An unabashed 30 By 30

Some of my friends were surprised when 30 wasn’t a big thing to me. If anything, I couldn’t wait for it to get here, to see my 20s leave. I went through more in my 20s than a lot of people do by 40. If you followed this blog from its original place, you know my story, and today isn’t so much about that. It’s about what it taught me, about this world…and myself.

It’s “a thing” to write about the 30 things you’ve learned by 30. Trust me, it’s this whole thing. In fact, it’s such a thing that I stole that line from a blog I read a few days prior to turning 30! I grew up under the roof with an OCD mother so this is one I’ve known since I can remember, which is why I’m a fanatic about keeping my toothbrush behind a closed door.

11. For the love of all things sanitary: close the toilet lid BEFORE you flush. Every time you flush, it releases a spray of poo-air all over your bathroom. That junk is nasty and you don’t want it on your toothbrush. (Seriously. Someone needs to write this in the sky.)

Anyway, her list is brilliant, and I hope you’ll take the time to read it. I also hope, that regardless of your age, that this posts leaves you in some sort of peaceful or motivated place, or maybe inspired or forgiving. I hope that you’ll take the time to reflect on where you’ve been, and what those miles under your feet have taught you. I hope after that, that you’ll share with me. I’ve got so much to learn afterall. ❤


30 By 30 & a few days. err….weeks

#1. The loose skin that you can grab at the end of your elbow is called a weenus. Go ahead, join me in the amused band. I don’t, however, recommend googling why.

#2. Overuse “I’m sorry.” There’s nothing weak minded about it, and it’ll save more in every relationship in your life than any other tool in your toolbox.

#3. Overuse “I love you.”. Don’t wait for the other person to say it; say it every day.

#4. Worry is a place in your mind that consumes every single ounce of energy that you could be putting toward something good. It’s a natural cause of anxiety, depression, weight gain, and these falsehoods that do nothing but create ruin and demolition. Find a way to put it away…sing, read, sleep, journal…wait until the sun comes up the next day to decide if it’s worth it.

#5. Be overwhelmingly kind to everyone you meet. Smile at strangers, ask your waitress how you HER day is, donate, pay it forward. It’s unabashedly, nearly selfishly good for you.

#6. Take time to disconnect. Life is what happens when you’re looking at that smart phone, laptop, tv.

#7. Get uncomfortable. When an opportunity comes up to try something new on an obscure menu, if a favor is asked of you that pushes you out of your comfort zone….DO IT. Steel is forged by fire, GO BE FORGED.

#8. Leave a tip in your hotel room, especially if you’re staying more than one night, or are especially messy! As a girl that had to swipe your nose hairs out of your sink the next morning, wipe something questionable off of your toilets, and make your beds, I can tell you that nothing will appease them like enough of a tip to by herself some coffee with her coworkers over lunch!

#9. Eating alone sucks. Somebody told me once to make sure to do that once in my life, and I did, and it sucked. I pretended to find it empowering and awesome…nope, nope, nope. I mean, get you some “Me” time however you need to, but in a crowded, loud restaurant full of people having epic conversations? It sucks.

#10. You can never ever have enough pictures of anything ever. I’m a photographer and I’ve got regrets about what I didn’t capture before I didn’t have the chance ever again.

#11. Arugula is fancy lettuce that tastes like dandelion puke.

#12. “Finding yourself” is a bit of bullshit. I think it’s wildly important to discover yourself, absolutely, to find out what you love and like and hate and need (thus, this list!). But to think that you can’t love yourself for exactly what you do, where you are, and for exactly who you are? That’s just wrong. You’re created to be you, you’re where you are for a reason, and you’re going places you can’t even fathom. Stop searching and embrace! Being yourself and allowing others the same grace is your measure of strength.

#13. Nothing cleans like good ol’ fashioned bleach and ammonia. However, never everEVER should you mix the two together. Unless you’re not yet 30 and are very careful…so that you can put it on your list. Or my daughters. DAUGHTERS JUST TRUST ME.

#14. Speaking of THOSE; you’ll never ever love anything like your own child. Out of NOWHERE, you’ll stand in front of a charging grizzly, face your biggest fears to show them not to be afraid, and let something that’s less than three feet tall completely dominate your emotions, goals, time and relationships.

#15. Vacuum JUST to see the tracks in your carpet. It’s a cheap thrill nobody can take from you.

#16. Dishes can wait ’til morning. There’s no shame in swiping those counters clean and putting the rest off until you don’t have snuggling, DVRing after bedtime, or other MUCH more important things to not waste.

#17. Be proud of your opinion, stand strong in your faith, but be open minded and open hearted to those opposed. Peace isn’t found in the heart of conflict, but compromise.

#18. Go to bed angry, for the love of everything. Not for like…30 years, but a few days? We all have steam that needs to burn off. Don’t be hasty to fix something that isn’t as broken as your anger is convincing you it is.

#19. Learn to drive. Learn to drive a manual transmission. The hustle and bustle and high pressures to Get Places in this world have me astounded that there are so many that can’t do either. WHAT IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY AND YOU HAVE NOTHING BUT A MANUAL PICKUP TO DRIVE ME TO A HOSPITAL IN? That, and it’s wildly empowering to grab gears, I’ll have you know.

#20. I have a real life fear of small, confined places. I’ve got 30+ FBI academy graduates that can attest to this fact, discovered in a packed elevator hundreds of floors up, right daddy? I think they call it public suffocation or something like that.

#21. I’m under complete belief that there are few things that can’t be cured holistically, and should always be a first choice. Western medicine saves lives, but can also be a terrifying crutch.

#22. Nothing is worth taking your own life for. I’ve lost too many, and I hereby volunteer to talk anybody off of that cliff. </3

#23. Friendships aren't to be taken for granted. The people that you bond with soul deep should be treasured this is the last day we've got together. You'll regret those burned bridges, they'll haunt you someday.

#24. Cry those tears, hug back on those hugs. Even the toughest people need to express themselves. Feeling needy, selfish, overwhelmed, broken, sad are all things that make you stronger. Punching them all down and pretending like you're tougher than any it just hurts more.

#25. It'd be a betrayal to myself to not include my most favorite "remember this, self” quote in this list:
“Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes.” —Jack Kornfield

#26. Be nice to farmers. Educate yourself on agriculture. It took me finding something that did it for a living to make this such a priority, but we all should. We can’t live without food, or even knowledge of it.

#27. Don’t wait until November to be thankful.

#28. I sort of believe that everyone should experience some sort of hot affair in their life. FINE PRINT THAT AIN’T SO FINE: “Affair” doesn’t mean “cheat”. If you’re already married (or practically), I am NOT giving you a reason or excuse to cheat in any way, or justifying those that do. But I can tell you, without shame (this part is a new development, PS.), that I learned more from one poor choice than from anything else in my 20s. What I’m trying to ungracefully say, is poor choices should lead to good lessons, not regrets. Don’t intentionally make poor choices.

#29. I am obviously, unabashedly (I really like that word.), ruggedly, less than graceful. Thus, point #28, the name of this entire blog’osphere, and my photography page.

#30. If you’re already late to work, you’re not so late that you can’t treat yourself to coffee. Slow down. It’s never too late, or early in the day to start over.

Yours Truly,


7 thoughts on “An unabashed 30 By 30

  1. I love, love, love #18 and am so happy to hear I’m not the only one that thinks that’s acceptable! Thank you for compiling this accurate list of truths. And also for including the very quote I needed to hear today…#25 may have just changed my life.

  2. It has been my pleasure to watch you grow into a strong,independent,career woman and mother.
    I remember before you had your girls….and to see you now, through your pictures and writings, it makes me smile to see such awesome insight and passion for life. I’m so very proud of the woman you’ve become, I know your parents are just more than proud too.
    Keep doing what you do, keep keeping it all in perspective…I can’t wait to see what your 30’s hold in store for you.
    Much love to ya…

    • I always sort of reflect on how we met and how astounding it is that we’ve never actually met! Thank you, always, for your fresh perspective, your encouragement, and your inspiration! Hug my favorite paint!

  3. Hi there! My name is Heather and I wanted to know if you could answer my question I have about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com 🙂

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