Wednesday, February 4, 2015

30 Before 30!

My 26th birthday is coming up in less than a week. Around this time of year I find I tend to get lost in a lot of self reflection. 

Having this blog has also made me evaluate the life I am leading. Am I the person I always thought I would be? Have I done all the things I thought I would have done by now? With a quarter century of my life already over, I've decided to create a 30 before 30 list to help me make sure I'm following through with living a life filled with more than just work and bills. It was hard to narrow my list down to only 30 items because I have a lot of ongoing, long term goals, but here is what I finally came up with:

1. Buy a house
This is something that I thought I would have already done by now, but with the market being the way it is and the fact that that I still have tons of school debt, this was a goal that got pushed further and further down the road. Well, now that debt is almost paid off, I'm confident that within the next four years we will be able to purchase something we love!

2. Take a big trip
I'm thinking something tropical, maybe Mediterranean, perhaps a cruise, or an all inclusive resort. Anything really more than a week and I will probably count it. Mark and I have done a lot of little road trip-esque adventures together, but aside from one trip to Hawaii in 2010, I think it's about time we indulge in something a little more elaborate. 

3. Get out of debt (excluding mortgage)
I am proud to say that between my student loans and our line of credit, we are down to $15,059.39 in debt. Now that I am done school for a bit, and we are both working pretty much full time, and don't have "knock on wood" any major expenses coming our way, I'm confident that we should for sure have a clean slate by the end of this year!

4. Obtain a permanent position at work
Unfortunately this is something that I don't have a ton of control over since most of it comes down to availability of positions at work and seniority. But, considering most techs in my field get a temporary position around the first year mark, and then a permanent position around the second year mark, hopefully a full time position should be coming my way late this year, or early next year. 

5. Maintain 135lb weight
I told Mark I want a scale this year for my birthday, how lame, I know! But body image is something that I've kind of struggled with over the last couple years. During my couple years at school with all the late nights and major stress I definitely didn't eat well so I managed to gain a good 10-15lbs. I eventually got myself back down to the 140lbs range, but I still feel like my body shape and size fluctuates way to easily. One day I'll put on my tightest pair of jeans and they fit like a glove, but a week later I'll put on my baggiest pair, and they will literally feel like they're suctioned to me. So, over the next four years, I am very determined to maintain 135lbs. If I can get lower, great, but I want to keep the goal relatively realistic but still push myself to work hard!

6. Learn photography & get paid to do it
Photography is something I have always enjoyed, but honestly I never really thought much further of it. Recently I've been more and more intrigued by the possibilities photography has to offer, so over the next four years I want to buy a good quality camera, learn some basic and more enhanced skills, and eventually get a paid gig. 

7. Coach volleyball
Since I was 11 years old volleyball has always been a huge part of my life. For a couple years when I was younger I did some coaching and I've always missed what it brought to my life. Recently, I got offered a coaching opportunity through someone from Mark's men's volleyball league. Unfortunately, I have not actually been able to start coaching yet (it's been a crazy few weeks with work and trying to move, etc.), but I'm confident that within the next four years, I will have some sort of steady coaching gig (even if it's just being a a fill-in or helper coach, if that's all that time will allow).

8. Improve my education
I'm leaving this one kind of wide open. I'm not exactly sure which direction I want to take this yet, but, whether it's taking a photography class, a language class, an x-ray course, a writing class, or a technology class, I just want to make sure that I don't stop improving my knowledge. I need to keep my brain working hard. 

9. Take a road trip with no planning
Being an obsessive control freak I think this one is going to be pretty tough to accomplish, but I'm hoping within the next four years that I will eventually be able to let my spontaneous side, even if only briefly, take over! I'm leaving this one kind of open as well, because it can be a trip as small as something like Whistler, or Harrison, but I am putting a minimum 2 day restriction (i.e. minimum a weekend) on it. 

10. Finish that book I'm always meaning to finish but never do
"The Four Agreements" by Miguel Riaz is a book that I got as a Christmas present in 2013. Even though my mom insisted that we (me and all my sisters) read it, for no reason in particular I just put it on my shelf and never really took another look at it. It's now over a year later and I've read tons of other books instead. Every time I get a new book, I look at "The Four Agreeements" sitting on my shelf, consider picking it up, but then just grab the new book and read it instead. So within the next four years, I am determined to finally finish this one! 

11. Do yoga
Everyone else I know that does yoga seems to love it, so I am determined to, at the very least, give it a try. Last year I did attend one class at a nearby rec centre but, it was a stretching version and my opinion of it wasn't the best. Since then I've had tons of people give me a bit more education on the different types of yoga there are and which would be better suited to me and the type of workout I am looking for so I'm using this 30 before 30 list to make sure I get myself back out there. 

12. Do more running events (including a 10km event)
I've run a handful of 5km, 7km, and even 8km events in my lifetime, and every time I complete one I am reminded how much I truly enjoy it. So, I really want to focus on throwing myself into more events and even challenge myself with a 10km run as well. I'm thinking maybe I'll try things like the Vancouver Sun Run, the Underwear Affair, the Dirty Dash (again), the Spartan Run, Concrete Heroes, Color me Rad, and really anything and everything else I can find.  

13. Try 30 Pinterest projects
Whether it's a craft, a new recipe, a home improvement project, an organizational task, or any other of the billions of things you can find on Pinterest, I am determined to try 30 projects. Oh, and don't worry, whether they are successful or not, I plan on documenting them on here. 

14. Read 30 books
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Bottom line: I want to read more! I love relaxing on the couch, in the bath, at the beach, or in a park, and getting lost in a good book. 

15. Get a couples massage
I've never had a massage in my life, and to be honest, it's probably because I just can't seem to justify paying for something like this. But, apparently, according to pretty much everyone else I know, I am totally missing out, and it's something that I just have to experience. 

16. Get a manicure/pedicure
I had a manicure when I was about 12 (a girls trip with my sisters to San Francisco to visit my Auntie Elda), and I had another manicure the week before my wedding day. Now, similar to a massage, getting these things done, I just can't seem to justify paying for (also, party because I've always had short nails that I pick at, or that have been ruined from sports, etc.) so, hopefully within these next four years, whether it's for a birthday, Valentine's day, an anniversary, or Christmas, someone will buy me a gift card for a couple's massage, or a mani/pedi and then I'll get to see what all the hype is about!

17. Read my Sarah Dessen novels in French
In grade 6 I went into French immersion and continued with it all throughout high school. Unfortunately, since I graduated (2007), I've hardly even used more then a few random phrases or words here and there. For anyone who knows anything about learning a second language, obviously, the more you use it, the better and more fluent you become. If you stop using it, you start losing it pretty quickly.  I'm hoping by getting a French copy of my Sarah Dessen books I'll be able to develop my French skills again, and if I find I'm really struggling, well, I've got the English copy that I can compare with to steer me in the right direction.  

18. Complete 20 different hikes
Similar to my running goal, hikes are something that whenever I complete, I always wonder to myself why I don't do them more often. Nothing beats venturing through a new trail, breathing in the fresh outdoor air, and taking in some new breathtaking scenery. 

19. Play volleyball at Huntington Beach, California
I think this one is kind of a given since I pretty much eat, sleep and breathe volleyball. Even though we don't live that far away up the west coast, I still have yet to play at one of the most well known volleyball beaches in the world, so there was no way I was not going to put this on my 30 before 30 list.   

20. Get my motorcycle licence
Ever since Mark got his motorcycle licence I've been telling myself that I will be getting mine shortly. However, every spring/summer seems to come and go, and by the end of the year I find myself still without a full licence. One year I did get the "L" version, but then I never took the next step (the "skills test"), so eventually the "L" expired. I really want for one day Mark and I to be able to go out on nice cruises together, or maybe even take a road trip on the bikes, so I better get practising. 

21. See Eminem in concert
Not that this conversation comes up very often any more in my life, but any time anyone asks me what type of music I like, my answer is pretty much always the same: "I can pretty much enjoy listening to anything, except maybe elevator music. If I hear lyrics that I like, I'll like a song. If I hear a beat I like, I'll like a song." Usually then they follow up with: "Well, who have you seen in concert?" My answer: "No one...well, that's not true, I saw Velvet Revolver when I was in high school, but only because the guy I was interested in at the time took me. The scene wasn't really for me." Then they almost always follow up with: "Okay, well who would you want to see?" My answer every time: "EMINEM! No body is comparable!" Enough said. 

22. Decide what I'm going to do with my old wedding dress, and do it
If you haven't read any of my previous posts you may not know that I got married in November, outdoors, in a torrential downpour of rain. Even though we each had our own umbrellas to help keep us dry, my big poofy dress (not what I expected to purchase), ended up getting soaked, and I even had twigs caught in the train of my dress dragging around behind me. It's been over a year and I still haven't gotten the dress dry cleaned, it's just bagged up in the back of my closet, honestly probably growing mould or something off the bottom. Soon enough I'll have to come up with something to do with it. 

23. Do a photoshoot
Since Mark and I had a pretty short engagement, we never did a couples engagement photo shoot and since I don't plan on having kids, I'll probably never have a maternity or new born photo shoot. Aside from doing maybe a Christmas card, I'm not sure we'll ever take the time to do a couples photo shoot. And, as far as doing an individual photo shoot, I just don't see the use in spending the money to have some pictures of myself taken. I did at one point consider, for mine and Mark's first anniversary, making Mark a boudoir photo album, but I totally chickened out. And, I've also thought about doing a couples boudoir photo shoot (Mark and I love silhouette, black and white sensual art), but again, I'm totally chicken. So, in the next four years I've got to grow some balls and finally do some sort of shoot. 

24. Build/complete a wardrobe that is functional, versatile, and that I actually want to wear
Fashion has never been my strong suit, but over the years I've slowly started to develop some sort of style that works for me. However, the more I check out other peoples blogs (yes I'm talking to you Miriam), and pinterest pins, I've realized that I'm still lacking in what my closet holds. There are still a lot of essential (and non-essential) pieces that I need to acquire in order to have a proper wardrobe that I can be proud of. 

25. Do a headstand
My hope is that after I try yoga (and fall madly in love with it like everyone tells me I will), and get my workout routine on a tight schedule (so that I can maintain that 135lbs), I will become strong enough and fit enough to put myself into a head stand, in a manner as close to effortlessly as possible. 

26. Visit a Hot Spring in B.C.
I'm pretty sure as a kid I probably went to Harrison Hot Springs (it's only about 100km away from where I grew up), but I don't recall any of the memories. Mark went as an adult a few years before I met him, and raved about how beautiful it is, so naturally I became jealous and wanted to see for myself. I will be more than satisfied if it ends up being Harrison that I go to, but honestly, there are a ton of Hot Springs in B.C. and I will be more than happy to have the experience at any of them. 

27. Find a haircut that I love and can maintain
I've had all sorts of hair cuts at all different times of my life. I've had hair down to my bum, a mushroom cut, a pixie cut, a regular bob, the angled bob, a layered cut, a v cut, no bangs, side swept bangs, I've pretty much tried it all at some point. My goal is to finally find something that is functional and attractive for this stage in my life, that I can maintain and that I truly enjoy having. 

28. Learn how to play chess and actually remember all the rules
Mark has taught me how to play chess previously, but every time we actually try to have a match, I have to get Mark to remind me for every move which pieces can do what. Needless to say, I want to get comfortable enough with the game that I can actually take Mark on. I don't expect to beat him (he always wins strategy games), but I, at the very least, want to give him a run for his money. 

29. Skimboard on my own skimboard
Mark was the one that introduced me to skimboarding, and since that very first day that I tried it I have been wanting my own board (Mark has his own, and that's what he taught me on). Even though every summer when we go out on the beach for the first time, it always takes me a good 20 minutes before I'm willing to jump on the board while it skimming through the water, I really really really want to own my own board and get much more comfortable skimming through the water. 

30. Make my Nona's signature Chocolate Roll
My Nona's (my mom's mom) chocolate roll is probably one of my all time favorite desserts. It's basically a long layer of chocolate cake that gets laid out flat, then coated with whipped cream, and then rolled up into a log and put in the freezer to chill. When you eat it you cut the log into slices and it's basically the most delicious swirl of chocolate and chilled whipped cream. Sounds pretty simple, but I'm sure it's going to take me more than a few tries to really get it just right. 

(The hubby being super supportive since he's already hit that 30 yr old mark!)
I know some of these probably seem a little amateur and pretty easy to accomplish, while others seem pretty expensive and challenging, but to be honest, I just needed a list with some variety, some things to push me out of my comfort zone, but also with some things that are easier to succeed with so that I don't loose motivation. 

Anyway, wish me luck! I've got four years to get through this! What's on your 30 before 30 list? Did you accomplish everything you thought you would?


  1. Omg, I don't even know where to start. You had hair down to your bum? And a pixie cut?? I want to see pictures!! Also: totally YES to Eminem. Haven't seen him, would go in a heartbeat. Love him.
    Also: you never had a massage?? We get it paid from work! (80% first, then 100% after a certain amount has been spent). Go and get one done!
    Also: thanks for the mention :-) Fashion is fun, but it took me a long time to find my style as well. Don't stress about it, just wear what you like and what makes you happy!

    1. Haha, I'd have to dig up my family photo albums for those pictures.....but maybe eventually I'll embarass myself with posting them on here!

  2. What a great list! I think it is a perfect variety of challenges and fun stuff. You can totally make all of this happen before you're 30!

    1. Here's hoping! I'm already finding myself looking over some of the items on the list and wondering to my self....hmm, how/when am I going to make this happen! I'm a little nervous I'm in over my head.