Thirty, flirty, and just about hanging in there

I started this blog in 2012, just before another milestone birthday (my 21st). I’d shadowed an Ithaca College and Park Scholar alum at work on a trip to New York City and one of his colleagues had recommended I start a blog as a good source of writing samples to show potential journalism employers. I immediately jumped at the idea.

I’d already had years of blogging experience on various platforms (xanga, blogspot, livejournal, and tumblr) by that point, but I wanted to have a little spot on the internet to call my own. This was back when a lucky few were able to turn blogging into a full-time living before it all moved to Instagram (I’m not knocking influencers; I just don’t have the fashion sense or budget), but I was never interested in that.

I just wanted a place to write without the constraints of an academic essay or the AP Stylebook (as much as I dearly love both). I had lofty goals: at least one blog post a week (something I still have yet to achieve in any year so far; perhaps 2021 will finally be the year). The journalism didn’t stick, but the blog did.

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To-do list: now ’til Tuesday?

It seems like every birthday is a milestone birthday for some reason or other. There are the obvious ones like 18 (adult), 21 (drinking), 30 (flirty and thriving, as the Jennifer Garner movie taught us), 40 (over the hill), and so on, but then there are the lesser known milestones like 27 (“will I become a rock star and die this year, joining the infamous 27 club?”) and 80 (retirement? maybe?).

Age 25 is something in between. It doesn’t really come with any new responsibilities or perks (except for not having to pay a shitload extra for car rentals, which as I’m renting a car next weekend I guess is a perk) but a “quarter of a century” does sound pretty cool.

Also, being the aforementioned quarter of 100, 25 is a favoured number for lists, bigger than 10 but not quite the commitment of 50. While “30 Things to Do Before You Turn 30” seems to be the most popular age-related list, there’s no shortage of “25 Things to Do Before You Turn 25” advice. Since I hit that “start your quarter-life crisis” milestone in less than a week, I decided to take a look at four of those lists (100 items total) and see if I’m on track.


Thought Catalog: 25 Things Every Woman Should Have Before She Turns 25

My score: 18/25

According to TC, that bastion of cluelessly privileged,, pseudo-profound lists like this one, I’m doing pretty well. Okay, so I have way too many numbers in my phone because I’m a hoarder of all-things digital and I can’t access Plan B on a moment’s notice (has this writer not heard of the pill?). But I can cook, I have a passport, and I call my mom frequently. So great, it sounds like this list is basically “are you an adult, more or less?” and it looks like, more or less, I am.


SugarScape: 25 books every girl should read before they turn 25

My score: 13/25

Not so great on this one, although a few are high on my to-read list (my boyfriend bought me a copy of #Girlboss for Christmas, so there’s a good chance I might actually up that number to 14 if I finish the third book in J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series in the next few days). However, while there are some favourites on the list (Harry Potter, Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?) and a few I think should absolutely be required reading for women (Play it as it LaysThe Handmaid’s Tale), there are also a few I didn’t enjoy at all (Jane EyreThe Lovely Bones), so it’s possible this just isn’t a good list for me from which to take my life’s guidance.


Hello Giggles: 25 Habits To Break Before Age 25

My score: 10/25

This is my worst score of the four, but you know what? I don’t feel bad about it. I’m not sure why the author thinks some of these habits need to be broken. Yeah, I’ll  use my credit card on a $2 bottle of water but I track my spending and I’m pretty good about sticking to my budgets. And I don’t enjoy talking on the phone, so I definitely don’t find it more meaningful than texting. Also, why was stealing one of the author’s habits to begin with? I will say I could do with breaking the “going to the grocery store while hungry” habit, though.


Buzfeed: 25 Movies You Have to See Before You Turn 25

My score: 15.5/25

(The 0.5 is because I’ve read the book Persepolis although I haven’t seen the film)

While I’m not sure why some of the films on this list need to be seen specifically before you turn 25, like North by Northwest and Requiem for a Dream  (unless you need a big wake-up call regarding your drug use?) but all of the films I’ve seen on this list are great and there’s a few that look interesting. Maybe I can squeeze a few more in between now and Tuesday.


Total score: 56.5/100

According to these lists I’m not doing so hot. I’ve done a lot in the last 25 years, and since I won’t spend any of the next 25 being a baby, a toddler, or (ugh) a preteen, I expect I’ll accomplish a lot more in the next 25. And since, again, I haven’t had to spend any of the last quarter-century breaking a stealing or a drug habit, I’ve got a feeling I’ll manage just fine. Anyway, there are always the “30 Before You’re 30” lists to measure up against in another… well, let’s not think about how many years or my quarter-life crisis will start a few days early.

Let’s try this again, shall we?

A few years ago my best friend and I decided to take the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. Fairly self-explanatory: you write a list of 101 things and then you have 1001 days to accomplish them. Needless to say, we did not manage to do all 101 and we were even worse about updating our blog with our progress (one of the 101 things, as it happens).

But I’m 23 today and maybe I’m under the spell of birthdays or still under the spell of New Year’s Resolutions, so I’ve decided I’m giving it another go.

My 101 Things list is pretty broad, with goals about fitness, food, travel, fashion, books, and so on. Some will be quite easy—host a dinner party, find a perfume I like—while others require a lot more effort, such as climbing a mountain or finishing writing a novel. A few are already in progress (namely, I took my first belly dance course last week, so much fun!), some need to be done immediately (write a letter on day 1 to be read on day 1001, to be written once I’m finished with this blog post), and some are for far in the future (I don’t plan on visiting 30 cities for the first time or writing my thesis in the next few weeks, anyway). But they’ll hopefully all be finished by October 16, 2016. Although I didn’t make it a goal to update a blog with my progress this time around, I probably will occasionally anyway, so wish me luck!

Here are a few of the goals I’m hoping to complete:

Continue reading “Let’s try this again, shall we?”