Friends! Today I’m turning 30! Which feels both very surreal and both over- and under-whelming at the same time? I only have three more years until I’m an adult (by Hobbit reckoning), so I feel like it’s high time I get my shit together. Plus, birthdays and holidays tend to make me feel nostalgic. But also, a little more dream-like, as I think about the future and my goals.
So, to celebrate turning 30, I’m going take a look back at the accomplishments (and pitfalls) from my twenties. Then, I’m going to celebrate by sharing ten goals I hope to do within my thirties.
Fair warning: it might be grandiose dreams and impossible feats, but hey: that’s all what birthday magic is about, right? ✨
- Looking Back at My Twenties
- 10 Goals for My Thirties
- In Sum
Looking Back at My Twenties
Man, your twenties. It was something I always itched for, when I was in middle school and high school. To be the glorious adult with so much freedom. How unprepared I was, for things no one taught me (taxes) and things we could never have expected (pandemic). It wasn’t at all what I expected, lacking much of the glamor and stability I was promised; what I romanticized growing up. But, it also had it’s good moments and, in so many ways, sure as hell beat middle and high school.
I don’t think I can succinctly sum up my twenties–hell, I cant remember half of it, which is both depressing and also prolly a good thing. But, I think I can reflect on the highs and lows.
I’m lucky to have had a lot of highlights in my twenties. Off the top of my head, here’s a few of them:
- Attended and graduated college
- Wrote multiple books
- Worked as a literary intern
- Started this blog!
- Fell in love
- Stayed close with friends and made new ones
- Got my first dog (and unexpected cats)
- Became an aunt, twice!
- Traveled to London (twice!)
- Came out as bisexual
But, of course, it wasn’t all rainbow and butterflies. There were also some really hard things, like:
- Developing an eating disorder
- So many query rejections
- Dropped out of graduate school (the first time)
- Trips to New Zealand and Puerto Rico cancelled
- Pandemic (obviously ongoing)
- So many job rejections
- Diagnosed with chronic disability
- Witnessed the cancer battle of three family members (and lost one, my Grandpa, last year)
- Almost lost my brother to diabetes
- Depression spirals, panic attacks and heightened anxiety
- Six weeks suffering from COVID
So, if I had to sum up and describe my twenties? An unprepared adventure, filled with chaos, growth and heartbreak.
But what do I hope turning 30 will bring?
10 Goals for My Thirties
Well, if you know me, you know how ambitious I am. And, despite as a kid, when I once thought that turning 30 meant you had one foot in grave, I am actually really excited about it, now that a new decade of life is here. I certainly cannot pretend that I know how to adult yet. Fuck, I still feel like I’m figuring so much out.
But, if I can manifest anything for my thirties–the next ten years of my life–it would be these ten things:
Feed My Wanderlust
Traveling is a passion of mine, especially internationally. The pandemic has obviously hindered that. But, as safely as I can, I absolutely want to make traveling a priority. For what’s the point of working so much if I can’t use that money to help me go on adventures?
Beat My Publishing Depression
I’ve talked about this a lot, but getting rejected in the querying trenches for the past…well, over a decade, since I first entered at 14 (!). Let’s just say one of the main reasons I’ve struggled to write so much is because publishing has drained me and hurt my dreams.
In the next decade, though? I’m reclaiming that love. I will write stories for me. They will be published, by various avenues. And they will find their audience. I know it.
Create a Work Life Balance (+ a Non-Toxic Job)
I told you I would have impossible dreams, didn’t I? 😏 But genuinely. Working at a toxic day job that drains you for multiple years is no way to live. Especially when it doesn’t even pay enough to fuel these other dreams! And working a day job with no creativity component is just…no thanks.
I can’t wait to make this a priority and reality.
Live Amongst the Trees
Does this feel like a silly, small thing? Maybe. Do I need to move into the woods to feed my soul in ways that nothing else feeds it? Absol-fucking-lutely I do. The goal is to leave Kansas and (dare I say buy) a house where I can walk out onto my porch, with a mug of tea in my hand, and watch the wildlife and listened to the trees without any clue of the civilization and its problems beyond the forest border.
My heart soars just thinking about it.
Be Financially Stable
We are chasing impossible dreams!! And being debt free–student, medical, credit card and vet–would feel like I won the lottery (but without the hassle of everyone suddenly wanting my money). Having a job that pays me enough to not feel guilty any time I spend money on something that isn’t the essentials feels like a greater fantasy than any I have penned or consumed.
Will we still chase it? You bet we will.
Get Dovah a Friend
Manifesting that my partner will let us get a second dog!!!!
Discover and Honor My True Self
Though listed lower on this list, these are in no way in any order. But I think the most important one of all of these is a combo of these last four. I discovered a lot of things about myself in the last decade; things that are now vitally part of the core of me and who I am. I want to continue to learn about myself and be brave enough to honor the woman I discover, underneath everything that tries to suffocate her.
Live Selfishly and Give No Fucks
In that vein, I also want to be more selfish: with my time, with my wants, with expressing myself. If I want to dress like the scene kid I never had the courage to try in my youth? Fuck it, I’m doing it. If I want to have my body covered in tattoos? Fuck it, yes. Queer hair? Already doing it and it’s here to stay. Be opinionated, be vocal, take up space. Yes, yes and yes.
I’ve spent so much of my life caring about what others think of me, in ways that are unhealthy and feed into disorders I no longer want the burden of carrying. No more.
On a more somber note, losing some family members, like my grandfather, reminds you of how limited your time is. And, being stuck in a capitalistic hellscape, so much of your time is expected to be dedicated to things that, on your deathbed, do they really matter?
So I want to live with intention: the intention to honor myself and my values; the intention to advocate for those oppressed; the intention to align my priorities with the amount of time I spend on them.
To live a life I am proud of.
This is my most elusive quest, ever since I was in middle school. Will entering my thirties finally allow me to embrace and love the one person I’ve denied it for so long?
Only time will tell.
So…yeah. Today, it’s my birthday. And I turned 30.
Turning 30 feels surreal and yet, not so different at all. But I’m trying to make the day a little special. So today, I’ll attend class (that I can’t skip, boo) and be treated to lunch by a few kind coworkers, before dragging my partner to the dog park to explore the trees with my best friend. A picnic dinner of to-go food after a small (masked, of course) shopping trip will top off the night. I’ll write some words, nourish my soul and enjoy the purposefully slow pace of the day.
You know, I have a feeling that turning 30 might not be so bad after all. ❤
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Books Teacup and Reviews says
Happy birthday! love this post. It’ always great to look back in life.
Right? These kinds of posts are some of my favorite to write. Thank you so much!!
Stephen Writes says
Happy birthday, Nicole!
Thank you so much, Stephen!
Davida Chazan says
Happy Birthday! Just remember… every day in every way, you are getting better and better!
I like the way you think, Davida! Thank you!
Sumedha @ the wordy habitat says
happy birthday!! i hope your upcoming decade grants you all of your wishes (especially the impossible ones) and that you have a happy and healthy time <3
You are always so kind, Sumedha! Thank you so much!!! 🥰
Belated happy birthday, here’s hoping it all comes true.
Here’s hoping! Thanks Peat!
Jenna @ Falling Letters says
Happy belated birthday! 30 is a big one, hey? Time to take everything you learned in your twenties and embrace the things you truly love! I hope your thirties gives you plenty of opportunities to grow and blossom and make these dreams a reality 😊
Thank you so much, Jenna! Isn’t it? It feels bigger than I think it might actually be. 😅 I hope so too, thank you!!
Your Tita Kate says
Traveling is a passion of mine, especially internationally. HELLOOOOO??? Lemme be your personal tour guide over here! lol
Belated happy birthday and I hope you get everything you want from your twenties! I’m especially excited for your goals on rediscovering loving writing for yourself and not just for agents/an audience and being more intentional and purposeful in pursuing love and honor for yourself.
Ohmygosh Kate, don’t tempt me!! I would LOVE to come visit you and Shealea out there!
And thank you so much for your kind birthday wishes! I’m definitely stoked for the new goals and hoping life will be cooperative in achieving them. 😅
Belated Happy Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day. I absolutely loved reading this post and how injected it is with positive thinking and big dreams! If you don’t dream big, it can’t manifest, right? So might as well dream large and go all the way. Welcome to the 30s club! 😊
Dini, your comment absolutely made my NIGHT, thank you so much!! 🥰
Sara @storiesandsidequests says
Happy (belated) birthday! I love all your big dreams! I hope that this decade is full of more adventures, discoveries, and things that bring you joy.
Thank you so much, Sara! That means the world! 🥰