One year ago, I made a list of thirty things I hoped to accomplish by my thirtieth birthday.
Admittedly, I put the list together rather hastily. Many of the goals, though they seemed realistic at the time, were quite impossible to carry out within a years’ time. As the year progressed, I realized that a few of the goals were not as important to me as I had once thought they were. In many cases, my plans just didn’t work out the way I’d imagined they would. Nevertheless, I accomplished about one-third of the items on my list.
Do I consider the project a failure? Absolutely not.
I learned several things about myself in the past year. A lot changed. I was able, through this project, to better see what goals and aspects of my life are most important to me. When it came down to crossing certain tasks off the list, I realized that things that seemed important in theory were really not that essential to my life.
For years I’ve been determined to write a screenplay. I enjoy telling stories, and I have several ideas I think could make good films. So I put this on my list. Writing a screenplay at some point in the course of a year is hardly a difficult task. But I didn’t do it. In fact, I realized that I didn’t want to do it. I began spending more time writing posts for the blog, and I realized that, while I do enjoy writing, I prefer to write in this shorter format, sharing stories about my life and the things that I love.
I made several rather specific goals: go camping, go on five new hikes, see the Grand Canyon, go wine tasting, learn to swing dance, fly in a hot air balloon, and learn to surf. A handful of activities that I pulled from a list of hundreds of things I’d like to do at some point in my life. I probably put these on here because they came to mind first. While I did none of these particular things, I instead learned to ski, saw Book of Mormon, travelled to Breckenridge, went snowshoeing, learned to scuba dive, and took a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory. As long as I’m going on adventures with people I love and enjoying my life every step of the way, it hardly matters whether I’m checking things off a list.
But what from my list did I accomplish, and why were these things particularly important to me?
I did get married. This was the most important thing. As if you need an explanation as to why, it’s because my husband is amazing and nothing on this list (or in my life) is quite as fun without him.
I took a few vacations, which were much needed. After three solid years of film school followed by two solid years of work, it was an important reminder of how much I love taking time to travel. I’ll be extra sure to make more time for traveling in the future, even if I can only fit in short weekend trips.
I made an effort to organize and take part in more social gatherings with friends. When I get busy with work, I tend to let these relationships suffer. This goal reminded to me to take a little time out for friends, no matter how tired or overworked I am. I always feel better after spending time in good company.
I read a book every month, which was actually really wonderful. I grew up reading all the time, and I actually forgot how much I loved it until I began this project. Now I make sure to read for at least half an hour every night before bed. It allows my brain and eyes a rest from the computer screens I look at all day and relaxes me before I go to sleep.
I tried a new restaurant every month. This allowed me at least one guaranteed date night with Eric each month, plus it helped us to better get to know this crazy city we live in. We discovered some amazing new places, and I plan to continue this trend.
I got in the best shape of my life. This is relatively subjective, as I have no way to actually measure this, but I feel as though my fitness has improved over the past year, and I’m certainly more active and health-conscious than I’ve ever been before.
And so, even though I can’t say I crossed off every item on my 30 before 30 project list, I’m extremely glad I made an attempt. Though the year had rather extreme ups and downs, the project helped keep me grounded, remembering those things that were most important to me. It was quite a year to end my twenties, and I feel confident saying I feel ready for my thirties now. I can’t wait to see what they have in store.