30 Goals Before 30 Years Old

I recently read a post about a woman who recently turned 30 years old and was very enthusiastic about the new decade in her life. She wrote a post about 40 things she wanted to accomplish in 10 years before her 40th birthday.

Since we have moved, I have been wanting to try new things and discover more about myself and this has been a bit overwhelming. So when I saw her list I was pretty excited myself! I have 6 more years until I am 30 and figured that setting some goals could help me to be on track for this new stage of life and self-discovery. Putting things into writing helps keep me accountable and on track for goals, so here we are.

Here are my 30 before 30.

30 Before 30

  1. Go snorkeling.
  2. Visit Hawaii.
  3. Learn to surf.
  4. Make the perfect vegan mac & cheese.
  5. Go to Alaska.
  6. Go snowshoeing.
  7. Buy hiking boots.
  8. Find an organization and become a regular volunteer.
  9. Hike the Wonderland Trail in Mt. Rainier National Park.
  10. See a West Coast sunset.
  11. Host a cute, classy, Galentine’s brunch.
  12. Roast a whole turkey on Thanksgiving.
  13. Visit Thailand.
  14.  Go to Canlis in Seattle. (Fine dining)
  15. Get a tattoo from Tenderfoot Studio in Portland.
  16. Buy a house.
  17.  Find time to regularly have “creative time” for painting and writing. (once a week or every two weeks)
  18. Sell one painting.
  19. Go to PAX in cosplay.
  20. Find a job I enjoy.
  21. Renew my passport
  22. Go on a cruise.
  23. Go to Europe.
  24. Retake couples pictures.
  25. Dye my hair ombre/baylage.
  26. Hike up a mountain.
  27. Visit Portland.
  28. Write a creative short-story.
  29. Host a Friends-giving.
  30. Start composting regularly.

I may not blog about every single thing, but I will try to break down the goals by time. I have 3 more months in this year (2017) and there are some things I know I can finish by New Years.

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2017 Goals

  • See a West Coast sunset (#10)
  • Hike up a mountain (#26)
  • Make perfect vegan mac & cheese (#4)
  • Visit Portland (#27)

 

What do you think? Do you have goals for this decade? What about this year?

Much love. Much grace.

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To the Girl Who Feels Empty

I have been an empty person in the past.

I know that I can be an optimistic person, full of love and joy and seeking friendship… but it isn’t always like that. There have been times when life was hard. So hard. There were days that turned to weeks that turned to months that at one point even turned into a couple years where I felt numb to the core. Not because I desired to be that way, but because… well, I don’t really know why. I just know that at times there is such deep darkness that it feels impossible to imagine the light, let alone see it.

I keep journals, I always have. My journals are raw and embarrassing, and I don’t really like to share them with anyone.

So it’s hard for me to share this.

Sometimes sharing our past pains can help others, and even ourselves.

“I feel numb.

I can’t feel happiness or even sadness.

There’s nothing there. Not a care about anything. I’m just numb and empty.

I want help, but I don’t at the same time. I have gotten used to the loneliness that it somehow feels more like a friend than friends do.

Searching for things to fill the empty space in my chest… in my life. It’s just such a deep emptiness… can he fill it? Can this job? Can anything?

Praying to the empty sky for the numbness to ease into feeling, but to no avail.

Will I forever be empty and numb?”

Those words, those heartbreaking and somewhat tragic words are my own. At a time in my life when I was feeling so dark and alone, and I couldn’t seem to grasp onto anything. All the things I had or wanted were slipping by. For a while I tried to catch them all, but then I became used to the weird numbness that I felt.

I am sharing this with you today to let you know that I am a believer in Christ and I have suffered with emptiness. I have struggled with things you can’t imagine. Darkness and sadness and panic and fear and anger and so many things.

Life is not easy, and if anyone tells you that, they are lying.

But.

There is hope.

Even in the dark times when I couldn’t imagine love or light or even an emotion… There was hope for me. Even if I couldn’t feel that hope it was so there. I clung hard to that tiny, barely a sliver of hope. I clung so hard just waiting to make it to the end of the emptiness. Praying and waiting and hoping and clinging with every part of my being.

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Eventually the feeling did come back. Such a force of emotion I had not felt in so long washed over me and I felt compassion and love and joy and sadness. It took a couple of years, but it came.

And there it was.

The light. The hope shining brighter than ever. The grace and mercy I had longed for was there as it always had been in Jesus Christ.

We don’t always feel His love, but it is there in a major way.

It is there for you too. You who struggle with depression or whatever your darkness is now. That tiny speck of light that you try to see and cling to is there. Even if you don’t see it yet.

Life may get worse before it gets better, but there are bright days ahead; even if it doesn’t feel like there will be. I know this for a fact.

Much love. Much grace.

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The Year of 24

I had so many goals for when I turned 23 last year.

It is a tradition for me to make fun little goals for myself each year on my birthday to try new things or do more of what I enjoy. This year, I accomplished some but not all my goals could be scratched off the list.

This year I want to set different types of goals.

I want to set more meaningful goals.

I am continually growing in my goal setting because not only would I like to actually accomplish goals, but I also want these goals to bring me closer to a larger goal. Whether the goal is to be healthier, gain traction in my career, or find a way for my dreams to take shape, all of these larger goals need smaller more reachable goals. So this year I am setting realistic “themed” goals for myself.

Professional

  • Become more creative in my teaching.
  • Be more knowledgable in my content area.

Personal

  • Let go of anger.
  • Try not to expect perfection.
  • Be the hands and feet of Christ.

Physical

  • Take my vitamins when I need to (like an ADULT)
  • Drink more water (like an ADULT)

 

I am excited for what this year will bring for me and for my family. We have some exciting adventures ahead and I can’t wait to see how they all turn out!

Bring it on 24!

Much love. Much grace.

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How Interviewing for Jobs Helped Me Gain Confidence

It’s hard out there, guys. I mean I’ve read articles and studies and a bunch of other stuff about how hard it is to get a job out there in the “real world”, especially for Millennials just graduating from college. (I mean, a graduate needs a four-year degree and five years of experience for an entry level job now… Literally impossible.) It’s pretty brutal. It’s less brutal if you know what you want to do with your life and you have the ability to relocate, but still very tough to beat out people for a job and not just huddle in a corner and cry. #realLife

It’s been nine months since I graduated with my BS degree and for about four months I was actively looking for a job. I now have a job that I am really enjoying, but the job search took a bit of a toll on my self-esteem and confidence there for a bit. However, this experience has been enlightening and encouraging in many different ways.

Now, in November of last year I talked about some of the fears I had and that I was still working on overcoming them. This experience has helped speed along that process in a major way, really getting down to the grit of specific fears I have.

Fear of Judgement

I hate knowing that people are constantly making first impressions of others and the idea of taking tests to determine my knowledge or skill at something makes my stomach hurt. I hate being judged. I hate being put on a number scale to determine my worth, because to me I don’t believe it is an accurate depiction of who I am.

Imperfection

I want to be good at everything; and by that I mean that I want to do everything perfectly. If I am doing something I want every detail to be aligned and displayed in a creative and fun way, and if it isn’t I tend to beat myself up about it.

Not Being Enough

It was hard going into job interviews and not getting a job.  I had flaws that the future employer could not overcome, so they choose someone else. Mostly those flaws were experience related, but it’s very hard not to take each rejection personally.

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After each rejection, I noticed that my fears began to shrink. After each rejection I would grieve for a moment but then I would try to prepare for the next interview. Then, I started to list out good qualities about my professional self and memorizing them for interviews. I even carried them around on a piece of paper at one point so I could add more when I thought of them. I also started asking others what good qualities they saw in me so that I could add them to the list to tell future employers. This strategy helped me not just get a job, but be confident in my new stage of adulting. The career stage.

So, if you are out there searching and trying and maybe crying a little during a job search, just know you have many qualities to offer. So many, that I bet you could make a long list of them. 😉

Much love. Much grace.

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Heartache and Heartbreak 

​The election is over. After a year and a half, America has decided that the best person for POTUS is Trump. 

I cried last night.

I cried this morning.

 I cried when I got home from work. 

 Not just because Trump has said horrible things about Muslims, Mexicans, or women; but because this is the person people wanted to hold the highest title in our country. 

My heart aches. My mind, body, and soul are heavy and burdened. 

People want this. So many people. And not just any people… but my people. People I love.  People who taught me right from wrong. People who told me to be kind, compassionate, and to love others, no matter what. These people have actively chosen a man who defies each of these qualities.

 At a time such as this. .. it feels so hopeless. Our country struggles with hating so many people. How can we heal? Are there any people who actually want to heal? People who desire to love? It feels like there aren’t.  It feels like hope is gone. 

But you know what? It’s not. There ARE people who are kind and loving and who actually follow Christ. There ARE people who once finished grieving,  will get up and fight for what is right. There ARE people who will fight for equal pay and rights for all. I know this because there are so many of you who feel the weight of this decision as I do. You know that hate and fear don’t win in the very end, and that love has already trumped hate. You know that while the world seems so dark and full of spite,  there are some willing to carry on and sweat for progress. 

Today is yours.  Tomorrow will be too. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to turn off your phone to journal, do yoga, and just shed tears for what has happened. These next few days are yours to work with… to process how this happened and why. Take some time think through it all, and know you aren’t alone. There are many who feel the same.  For now my sweet friends, feel the heartbreak and work through your thoughts; for when you reach the end of grief, our work towards a better future truly begins. 
Much love. Much grace