Friday, May 3, 2019

{29 things i've learned in 29 years}

I absolutely love celebrating my birthday... it's an excuse to get all of my friends together and go do something fun! But for some reason this year I was kind of dreading it. My birthday truly snuck up on me and I began dreading the number twenty-nine.

I'll probably look back on that previous statement and laugh at how silly that sounds. But 29 sounds old to me. I don't feel that age - I feel like I'm still 26 and have so much more to learn, see, do experience. I tried to think of ways that I could stop dreading this new age (and it's not because I'm afraid of eventually turning 30, for the record) and embrace the life I've been lucky to experience. With every passing year in my late 20's I've had pretty large life experiences happen: living alone, losing my dad, friendships ending, work experiences, heartbreak, falling in love, Kyle being deployed, etc. In fact, we've all had these huge life moments that come and go and we never look back on them to realize what we took away from those experiences.

So today, I'm going to celebrate 29 things that I've learned and taken away from my life. Big or small...
  1. Having no polish on your nails is better than a chipped manicure - especially if you're presenting at a meeting.
  2. Always wear sunscreen - after a skin cancer scare last year that left me with a big scar on my back I will never go a day without. I was always good about it but I now see a dermatologist every 3 months because some people are more prone (hello freckled arms)!
  3. Don't be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. You will only wish you had said the things you didn't say.
  4. Put lotion on your hands every night and it will help keep the thin skin on the tops of your hands looking young! (I learned this from my mom who just turned 60 and she has the hands of a 30 year old I swear)
  5. Invest in good running shoes. Arch support does wonders for your knees.
  6. Learn how to cook a really good meal that you can prepare in a pinch for company or to impress a date. Something with easy, simple ingredients instead of ordering take out.
  7. Know the difference between there, their, and they're.
  8. Allow yourself to fall in love deeply. Don't regret putting it all on the line because you never know what may come out of it. Be honest and open and learn to communicate. Kyle and I met on December 1st, a week later he asked me to go to Charleston with him alone and rent a boat for New Years. I said yes and my friends thought I was crazy - best decision I have ever made. We spent a week together and now we both admit that it's what solidified us.
  9. Workout. Exercise. Run. Move your body!!
  10. Listen to your parents. Ask them about their childhood, write down their stories, and soak in your family history. On that note, take photos with them. I have such few photos from the last couple of months my Dad was alive. Granted, it was hard to see him sick and frail but all the time I got to spend with him was still just as valuable - I wish I had more photos.
  11. Send cards and notes - that's something I'm working on doing more. My good friend Elise sends little notes all the time and it instantly brightens my day.
  12. Have one dress in your closet that you can put on no matter the day or season that makes you feel like you can take on the world.
  13. Go to as many museums as you can and educate yourself on the different people and cultures that make up this world. Stop closing yourself off to what's happening around us.
  14. If you have a dream, just do it. I always say "don't talk about it, be about it". I talked about starting a blog for years!! 5 years ago I finally did... crazy to think how far this little page has come.
  15. Make time to read. Soak up all that knowledge and allow yourself to escape from reality.
  16. Have an emergency savings account. Enough to cover your rent, student loans, and bills for a month minimum.
  17. Travel. I never regret a single penny that I spent traveling by myself or with friends.
  18. You will get your heart broken. I had an 8 year relationship end via a phone call on my lunch break. I've never felt pain like that - but cry, call your mom, cry more, and then move on. "A person who values you will never put themselves in a position to lose you." Heartbreak is God's way of opening up your life to something so much more.
  19. Dance. Dance in the street. Dance in your bedroom. Dance because the pasta is delicious.
  20. Take vitamins and take care of your gut health - you may not notice an immediate difference but when you get older (older than 29 haha) you'll feel and look younger always!
  21. Cut back on the drinking. I'm not saying stop all together, I just mean you don't need to be drinking every single night like you're still in college... 
  22. Learn to love time alone. Go to a movie and dinner by yourself. Treat yourself to a facial. Walk around the city for hours just watching people. Have a picnic with a good book. Just be at peace with yourself.
  23. Tell your friends you love them. Most times they will be your family.
  24. Stand up for yourself - I've let people walk all over me and it's something that I always look back on and regret. Life is way too damn short to have any regrets.
  25. Let the toxic friendships go. Even if they aren't toxic; it takes two people to keep a friendship going. If the other person isn't taking time to talk to you, invest in your life, know what's going on... then it's one sided and you should be putting your energy towards people that are genuinely interested in you. Recognize when you're that person too.
  26. Get out and enjoy nature more - it's so good for the soul.
  27. Eat your vegetables. How silly does that sound? But after really learning to fuel my body with dense nutrition for the past year (thanks Isagenix!) I've seen how much more energy I can have after eating better constantly.
  28. Teach yourself how to do basic things early on: wash & fold laundry, make pasta, change a tire, file your taxes, take public transportation, fold a fitted sheet, etc. These simple things will genuinely make your life easier.
  29. Nobody can be you except for YOU. This is something I've had to really work on the past 2 weeks. Competition and comparison has been all around me and it put me in a funk. My friend Katie reminded me "only Jenn Rog can be Jenn Rog"... and only you can be you. Celebrate your differences.

Happy May, my friends :) I'd love to know the biggest life lesson you'd tell your younger self or want to remind yourself of now!! XOXO

Love Always,

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