Monday, May 4, 2020

{turning 30 in quarantine}

I turned 30 during a global pandemic... wow, that feels weird to say!

This birthday wasn't what I expected it to be. I was supposed to be celebrating in Greensboro with one of my best friends while attending her baby shower. I was supposed to be on a sunset sail with all of my Key West people. And the following weekend I was supposed to have all of my best friends from college come and visit me during Songwriter's Festival.

But you know what? It's just one birthday. What my friends ended up giving to me and doing for me is a memory that I will hold on to for my entire life. They got all of my family and friends (from DC to Key West) to record a video wishing me happy birthday and send in photos to be compiled into one massive video!! Yes, I cried - it was a 23 minute video!!! They also dressed up as different versions of "Jenn" lol. It's funny how you think you know yourself well and then your college besties really hit it out of the park!

30 is just an age; one that I don't feel at all haha. I feel like I'm 25 (ironic because when I turned 29 last year I said I felt like I was 26 - guess I took an extra year off lol), my health is the best it's been, I'm with an incredible man, and I'm living on the most gorgeous island! Life has a funny way of spinning you around and throwing the most unexpected things at you. There will always be more work to do personally, emotionally, and mentally but I truly feel like I'm in a place where I'm meant to be - so content and genuinely happy.

Last year I shared 29 things that I've learned. I wanted to take a moment to make a list like that again... It was great to look back on and reference when things got tough or I lost my way!
So here are 30 things that I've learned:

1. Your "timeline" should NEVER be compared to someone else's. It is normal and okay to not be married and have kids at the age society tells you to.
2. Never apologize for your style or change it to fit in. If it makes you happy, rock it.
3. Find an exercise that makes you tick - even if it's just long walks
4. Branch out and make new friends. These new personalities and experiences can open new doors for you, even when you're 30!
5. Take more photos. Print them. Frame them.
6. If a friend doesn't invest their time in you, it's not always worth it to keep investing in them.
7. Make cleaning your house become a habit. Work it into your morning routine while making coffee or as part of your night time routine. When someone stops by to say hi, you'll never be embarrassed.
8. Learn to make your favorite coffee or tea at home. Saving money by not spending it at Starbucks every day will go far!
9. Invest in a skincare routine. By invest I mean invest time in your skin - it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg! But tone, cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.
10. Dance. All the time. Especially when you're happy and definitely when you're sad.
11. Don't sleep with your makeup on. When my day is over and I have nothing planned I take it off early in the night. Bonus points bc then it's a shorter amount of time to get ready for bed!
12. You're never too old to try something new, start a new career, start over, start a new hobby, etc!!
13. Drink more water... personal goal of mine!
14. Tell your friends you love them - never stop :)
15. Take time to visit your parents and grandparents! There are so many memories to be made.
16. Learn to be patient. It will take you far in life
17. It's okay to say no - you know yourself best and need to put yourself first in some situations. Don't be afraid of upsetting someone in the process. They will eventually understand.
18. If you think someone has been quiet or distant recently, reach out and ask them how things are going. Even if nothing is wrong it will make them feel loved that you thought of them.
19. Use lotion on the tops of your hands every night - it will keep them looking younger
20. You can never have too many face masks on hand. Keep them in your fridge so you can have a little spa moment spontaneously.
21. Say thank you - it can make someone's day better.
22. SAVE YOUR MONEY. I think we've all really learned recently that things can happen and it's scary. Have enough in a savings account that you can pay for 2 months rent plus bills minimum.
23. Learn how to do your taxes and then take the time to understand them - and pay that knowledge forward. This is something that needs to be talked about more IMO.
24. Date yourself. Know what you need, cater to it, listen to your body and heart. Love yourself!
25. Take those vitamins and that probiotic. You may not see it doing anything right now... but it's setting your future self up for success.
26. Ask questions, seek out answers, educate yourself, never stop learning.
27. Have a go-to cocktail that you can impress people with. Even if it's a G&T but you add a lime wedge on the rim!
28. Don't let guilt eat you up... give yourself some grace on the hard days.
29. Not everyone is going to like you. That's okay! Just make sure you like yourself and you can tackle anything that's sent your way
30. Don't be afraid of the future - MAKE THE MOVE. It could be the change you never knew you needed in your life.

If I have one thing I want to do with this year... dream more, dream bigger, dream harder!

Love Always,

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