday gift: A list of 24 things for me to do in 24 hours, for my 24th birthday. And I'll share some with you.

Brunch was #1 on the list...

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Second was to write "Please come to Brazil" on a door of each floor of the dorm. I am sorry to the people involved on my birthday celebration, but I hope you do decide to go to Brazil.

Next was to walk on the street using my awesome Space Blanket, which I bought in Washington a month ago.

Later I had to go to a candy store and buy a candy that I'd never had before. I chose bacon bubblegum. What a mistake...

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F04%2F635875470947036794919545302_ezgif.com-video-to-gif%2520%281%29.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=392&h=4542ad00b197003c5619bfe3d1353b137a4858367ef11ba06e0b541005aae7a5&size=980x&c=3772546294 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F04%252F635875470947036794919545302_ezgif.com-video-to-gif%252520%25281%2529.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D392%26h%3D4542ad00b197003c5619bfe3d1353b137a4858367ef11ba06e0b541005aae7a5%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3772546294%22%7D" expand=1]

I also had to eat Insomnia Cookies and have lunch in a new place. We chose to eat pizza at John's Of Bleecker Street. (Good pizza, awful service).

Later, we made a FREE HUGS plaque and I walked around with it. I received hugs, love and happy wishes from nearly 18 awesome strangers. One of the best things I've tried.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F04%2F635875473719963816-2013218787_ezgif.com-gif-maker.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=496&h=276136f1c5189cf88841cdf63fdddd31c0c76a41a727247804d10df1ffff909d&size=980x&c=3439824396 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F04%252F635875473719963816-2013218787_ezgif.com-gif-maker.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D496%26h%3D276136f1c5189cf88841cdf63fdddd31c0c76a41a727247804d10df1ffff909d%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3439824396%22%7D" expand=1]

On Bryant Park, I had to ride a horse on a carousel. I can't even remember the last time I did that. And more importantly, I have no idea why people don't do it more often. (Please note that Pedro is riding a frog. Thank you).

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F04%2F635875477407696712-1158289403_ezgif.com-video-to-gif%2520%282%29.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=707&h=2353b9619551130f2cd2eb6182f67562c8e5e72c6aa6f780eaf2e7591f01dda8&size=980x&c=403891079 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F04%252F635875477407696712-1158289403_ezgif.com-video-to-gif%252520%25282%2529.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D707%26h%3D2353b9619551130f2cd2eb6182f67562c8e5e72c6aa6f780eaf2e7591f01dda8%26size%3D980x%26c%3D403891079%22%7D" expand=1]

I also had to recreate, with a little help from my friend the opening of Friends, one of my all time favorite TV shows. Fortunately I didn't have to actually inside the fountain. Maybe in the summer.

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Later I had to visit my favorite place in New York. I chose Grand Central Terminal. I also had to wear my Amy Winehouse wig in public, so I did it all at once. Very efficient.

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Last stop was Times Square, in which we popped confetti and celebrated my birthday tourist style.

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Back to Union Square, I had to buy a $1 book at Strand, write a postcard to someone in Brazil, improvise a cool outfit with clothes forgotten in the laundry room (I put it back, promise), wear green lipstick, learn how to make origami and I ended my night dancing Sorry by Justin Bieber, the final challenge.

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By the end of the day, my birthday was exactly what it should be: a celebration of life. A day to remind myself that, if I get out of my comfort zone just a little bit, amazing things can happen. I collected 24 wonderful new memories in 24 hours. And I can only hope the rest of 2016 will be just the same.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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