Yesterday was my 25th birthday.

I took self portraits until 4am last night.

I chose the theme “reflection” using a noir, vintage look for my birthday photoshoot.

The reason behind the theme is what I am going to do as I do every year on my birthday: reflect… But I’m not sharing that here, since I do it in the form of a video diary.

Instead, I am going to share with you my goals I achieved in the past year and my goals for the next year.

My Achievements in the Past Year

  1. Start something and stick to it
    This is probably one of the HARDEST things for me to do. I don’t know if it’s because I get bored easily or if I just have no real motivation. To be honest, it’s been one of the things that has really impacted me during school, sports, and my career. However, I am incredibly proud of myself because within the last year, I was able to do this very thing: Tamrah Lane.
    It’s crazy because when I was first planning out Tamrah Lane, I gave myself rules.
    First, I was not allowed to make excuses to skip a post whether it was too late at night to write something or if I did not have any ideas. Second, I was not allowed to give myself a laxed posting schedule (i.e. once a month).
    Honestly, I am super happy that I set groundrules for myself because Tamrah Lane would not be what it is today. It would probably be empty or even a forgotten project.
  2. Be happier than last year
    The year between my 23rd and 24th birthday, I was NOT happy. So many things were going awry, I wasn’t happy at home, and I wasn’t happy at my job. All I wanted to do was go back home to Saudi where I was happy, where I could eat my mom’s food, and where I could just be me. Now, this wasn’t a case of homesickness. It was more of a “past-sickness” where I wanted to go back in time before I felt nothing but sadness. Don’t get me wrong, there were some nice, happy moments here and there, but at the end of the day, I was just sad.
    I wanted to change that around and I did so by lettings things go, being a little more optimistic, and overall being carefree. Of course this wasn’t an overnight improvement, but practicing those really did help me become happier. I mean, we also can’t forget that some really good things did happen this year, but either way, I have achieved this goal.
  3. Find a job
    I made this goal pre-COVID, so when COVID did happen, I lost all hope. I thought I wouldn’t find a job in the next two years, but I was wrong. All I had to do was reach out to my network despite the pandemic and just get my name and resume out there.
    Before I knew it, a great opportunity came in August and I started working the day after Labor Day. It was almost too good to be true, but hell, I did it.

My Goals for Next Year

  1. Become Healthier
    For the last 2.5 years, I’ve seen my health deteriorate. I’m not dying or anything, but I don’t think I have been taking care of my body like before. This is also not just a matter of weight, but a matter of well-being. It has made me INCREDIBLY insecure and I can’t really look at myself without thinking, “wow, I’ve really let myself go.”
    With COVID, this is going to be hard to achieve, but I plan on changing my diet, restricting myself from ordering drinks other than water (i.e. sweet tea), and no more snacking unless it’s blueberries (I just love snacking on these). I also plan on running at least 3 times a week starting at 10 minutes, which isn’t much, but I need a starting point. It’s going to be difficult, but it must be done.
  2. Get Back into Videography and Photography
    Years ago, I was super into making videos and taking photos. Now, I kind of let it slip out of my realm because I gave myself the excuse that I don’t have the time or the means. It’s ridiculous of me to think that way because I’ve invested hundreds of dollars (probably at a thousand or more by now) in cameras, lens, accessories, and software.
    Now that my job focuses on creating videos and photography, it’s easier to consistently use my camera for either pleasure or work. Additionally, I have Tamrah Lane where I have to take pictures anyway! You could say I have a good start, but I want to accomplish much more as a videographer and photographer.
  3. Swim
    It’s been at least 2 years since I’ve last done any real swim workouts. After having competitive swimming be a part of my life from 4 to 18 years old, I want to keep at it. I want to maintain this skill and be able to swim 1000 meters in 15 minutes or less like before. I want to be able to do a 100 meter butterfly on my own will and be good at it. I want to swim.
    Getting back in the water is the primary goal, but if I were to add a secondary one, it would be to learn how to free dive. I’ve always wanted to free dive, I just haven’t found the place in Virginia to learn how to do so.

3 achievements. 3 new goals. New year.

My mindset this year is much stronger than last year, so I have no doubt that I will achieve my goals and more. Wish me luck 🖤

Reham Tejada's quarter life self-portrait
Reham Tejada’s quarter life self-portrait

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