Over the weekend, I realized that I only have 18 months left before I reach my thirties. Like most people still in their twenties, this fact is simultaneously unsettling and terrifying. I know I’ve accomplished a lot in my first 28.5 years, particularly while in my twenties: moving out on my own, holding a steady job for 5+ years, met and married an amazing man, strengthened my relationship with my parents, learned how to use a gas stove without setting something on fire. But as a person who is anxious by nature, the closer I get to closing out this decade, the more I feel like I have not lived my life to its full potential. I’ve had a number of people tell me that life “really” begins in your thirties, so why not spend the next year and a half putting myself in a position to fully take advantage of this next stage of my life?
Clearly the best way to motivate and hold oneself accountable is to announce your plans on the Internet. Just as so many of my late-twenties counterparts have done, I’ve come up with a list of 30 goals and activities to complete before I turn 30. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be going into more detail on some of these items, as well as a few that didn’t make the list either because I knew they would absolutely be unattainable, or because they were goals which weren’t necessarily quantifiable to the extent that I could determine when the item has been completed.
1. Visit 5 new states
2. Frame and display a photograph I have taken
3. Roast a turkey.
4. Earn a promotion
5. Attend a conference (and actually learn something useful from it)
6. Take a cooking or photography class
7. Perform on a stage again
8. Converse with someone in a foreign language
9. See a band/musician that I love in concert for the first time
10. Attend the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.
11. Maintain this blog (and actually share it with people I know)
12. Find a church which strengthens me spiritually
13. See the Northern Lights
14. Wear a bathing suit and not feel self-conscious
15. Enter a baking competition
16. Attend Orioles’ Opening Day at Camden Yards
17. Get a passport (and use it)
18. Complete a half marathon
19. Compile a book with 25 recipes that I have mastered
20. Find a mentor
21. Have $20,000 in savings
22. Participate in a book club
23. Be able to do 50 pushups
24. Host a dinner party
25. Stand on the field at Camden Yards
26. Write a will
27. Enjoy a spa day
28. Join the Bone Marrow Registry
29. Spend a weekend with my best friend in Boston
30. Hang out with Stacey J. Aswad in Walt Disney World (or Disneyland. Or anywhere else).