Tomorrow, Friday, September 26 is my 29th birthday. As I write that, I can hardly believe it. It seems like only yesterday I was celebrating my 19th birthday– which by the way, was a really good one! I had just started my freshman year at Belmont University, and my mom and dad made the trip down to Nashville with my grandparents in tow. They even surprised me by flying my sister in from Chicago, and we all went out to eat at the now-closed-down New Orleans Manor. I finished my birthday celebration by eating leftover cake in my dorm with my new roommates (hi Lindsey and Danielle!) on the new pink beanbag chair (I couldn’t make that up) that they had given to me as my gift. I’m not sure how it is possible that was 10 years ago, but needless to say, that year and my twenties have flown by in a blur.
Your twenties are a period of vast change and growth; at least they were for me. Mine roared in with college parties, all-night study sessions, and an explosion of new and interesting people and ideas. They then ebbed into a cliche quarter life crisis where I realized I wasn’t 100% sure of who I was as I started to stumble through the delicate process of trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career while navigating grad school and then finding a job and living like a responsible adult. By my late twenties, I have started to feel more secure in myself in part by admitting that I don’t and never will have all the answers. My metabolism also entered it’s slow and painful dying process. That was the one thing I really hoped was a myth about getting older, but alas, it is TRUE. But I have settled into a career and into a terrific town I call home, and I’m also more rested in my late twenties. A fun weekend night has transformed from barhopping into a Netflix marathon with a glass or two of wine.
Along the way, some friendships were made and others broke my heart as they fell apart. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and experienced serious growing pains, but I’ve also laughed a lot, traveled to some amazing places, and created a ton of beautiful memories. Most importantly, I met and married the most wonderful man who is my best friend and rock.
All in all, my twenties have been pretty fantastic. But last year when I turned 28, I remember feeling like I’d been pranked. Like, wait a second… WTF!? I’m not supposed to be 28! I’m the baby in my family! I’m supposed to be eternally youthful! And although I will forever be younger than my brother and sister (sorry, Tyler and Tory!!), I was suddenly feeling old. Which is crazy, I know, but I was struggling with feeling like there were still milestones or goals that needed to be checked off before reaching 30 as well as silly and immature memories I wanted to create before making the jump into a new decade. It was these feelings that led me to deciding I really wanted to make 29 count. I decided I wanted to come up with a list of 29 things I wanted to do before turning 30 on September 26, 2015.
First on the list? Start a blog. Blogging is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but never quite had the courage to start. Putting it on my list and making it public would force me into action, and that’s a good thing! I want my 29 before 30 to push me to try new things and be adventurous. I want to be more present in my every day life and take nothing for granted. I want to focus on the things that make me happiest: my family and friends, my passions that I’ve slowly spent less time on as life has gotten busier like reading, writing, and music, and creating lasting memories. These are the goals of 29 Before 30!
Tomorrow, I blow out my candles and this will all begin. I do hope a few of you out there join me for the ride. To catch a peek of my list, click here.