Choosing Figs | Neurotic as Hell | A Travel, Lifestyle, and Life List Blog

Random Ramblings of an almost 30 year old.

My 30 Before 30 List.

In six months I will be thirty and within the last few days that idea has hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve never really had a problem with my age. Maybe it’s because I look at least five years younger than I actually am and therefore associate myself with being much younger. Or the fact that I have completely ignored any notions of being a “grownup.” I sometimes even forget that I am close to 30 and have to step back and remind myself that no, I am not an early twenty-something.

25 was no problem even though I submitted myself to the fact that I would never make any “25 most successful under 25” lists. 26. 27. 28. All went by with a thought. 29 and nothing affected me. But, somehow, in the last few days, without even realizing I was at the exact half a year to go point, I’ve been thrown into some kind of panic.

I will never make any kind of 30 most successful under 30 lists.

It’s not that I’ve had such a terrible life. I have one of those jobs that people seem impressed with when I tell them where I work and what I do. I have a masters degree. I’ve traveled a little. People seem to think I take good photographs.

But I don’t always feel fulfilled and I feel like I’ve wasted away most of my life.

I mean, really, what have I done with those last 30 years?

My life’s to do list just keeps getting longer and longer. I’m in a job that I love but really is something I sometimes think an intern could do (seriously, not that I am looking for a new job but when I have browsed around the only things I see that are what I do are internships).

And I’ve spent my entire life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and it’s never come together. Looking back it’s always because I am lazy or scared or reason that it’s too hard or that I will never be good enough. I had to give up dancing because my joints never cooperated. I gave up acting because I didn’t think I was good enough. I didn’t learn about web design until my senior year of college so I never thought of studying it. I have a masters degree in writing that I never really used. I have a ridiculous amount of camera equipment but am too shy to talk to would-be clients.

And I spend my days looking at sites of amazingly successful wedding photographers who are much younger than me. And everyone I know seems to have started their own business. And I am older than all of my coworkers who have better positions.

And there is someone I’ve spent too much of my life thinking about. And who I know I should give up on but am not ready to. And who I am worried will stand in my way of ever being happy with someone else. Even if I don’t want to be with him.

And I am starting to come to terms with the fact that I will never have kids. Not that I even know if I want kids, but with the things I still have left to do, there is certainly no time for children.

And I am worried that I will look old in my wedding dress. Or that I will never have one. Or that I will get sick and will have no one I can depend on to be there for me.

Sorry. I am just rambling here.

Believe me though; I have big plans for my 30s. Big. Plans. (I can’t talk about them here yet, but you probably know what they are if you know me.) And I am kind of excited for that part of my life to begin, even if I am doing it ten years later than most.

That said, I made a list, a 30 before 30 list, because I always make lists.

This one is a list of 30 things to do before 30. Nothing on here is monumental. Just random little things to try and get my life in order and get things to where I want to be — mostly having to do with my website(s), organizing, and eating…

30 before 30

1. pay off my credit card
2. get a manicure/pedicure
3. get a massage
4. import and caption all of the photos on my website
5. Caption all of the photos on Silly America
6. fix all the little things on my website
7. organize the stuff in our storage room
8. organize all the stuff I have at my parent’s house
9. clean and keep things clean.
10. Go through all my magazines.
11. Make a budget.
12. Read three travel guides
13. Have that talk.
14. eat at the Publican
15. Take guitar lessons
17. lose 10 pounds.
18. finish my professional photography website
19. Figure out plane tickets.
20. Go camping
21. Cook mussels.
22. Back up all my photos.
23. Sign up for direct deposit.
24. Open an Etsy store
25. Come up with my “blog plan.”
26. Clean my desk at work.
27. Submit a short story to a journal.
28. Get a haircut.
29. ***
30. ***

***Contrary to popular belief I don’t share my entire life online. And the last two goals are private ones that I don’t choose to share.

p.s. I am in no way posting this looking for sympathy or apathy or any other thy. I just wanted to get some of my recent thoughts down and do realize that some of them are a bit overreacting :-).


My 30 Before 30 List. 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.
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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Sid
    July 24, 2010at3:41 pm

    I’m pretty sure you’ll continue to look like you’re in your low 20s until you’re at least 40

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