* bonus points to any weirdos who get this reference!
Two weeks ago another grain of sand dropped through the hour glass of the days of my life and I hurtled into a new decade:
I welcome my 30’s at the stroke of midnight on September 14, 2014 from the creaky bed of an old motel in rural New Hampshire, where I was celebrating a friend’s wedding. My brand new husband was in bed beside me. At midnight he gave me a beautiful jewelry box and some pirate themed temporary tattoos. I took a selfie (fully clothed, despite how scando this looks) and we promptly fell asleep.
I was a little drunk. And a lot happy. It was perfect.
I’m now two weeks into the other side still just as happy, though thankfully slightly less drunk. For the present moment, anyway. I may be old but I still know how to get down. In fact, from all I’ve heard, the 30’s are quite the cause celebre. Allegedly, women in their 30’s are generally more financially secure, gain more respect in their careers, have more self confidence and have better sex. And I’ve learned that the older you get, the easier it is to avoid fads and fashions, a lesson that helped me skate through all of Summer 2K14 without even being tempted to wear a crop top. Victory! So if this means I’m looking at a decade of self-confidence, great sex and fully covered midriffs, well I am ALL IN.
If you’ll recall, in prep for the big 3-0 I made a big ‘ol to-do list, as I am wont to do, with 30 goals or items to achieve between September 14, 2013 and September 14, 2014. How’d I do? Let’s check the list!
1. Run half marathon HAYLLL YES! COMPLETED 4/26/14
2. Pay off one credit card…put a dent in the other. YES!
3. Get a bikini wax NOPE.
4. Take photoshop or other online design course NOPE.
5. Submit something for publication. YAAAAASSSS. COMPLETED 5/30/14
6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I’m coming for you, Staten Island!) NOPE.
7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.) NOPE.
8. Find a regular volunteer program NOPE.
9. See a play on Broadway NOPE.
10. Watch The Sopranos 1.5 SEASONS. (Unpopular Opinion Alert: That show is a snooze.)
11. Learn to shuffle cards NOPE.
12. Stop biting my nails UGH NOPE.
13. Take a trip with my mom NOPE.
14. Read outside of my comfort zone (i.e. biography, poetry, graphic novel) NOPE. WHOOPS.
15. Visit Storm King OBVZZZZ. COMPLETED 10/6/13
16. Get Acupuncture NOPE.
17. Roast a chicken NOPE.
18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it NOPE.
19. Zumba NOPE.
20. Host a classy, adult dinner party NOPE.
21. Add at least one more state to my list YES! Unblerghed but B&I took a trip to Maine 9/12/14. Trust me, it happened.
22. Solve my stomach issues GROSS BUT NOPE.
23. Trapeze class NOPE. (What even was this one?!)
24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!) HALFSIES? I’ve been emailing with my very first childhood friend Becky but we’ve yet to reconnect in person. I’m giving myself a .5 for this one.
25. Decorate our apartment NOPE.
26. See the cherry blossoms in DC NOPE.
27. Take out my navel ring (GREAT ONE, Liz!) NOPE.
Make an IRL blogger connection COMPLETED sometime in December, blogged about 3/17/14
29. Hike 5 new peaks NOPE.
30. Skinnydip. ANDDDD NOPE.
Officially, without loopholes or fudging the rules, I completed 6.5 out of 30. That’s slightly over 20 %, if my math is correct…which it usually isn’t…but I used a calculator so I’m feeling pretty confident. By the standards of the Common Core and most other methods of grading and judgement, 6.5 out of 30 is an epic failure.
But eff that noise. I’m chalking 29 up as a roaring success.
29 was the year I got engaged and married. The year I ran a (fast!) half marathon. The year I ate a lot of hard boiled eggs, attempted to wear red lipstick and went to a nude beach. The year I first shacked up with my boyfriend (then fiance, then husband!) and moved to Park Slope. 29 was the year I got paid to write an article – for Vogue (…ok, dot com, but whatever)! 29 was the year I saw friends get married, change jobs, move cities and get unscandalously knocked up. At 29 I drank too much wine and spent too much money on organic food and always kept my fingernails painted bright colors and totally pulled off ankle booties and almost always wore the same chambray button-down and learned – and then forgot – the difference between brie and Camembert cheeses and got 2nd place in Fantasy Football and finally found a pair of sunglasses that fit my lanky face and tried Pilates and instagrammed my food and spent time with my best girlfriends, laughing til our stomachs hurt.
29 was great. It was SPECTACULAR! I may have technically failed at most things I set out to attempt, but I’m still giving myself an A+.
So what is on my list for the next year? I have but One Before Thirty-One: Stop Making Lists.
If I’ve learned one thing about myself in the last 29 years, it is that I need to be a little kinder to myself. No more creating arbitrary to-do lists and then beating myself up when I don’t check off every box. No more panicking over things left unfinished, milestones yet reached. No more worrying about where I should be, more focusing on where I am.
At 29, I did only 6.5 items on my list…but then 6.5 bajillion more, without even trying. Imagine what great things I can do at 30 without all that time wasted worrying over things not done?
There are things I’d like to achieve, sure. I won’t just be sitting about waiting for the world to present me with adventures. I’d still like to hike more, to move up in my job, to quit biting my nails, to run more races. I’d also like to keep writing – perhaps not more but better. Which may mean a little less of the usual business here. Blogging is fun and exciting and I love the attention, sure, but at the end of the day it’s really just a hobby. And one that’s maybe not as fun as it used to be. I can’t tell you the number of Thursday nights into Friday morning’s I’ve sat stressing and scrambling for “funny” content for fear of letting someone, anyone (probably just myself) down. As much as the world loves and SURELY NEEDS yet another weekly roundup of me covered in random food stains, I’d like to think I can do a little better than that. I’m not abandoning the awkwardness of it all, but just going to see what I might be able to do if I spent just half of the time I put into photographing avocado blobs into writing or reading smart content.
I hope you’ll still come along with me.
But, BUT! If none of these things happen, if I don’t write a word or hike a peak, if I never ever roast a chicken as long as I live- that’s OK. I can trust that my time will be spent elsewhere, doing other meaningful things I haven’t even though up yet.
I do think we can all agree, though, that though no one ever sees it, what with the no-crop-tops rule and all, it’s really, really, REALLY time to get rid of that belly button ring.
So here’s to being 30. And chill (ish). And THRIVING.
xoxo Liz Ho