30 things you should do before 30.

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In no random order, here are actions that I'm glad that I took before I turned 30. Because right now, it's baby-making time and I'm told that I'll be glued a bit more to the home base. (Not that I mind that. God, if you know me, I don't mind that at all.)

1. Backpack Europe. Or Latin America. Or just travel somewhere you've always wanted to go, or somewhere you've never seen (outside of where you live).

2. And in that token, live somewhere else for awhile--separate from where you backpacked or traveled--and preferably somewhere that you've always wanted to live.

3. Do something you love (for me, it's writing) and don't be afraid to show off that passion (for me, my blog and articles--terrifying to share; satisfying to get out of my head!).

4. Fail. Fail again. And fail some more. It's in that failure where you distinguish your strengths and weaknesses which will teach you how to grow as an adult. Your strengths will always make you confident, but don't forget to embrace your weaknesses; they're a part of who you are. Fail in your career. Fail in your relationships. Just learn to accept that failure is one of the best parts of life.

5. Experiment in a new state of philosophy. If you're an atheist, consider why people are spiritual or religious. If you're spiritual or religious, consider why some people are atheist. Don't try to be so one-sided and hard on others.

6. Be smart about drugs. But smoke weed at least once. Stay away from hard drugs though!; we all know they can do much harm than good.

7. Embrace that you won't recognize yourself from 20 to 25 to 30, and that--oh my--there's a pattern to that. Accept that you'll change, and others do and will, too. Love them--and yourself--for growing into whomever they are or want to be.

8. Don't be afraid to speak up against an unpopular belief or act upon an unpopular belief. It's in that where you'll gain respect. Most of all you'll gain respect form yourself for doing that. (Unless it's a Jeffrey Dahmer thing. Then calm down there. You're a sociopath.)

9. Bend a moral belief that you once believed so devoutly in. Look in the mirror and don't recognize yourself. And then start to realize this is who you actually are, and love that person for being so-called bent.

10. Read a book you love more than 10 times. Watch a movie you love more than 10 times. Listen to a playlist or album until you become ridiculously sick of it.

11. Master the art of giving yourself an orgasm. Sex is so much better when you know your body, so you can teach others (like your significant other) what works for you. And vice versa. You honestly need sex for a healthy marriage/relationship. It definitely gets better over time, especially if you actively communicate.

12. Bite your tongue more often and rise above your friggin' ego--especially if you know your gut is telling your something. Learn how to be quiet and when to speak up. And when in doubt, just be quiet and observe. If you're uncomfortable, allow yourself to be uncomfortable.

13. Date someone who is the complete opposite of your "type" and take the date seriously. Who knows? They might just fit.

14. Apologize when you're wrong. Not I-cut-you-off-on-the-road wrong, but rather I-know-that-I-did-a-very-morally-horrible-action wrong. You typically know to apologize when there's this lingering guilt about something or someone.

15. Be proud to have a relationship with both of your parents. And if you don't have a relationship with a parent or your parents out of spite (maybe a grudge you're holding or vice versa) make a compromise to rise above and just love that person for who they are. They tried the best they could with what they had; no matter how much you tell yourself that they didn't.

16. Friendships change. People grow. Or stay the same. Nurture the ones that matter, and weed out the ones who don't know that friendships are a two-way street.

17. Get slurry-language, dirty dancing, obnoxiously drunk. So drunk that a hilarious story is told that you cannot even remember. Don't make this a pattern, but have funnnn.

18. Meet your favorite celebrity, band, whatever. Travel across the world to pull a nerdgasm for that person, show, whatever.

19. Tell someone off to their face in a kind and honest way. Avoid the cell phone. Avoid chat. Avoid anything digital. If someone wronged you have the guts to look them in the eye and tell them. They deserve that.

20. Recover from depression. You'll have it once in your life. Just be sure to lift yourself out of it. It can be tough in the fog, but that's all it is--a fog.

21. Date before you marry. There's a difference between one-night stands (I never had them, but I don't judge; just use protection and be safe), but date! Find out what personalities work for you.

22. Don't be so hard on yourself. For instance, I've had a DUI. I was in such deep shame about this because it went against the standards that I had about myself. But when I started telling others, so many people came out of the wood works with this. Not that it's something to necessarily brag about, but it taught me not to be so hard on myself. Neither should you.

23. Have a public breakdown. Heave and cry in public. Yell at a random person even if it's not about them. Lose it for the sake of recovering.

24. Get fit. Get healthy. In the same token, get fat. Eat unhealthy. Enjoy being on both sides of the body coin. You're hot anyway. It's all about attitude.

25. Learn how to budget. Seriously: Map out your finances and plan ahead for smart spending. Life will be much easier when you have an idea of what's in your bank account and how you want to spend it in the future.

26. Stop borrowing money from your parents. Or staying at your parents' house. Even if you're "saving up for money" or whatever excuse you tell yourself. Teach yourself how to be an adult and set the standard that your parents clearly aren't setting for you. No, they don't have to pay your phone bill at 23. No, you don't have to live with your parents at 25. No, they don't have to buy you clothes because they just want to do so. Set the standards for adulthood that your parents can't do because they love you. You can do this! And once you do it, they'll have so much respect for you. But most importantly, you'll have respect for yourself.

27. Volunteer. Realize there's someone else on the planet other than yourself. Find something you love and volunteer. If you love puppies and kitties, what about the Humane Society? If you love children, why not tutor after school? Books? Your local library or bookstore. And so on and so forth until the end of time!

28. Meditate. Sure, this is new age hippie stuff. Or if you're a conservative, what about Maslow's hierarchy of needs? At the bottom of the chain, our needs are food, shelter, and clothing. At the top of the chain is self-actualization. Find time to calm your brain and break away from the daily routine to just. have. silence.

29. Invest in the people who invest in you. You'll wear yourself thin and wonder, "Why did I do [insert kind action here] for that person when they treated me so meh-like?" Just be yourself. You'll attract the people who really matter.

30. Take a digital diet. Promise yourself a weekend of turning off the phone, the computer, not checking social media, not driving anywhere, and not watching any movies. Just take a weekend to pick up a book, master a craft, go for a hike, cook yourself dinner, or whatever... See how you feel once you realize how much technology rules your life.

If you're over 30, what thoughts do you have? What would you add to the list? If you're in your 20s, what did I miss? Tell, tell!


Tattoos last forever. How should I make mine count?

What would I do without my "thirties." Pinterest board?

I've been trying to do the things that I've always wanted to do before Adam and I start to have children. Getting another tattoo (and more throughout my thirties) is definitely one to check off the bucket list.

My sister Meghan--a very Meghan person--has decided to get a tattoo with me since it's something she's always wanted to do. On Friday, we're headed off to Fifth Estate Tattoo (where I got my first tattoo) to get this show on the roadddd.

Funny side story: Meghan asked, "Do we need to be drunk to do this?" And I mentioned that it's illegal for tattoo artists to perform their art on inebriated people. She said, "Oh, very cool then. That's big of them. Okay, good: I am in."

Did Meg do her research? Is there still a stereotype behind people tattoo artists and people who get tattoos? I couldn't help but laugh that my 38-year-old sister has this idea similar to policemen with donuts or Irish people are depressive drunks. 

Anyway: I need your help. I'm submitting my design tomorrow. Which of the two designs below do you like best?

Waves. I'm a water gal; an emotional person--up-and-down. 

For the most part, I like the design to the left and would want a version of this done, but tweak some stuff to make it my own design.

Placement: If I got this one, definitely on my left upper forearm. 

Crescent Moon. This is the one I'm leaning towards the most. I think I just like the simplicity of it and the placement as is. 

I'm such a hippie and moon child, and I would love something representative of my beliefs. 

Even though it's super simple, I think I'd like the January version (muh horoscope) to the right. My only worries is that with this placement, it would definitely stretch... It'd be an upkeep tattoo.

Placement: The upper left shoulder of my back, or the upper left forearm. Super into that right now.

What advice would you give to people who are first getting their tattoos? I want to pass this onto Meg!


He might like this.

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My favorite part of the weekend is waking up slowly. It's not a groggy rush where half-mumbles between Adam and I are met. Weekend mornings are sloth-like and long, and with this heat it feels even more so.

It's when Adam and I just giggle at our sleepiness and then wake up asking each other questions or telling each other the stories that we missed during the week at work. There's usually a soundtrack to it when we wake up.

We have mixes for everything: for cleaning, for driving 30 minutes to my Mom's, for the end of his teaching, for making dinner together, for our birthdays. Most songs on these mixes are random, but all of them have meaning because each song comes from some place in our heart.

Well, I haven't done an "ear calories" post in ages... Even though I make mixes a thousand times a week, but here's a mix for that lazy, sweaty summer--mostly geared for the mornings.

Adam's working overtime tonight, and this one's for the weekend:

He might like this.
1. Anyone's Ghost - The National
2. Girl in the War - Josh Ritter
3. Skeleton Key - Margot and the Nuclear So & So's
4. Cigarette Daydreams - Cage the Elephant
5. Dilly - Band of Horses
6. The Red Truth - Helios
7. Truth (Helios Remix) - Balmorhea
8. Dustism - This Will Destroy You
9. Human Qualities - Explosions in the Sky
10. Periphesense - Glowworm

Lately, I've been super obsessed with Balmorhea. Any song recommendations for a sleepy summer?