My 30 before 30 list // Please let me be a functional adult after I leave my 20s

My 30 before 30 list // Please let me be a functional adult before I leave my 20s because I sure I haven't accomplished anything I thought I would a decade ago. // Blog post and illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

During the week of my birthday, I noticed a couple of posts popping up around the blogosphere that revolved around setting goals for milestone birthdays. (The two in particular that crossed my path were Vee’s 25 before 25 and Amanda’s 30 before 30, but they are definitely not the only ones to create posts like this.) While I was hesitant to come up with my own list at first, worrying that if I were to not reach these goals by 30 I’d end up being disappointed in myself, I ultimately decided it was worth a go. Not only did I want to see what thirty items I would come up with, but I decided that even if I didn’t do them all just making a conscious effort towards making them happen would make me a happier , better-functioning person (and really, these days that’s all I really want).

It’s actually funny when I think about what I thought life would be like a decade ago vs now. It just felt like once high school was over I would figure everything out and by 30 I’d have this whole list of accomplishments I could rattle off: a family, a home, a good job. It all just seemed so much simpler then… and of course it was, everything was before my brain introduced depression into my life.

But now? Well, I would just like to figure out how to be a functional adult. I’d like to be able to make and maintain friendships without having a meltdown or letting my insecurities rule me. I’d like to find a job and actually stick to it without having a breakdown in front of everyone and ultimately quitting once I hit the lowest of lows. I’d like to learn how to accept the bad days and not let them consume me to the point that months pass by. I’d just like to do a lot of the everyday things that I think some people take for granted.

30 Goals for 30 || Thoughts about where I'd be at 30 age 18 vs. age 28 || illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Click to see a larger (though still sloppy) image of the illustration

So, without further ado, my 30 before 30 list: a collection of things I want to work on during these next two years before I hit the next big birthday milestone, a majority of which I feel will help transform me into the functioning adult I’d like to be (while still also having fun).

Friends, Family, and Love

1. Make a conscious effort to stay in touch with friends.
2. Reach out to old friends, colleagues, etc. and give thanks/bury negativity/let go of grudges.
3. Continue steady rotation of pen pals.
4. Regularly spend quality time with my family.
5. Convince Steph (my sister-in-law) to go out drinking and dancing with me one more time.
6. Successfully secure a spouse visa to move to the UK with Dave.
7. Have a lovely wedding to the man of my dreams!
8. Determine “us” activities/days for Dave and I.
9. Take extra special care of my dogs to the best of my ability while I can.

Mental and Physical Health

10. Keep peeing clear (aka staying hydrated).
11. Be mindful of eating.
12. Continue taking dental hygiene seriously.
13. Make yoga a daily habit.
14. Successfully complete C25K.
15. Start challenging my brain by learning again.
16. Start up daily mood journal/gratitude list again.
17. Practice positive thinking.

Blog, Creation, and Career

18. Create everyday.
19. Step outside of creative comfort zone.
20. Continue blogging in a way that makes me happy.
21. Explore creative work as possible source of income.
22. Become employed, whether traditional or freelance.
23. Give YouTube another shot.

Other Hobbies and Travel

24. Continue taking care of succulents.
25. Get back into habit of using DSLR.
26. Read at least 24 books a year.
27. Take dance lessons.
28. Visit a new country.
29. Go on a road trip.
30. Go camping.

Phew! That’s it! Now, I originally was going to write more details next to each list item but, well, I ramble a lot and this post would’ve been super-duper long so I didn’t. If you’re curious about any of the items above though and want to know more, let me know and I’ll talk more about it in the comments!

Do you have a 30 before 30 list (or a similar equivalent)? Love the idea or meh? Any items that would be on your list that are similar to mine? And do you think your list would’ve drastically changed versus what you expected a decade ago? If so, how? Let me know in the comments below! (And wish me luck in successfully completing mine!) 

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Or, if you’re interested in a similar post:
It’s my birthday and I’m going in the closet.

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13 Comments

  1. I hope you get to achieve all your goals! Or at the very least some of them and you’ll be happy all the same ♥ I’m especially supportive of #3 for obvious reasons.

    • Haha, of course on #3. Though it is your turn, right? I know Kelley waited like two months for me to reply to her letter before we realized that the post office must’ve lost it because I never received it. (But no rush if you still haven’t responded to my last, I know it’s easy to forget about them when dealing with other things!)

  2. I love this list! I can’t wait to see as you progress through it 😍
    I have to make a conscious effort to connect with loved ones. Also, travel! For someone who wants to write in that particular field, I haven’t been travelling enough.

    What kind of dance lessons do you want to take?

    • Yes to travel! It’s too bad it costs money to do such a thing, haha. Part of the best thing about dating Dave has made me realize that I don’t want to be limited to my hometown anymore, but the worst thing is that any money I’ve ever had to travel has been mostly spent on traveling to London and back – I want to go to more places! (Hopefully after we’re finally together.)

      Have any specific places you want to travel to? You should go for it! I need to live vicariously through someone else traveling.

      And dance lessons. Well, I took jazz and ballet when I was a kid (loved the first, meh on the second). I think if I were to take lessons these days I’d go for contemporary. Part of me thinks hip hop would be a lot of fun but I’m not cool enough for that (haha) but contemporary is absolutely beautiful. I want to throw myself around in a whirlwind of emotions (I mean, that’s pretty much how I live my life so why not how I dance?). For now though my dance lessons are limited to Just Dance, haha.

      • Yes, money is such a hindrance to my travel aspirations haha. I would go to Canada because that country has every beautiful landscape! Also, I would love to visit the great barrier reef because I have been obsessed with it since ever. XD
        Ooh contemporay would be cool. I have never tried dance so I’m curious to take a class.

      • Canada is actually the country I want to visit for this list! I’m pretty sure once I’m with Dave our travel will mostly be in the EU so I want to visit my neighbors up north before then. Hurry and fly over so we can do it together ;D

  3. I love this list Asti! And I hope you achieve every single point on your list! (As for visiting a new country… Ever been to the Netherlands? *winks*).

    I’ll start thinking about a list like this because I think it’s really interesting. One thing on my list would probably be to be in an actual relationship because I am, and have been, too damn single. So I want to put myself out there more and start dating. I am probably going to regret saying this because once I start dating I get sick of it VERY soon (it’s just so exhausting, lol).

    • Haha, no, I haven’t been to the Netherlands. I’m so worried I wouldn’t know anyone and be forever lost if I went. 😉 I’m actually mainly aiming for Canada before I’m 30. It’s not that far from where I live now and I’m pretty sure once I move to the UK we likely will be doing a majority of our travel in the EU so I’d like to visit my neighbors up north while I can. (Though I’m honestly not sure where I’d even go or what there is to do up there. I just need to go to say I’ve been, haha.)

      I’d be curious to see your list, so if you do put one together do share! I actually wish I was more like you and knew how to be single when I was younger! I think the longest I’ve been without a relationship since I was 13 is nine months. That’s part of the reason why this long-distance relationship has been good for me – I’m always so used to spending time with a significant other that having one 800 miles away has forced me to learn how to spend time by myself!

      I hope your journey back into dating goes well. I’m pretty sure I’d be a mess with it (I’ve never actually dated? More just fell in love with friends or forced myself onto people, haha). And I’ll keep my fingers crossed that once you get into it you’ll find someone quickly who isn’t too annoying so it doesn’t exhaust you too much, haha.

  4. I find it so refreshing that your list contains such lovely, simple things. I was actually just speaking with my therapist about this yesterday – because I’m a (very, very slightly) public figure due to my writing, & because I win awards & collaborate with talented creators sometimes, many people tend to assume that I Have It All Together, when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I try to be as transparent as possible online about the mental health issues I’ve faced & continue to face, but it’s so lovely to see that your goals are just as small & yet courageous as mine. Sometimes, I think, getting out of bed every morning is the greatest goal we can achieve. xx

    • I do find it very weird how the spotlight can thwart people’s perceptions of someone. It’s like even when you’re completely open about your struggles, I think people still assume that it’s not that bad because how else are you achieving what you’re achieving? But it’s different for each person and sometimes the only way we can achieve what we achieve is a result of the suffering that we endure daily!

      But yes, my goals are mostly the simple type. The little things that I think I’m missing that would lead to be a better and happier me, which is all I really want these days. Go us for each day we get out of bed and produce work we love. It may not always be pretty but we’re doing it, and that counts. x

  5. I relate to this 100%. My life looks nothing like I imagined it looking. I’m starting to be okay with that, but it’s still hard. I think this is a great list of goals! I have no doubt that you will accomplish all of these, if not before 30, that at least at some point. Good luck. 🙂
    I’m really curious now if I could come up with 30. xD
    Also, have you been to Germany yet? 😛

    • Haha, you should create your own list so you can see if you can come up with 30 and we can compare! And no, never been to Germany. Pretty much haven’t been anywhere except London and Paris! Wouldn’t mind to at some point, I always just get nervous at the thought of traveling places where English isn’t the main language (my attempt at learning French were pathetic, haha.)

      • I should. I’ll add it to my to-do list. The thought kind of stresses me out, though. ALSO, I have 9 months, lol. So I think I’d really feel like a failure when I don’t accomplish any or most of them!
        I can understand that, but if you come to Germany, you have interpreters ready to help! And in touristy areas, English really isn’t a problem.

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