29 Things in My 29th Year
Today officially marks my 29th birthday - happy birthday to me!
It’s also my last official year in my 20’s.
Which is crazy.
And a bit unbelievable.
My 28th year has been the top two most impactful years for me this decade.
I wrote about it here, but the first 6 months of my 28th year were hard and brutal. Probably more tears in those 6 months than my entire 20’s.
But, the last 6 months have truly been the absolute best. I’ve felt so light and free. Loved, and so very happy with the people in my life.
I have truly loved my 20’s, and I am very thankful for the last 6 months.
After a bit of reflection on the past nine years, though, I’ve realized I’ve wasted a lot of days. Either with Netflix, scrolling, a hangover, overanalyzing text messages, or just sleeping in. I’m tired of wasting away days.
I want to be more intentional about how I spend this next year - the last year of my 20’s.
I love a good list. So for this year, I wanted to make a list of 29 things to do for my 29th year.
A way to close out my 20’s, if you will.
Some are already planned (see that: setting myself up for success, something I’ve learned in my 20’s). Some are new. And some are just hopeful. To be honest, I have no idea if I’ll complete all 29. Even if I don’t, that will be okay. At least I will have tried and embraced the year.
So, without further ado, here are the 29 things I want to do for my 29th year.
Finish my dissertation. This one will definitely be completed, because my graduation depends on it. But, I’m very passionate about my dissertation topic (Ethics of Influencer Marketing in the Pharma Industry), and I genuinely hope to take it beyond just a dissertation piece.
Decide on a country to live in. It’s probably a no brainer that it’s between the UK and US, but it’s still a massive decision and a bit of a leap of faith in either direction.
Watch my youngest sister get married.
Visit a new country.
Make a home. This goes hand in hand with number 2, but to me, a home is more than just a location. It’s a feeling. I’m really excited to buy all of the home things again.
Take a pottery class.
Start playing volleyball again. I took a year off, and now I’m ready to get back into it.
Read more books. I think I’ve read close to 15 this year, but I want to keep the pace going.
Scroll much less. I’m not entirely sure I’ll be very good at this, but I’ll start using the Screen Time app and set it to just 30 minutes a day.
Get a job. I’m confident this will happen, I just have no idea where (trying not to stress)!
Write more. The MBA program has reminded me how much I love to write, and I just don’t do it enough. I’d like to set an intention to write 1,000 words for 100 days in a row, but I’m not sure how manageable that is. We will see!
Complete a crossword. The Scot is very into cryptic crosswords (he’s so smart!), and after insinuating a little interest, he bought me a small book on how to crack them as a surprise. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d like it very much. But after completing the first two chapters, it’s surprisingly very satisfying! The ones here are very UK focused, so at least it’ll help me learn more Britishisms.
Fill my cookbook. I’ve always wanted to make my own cookbook, based on the meals I make at home. Nothing fancy. Just a way to remember what I’ve cooked and maybe have a cool item to pass down one day. The Scot surprised me with a customized, blank cookbook, so I want to start filling that up this year!
Continue yoga. I’ve surprisingly loved it.
Speak to family and friends back home more. This one is really hard for me. I genuinely try to speak to people as often as I can, but schedules are awful. I know it comes with living here, but I always feel behind about updating or getting updates from them, and it triggers such huge guilt. When I do talk to them, I get an instant dose of happiness. I’m hopeful it will get better this next year, as either 1) I’ll get an actual UK working phone if I stay here or 2) I’ll be back (or close) to their time zones.
Learn a new skill. I’m not sure what this might be, to be honest. Maybe Lightroom editing. Maybe web design. I’m not sure.
Take more hikes. Nature is never boring, forever changing and always makes me feel better.
Go on an Outlander Tour in Scotland.
Give back to my community. I’m not sure how I’ll do this either, but likely through some sort of volunteer work.
Get more involved in politics in a way that matters. If there’s any silver lining to the Trump Administration, it’s that they have made my generation stand up and speak up more. Personally, 2016 made me want to be more informed and pay more attention to politics and policies. I’m sure every generation has said this, but I’m not sure if there is a more important time in politics than right now, in almost every country. A time when I feel like we’re reaching our tipping point for the worst, daily. I want to take my interest and opinions to get more involved with politics, and contribute to something good.
Follow up more with my professional network. While I’m friendly and engaging on social media with my past bosses and colleagues, I could be doing more to send more personalized messages.
Rebuild my brand. There are some professional goals I want to meet, and things I want to be known for.
Make at least one photo album. I used to love doing this, and I don’t think I’ve done any photo keeping in years. This album will likely be digital, but then printed off in a book. I get overwhelmed by how many photos I have, and how many years I’m behind. But, I need to remember to start small, and go from there.
Continue to work on accepting my body. I’ve come a long way, but I think I still have a bit to go.
Learn how to drive a stick and/or buy a car. This might be more of a necessity, but it would be amazing to have that freedom again. Maybe the driving a stick will be my new skill? ;)
Come up with a plan to pay back student loans. This is an awful thing to have on my list, and (hopefully) one I can cross off if certain people become President in 2020. However, I’m remaining pessimistic on that hope for now, and will come up with a realistic plan on how to pay it off quickly.
Donate blood. I’ve actually never done this, but I think it’s an important thing to do.
Go skydiving. Okay, this is a bit extreme, but I’ve always wanted to do this. Maybe (hopefully?) I’ll do it the day before my 30th birthday next year.
Have any other ideas of how to ring out my 20’s? Let me know in in the comments below!