My 30 before 30 (aka please let me be a functional adult after I leave my 20s)

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).

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

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.

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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The OOTDs of a person who doesn’t quite belong

As fashion blogs are so popular on the internet, I thought today it’d be fun to talk about my personal style. Why? Well, unlike all these other girls who seem to have it together, who follow (or set) the trends and look as if they’ve stepped out of a magazine, I’m generally just a hot mess.

I mean, I don’t think I’m a hot mess; I wear what I like and feel good in. But I’ve met many people over the years who have given me those backhanded compliments that have assured me I’m not doing it completely right. Things like:

  • When I would tell people I was going to study abroad in London, their response would be “Ah, that’s cool. Your style looks like it comes from somewhere else. You’d fit right in.” Um thanks? I appreciate being recognized as someone with a unique style, but are you telling me I don’t belong here based on my wardrobe? And really, how much do you really know about UK fashion?
  • Or when one of my old managers in retail would talk about having a teammate having a great fashion sense in a conversation and I would reply asking her about mine, to which she would reply that it was very “me” and “different”. I’m pretty sure it was her polite way of saying “You do you, but it’s not right.” Haha.

And really, the people from the above examples are right: I don’t necessarily dress to fit in and I do tend to have my own sense of style. But hey, isn’t that the beauty in fashion just as it’s the beauty in art? Sometimes the most interesting things come from people stepping out and finding their own style?

So, to celebrate my own unique fashion style and encourage others to do the same, I thought I’d share some OOTD drawings and talk about what you can expect to find me wearing if we ever meet.

(And apologies in advance for the somewhat sloppy quality of these photos. It was ridiculously hot when I went outside to take them, the kind of hot where you sweat just breathing, so I totally rushed through them. Whoops.)

OOTD Illustrations || Waist-tie Dress and Pandora jewelry || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #1: Dresses & Pandora Jewelry

My mom actually loved putting me in dresses as a kid, but between my inability to drink milk out of a carton without spilling it all over me and my natural tomboyish ways, I quickly stopped wearing them once I started dressing myself. As an adult though, I find I love them and it mainly has to do with one thing: my fluctuating weight. I hate the stress that comes with putting on pants and realizing they’re no longer fitting as well as they used to. Dresses solve that problem for the most part. I mean, you do have to be wary of how short they get as you get wider, but overall they’re more comfortable to grow in.

And, if I’m wearing one of my many dresses, it’s a good bet that I’m wearing my Pandora jewelry. I have a Pandora bracelet that Dave bought me for our first Christmas together and over the years it has been filled with charms from our many adventures together (along with a few others from my parents). It’s the only jewelry I wear (along with a necklace) and I like that it acts as a memory book in a way.

OOTD Illustrations || Cardigan, Blouse, and Shorts || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #2: Sleeveless Blouses, Cardigans, and Shorts

Sleeveless blouses are my favorite things. I like how light and airy they are, I like that I can just throw a cardigan over them if I’m a little chilly, and I just think they’re one of those things that will always be somewhat in style. Plus, they’re sleeveless! And, if you couldn’t tell between this OOTD and the last, I don’t like long sleeves. If any dress or top has them, you can almost always count on me to roll or scrunch the sleeves up so my forearms are bare because for some reason their full length bothers me.

And the shorts? Well, don’t let me fool you. Those are not tight booty shorts. I don’t care for those personally. The kind of shorts I prefer to wear are the loose fabric kind with elastic waistbands. Because comfort. I’m all about comfort. (But hey, the funky patterns make them sort of fashionable, no? No, probably not.)

OOTD Illustrations || Pants, Tanks, and Cap || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #3: Caps, Tanks/Tees, and Baggy Pants

This is my “I don’t really want to get dressed so here’s my half-assed attempt” look that I can be found in most often, which I sometimes claim to be my attempts athleisure wear. It usually involves throwing a hat on my head because my hair’s a mess, putting on a loose t-shirt or tank, and wearing comfortable baggy pants either casual or joggers. It’s honestly really nothing pretty and I’m pretty sure it’s the look that confuses people the most because it’s like “is she trying or not? What the heck is going on there?” And really, I don’t know. It’s just an accurate representation of how I feel some days: I go out attempting to look like I have it all together but really, I’m just not feeling it. It’s neither here or there.

OOTD Illustrations || V-neck tee and midi skirts || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #4: Shirts and Midi Skirts

This is my newest go-to look (though one I don’t wear often because my mom says it reminds her of what my aunt wore when they were in school and I don’t know, that just put me off): high-waisted long skirts with somewhat fitted shirts. You see, the thing about most of my looks is that they’re not always flattering for my body type. I prefer bagginess for comfort and/or growth but unfortunately that bagginess tends to mean most of my shape is hidden. And, believe it or not, I have a nice hourglass figure (bom chicka wow wow!) So, these high-waisted skirts are awesome because not only do they highlight my waist but they still allow for the comfort I so happily seek. Plus, it means I don’t have to worry as much about flashing everyone on a windy day. No one wants to see my granny panties.

The only thing missing from these four OOTDs are my scarves. I do own quite a few scarves and they are the one thing I turn to when I like an outfit but feel like it can do with something a bit more. They’re not pictured in any of the above because it’s a bit too hot for them now, but I can guarantee you I could find a scarf to wear with each above if I wanted. (And I’m not quite sure why I like them so much. Makes me feel less naked since I don’t often wear jewelry? To help cover cleavage? To have a tool to choke someone if they really annoy me? Hmm…)

So there you have it, a rundown of my style when it comes to fashion. That wasn’t too bad, right? I don’t look completely ridiculous, do I? I’m curious, what would you say are your go to looks? Any similarities? Is there a certain theme (such as my comfort and ability to wear with fluctuating weight) that affects what you like to wear? Let me know in the comments below!

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Have I found my art style yet?

There are only three modes of treadmilling as far as I’m concerned

There are only three modes of treadmilling* as far as I’m concerned. No, I’m not talking about “warm up”, “fat burn”, or “cardio”. That is the normal answer and there’s never any type of normalcy here. No, the three modes of treadmilling I’ve had the most experience with are: sleep-running, dancing, and crapping.

C’mon, I know you want to know more.

The Three Modes of Treadmilling: Sleeprunning || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Sleeping-running

The first mode I’ll mention is probably the most dangerous, but one I find myself turning to the most often: I sleep-run. Now, I don’t mean this in the sense that I actually get out of bed in the middle of the night and hop on the treadmill. I wouldn’t mind if my body was that productive and I just woke up feeling fit and toned, but no, I’m not that talented. Sleep-running for me is running on the treadmill with my eyes closed.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that my environment isn’t changing on a treadmill so is mostly boring or if the rhythm of the speed I set myself on lulls me into a daze, but something about jogging on a treadmill just makes me want to shut my eyes – and I usually do. I’ll hold onto the handles and just close my eyes, exiting my mind and just allowing my body to go, go, go. There’s something relaxing about doing so, just trusting my body to do its thing while my mind shuts off (though I do have to stay somewhat conscious so I don’t misstep and fall off).

It’s not something I’d recommend (that’s right, no doing it and then suing me thinking I recommended this – there’s no money to be had here), but it’s a staple of my own personal treadmilling experience.

Dancing

My second treadmilling mode is devoted to dancing. And no, it doesn’t involve anything choreographed like what you might remember from OK Go’s Here It Goes Again video (though I’m sure I look just as fabulous). You see, I listen to music while on the treadmill and if I’m not passed out in my sleep-running mode, I’m usually singing and dancing to whatever song is playing via Spotify. I pump my arms in the air, do some fancy footwork, throw in a couple of shimmies. I feel absolutely ridiculous doing it but I can never resist the urge to break loose, especially since I’m just in a room by myself with no one to judge me.

That being said, this mode is most prevalent in my warm up and cool down stages. Once I’m actually going it’s a bit hard for me to both run and dance, I’m not that coordinated, though sometimes I still try.

The Three Modes of Treadmilling: Dancing and Crapping || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Crapping

Oh, this last stage. It’s the stage I always hope to avoid but one that sneaks up on me every so often: the crap stage where I literally feel like I’m going to crap myself. I’m sure it’s because the hour or two I wait after lunch to do the treadmill isn’t quite long enough to clear things up beforehand, but for some reason I can’t figure out a better time to do it. In the mornings I rather do yoga and I lose all motivation at night.

And it’s horrible! I can be running and feeling good and then suddenly cramps. Clenched butt cheeks. The worrisome question: can I make it until the end or am I going to shit myself? A majority of the time I can manage and then take care of business after my cool down, but I’m not going to lie, sometimes there’s just no choice and I have to quickly turn the treadmill off and run to the bathroom.

I know, I’m so attractive.

So there you are, my three modes of treadmilling. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Whether treadmill or not? Walking or running? I need to be assured I’m not completely alone in my ways (though let’s be real, I probably am, I’m a bit of a weirdo). If you don’t experience these, what DO you do on a treadmill? How do you keep yourself engaged without sleeping or dancing and how do you avoid the crap attacks? Let me know in the comments below!

*Also, I’m aware treadmilling isn’t actually a word but that’s too bad. I’m like Dr. Seuss, I work by my own rules here.

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