My anti-bucket list after 30 years

My 30th birthday is exactly a week from today. It feels weird to type out “30” instead of a number that starts with 2; how am I entering a new decade already?! How are my 20s done? On the flip side, I’m not the same person that I was when I was 20 in many ways, and I’m not sure I’d want to go back to the beginning. I went through college, grad school, and joining the real world all in this decade. I experienced many personal achievements. I dated, like anyone else in their 20s. And while I didn’t put together a 30 before 30 bucket list, I thought I would look back at the things I have done so far in my first 30 years of life, so here we have: the anti-bucket list. (Nicole used to write these lists at the end of every year and inspired me to write my own.)

  • Survived my childhood with three younger brothers ;)

  • Played the viola in elementary school

  • Played soccer, track, basketball, and volleyball and played a year of volleyball in high school

  • Got into hunter/jumper horseback riding and competing at horse shows

  • Took three years of Japanese in high school

  • Graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Ph.D.

  • Studied abroad in Italy

  • Participated in a NASA internship and flew on a research aircraft

  • Adopted two cats—Rosie in 2011 and then Sybil in 2013

  • Traveled to Vienna, Austria, spontaneously to visit a friend from high school

  • Lived in Utah for five years

  • Attended two Sundance Film Festivals

  • Published three academic, peer-reviewed journal articles (all as first author)

  • Attended 41 concerts (Taylor Swift 5x; Matt Nathanson and Lady Antebellum 4x each; Kacey Musgraves, Young the Giant, and Kelsea Ballerini 3x each)

  • Met some of my favorite singers/celebrities (Kacey Musgraves, Matt Nathanson, Kelsea Ballerini, OneRepublic, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, and Katy Perry and Paramore at Warped Tour circa 2007-2008)

  • Landed a job out of grad school in a related field

  • Visited 24 states (+ drove through DC)

  • Visited four countries (Canada, Italy, Austria, and Mexico)

  • Witnessed a total solar eclipse

  • Blogged for six years so far

  • Received many blog-related opportunities and partnerships

I’m excited to see what’s to come over the next 30 years! :) Hopefully I’ll be retired by then, haha. (Kinda weird to think about…) Thank you so much for reading and for being a part of my journey! xo