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3 Years til' 30: The Space Between Where I Am & Where I Want to Be

Holy shit. Has there ever been a more daunting thing to type than that title? I'm probably being dramatic but I'm having flashbacks to being 16 and thinking your 20's was old and now I'm like har har, you silly wee fool, being twenty seven is old. Again - I'm being dramatic. Of course 27 isn't old but boy oh boy, it is scary to think that as of today, I'm only 3 years away from 30. For the last couple of years on NB, I've shared a couple of lighthearted posts about getting that one year older and I'm not one for breaking tradition. But I apologise now for today's offering not starting off quite so lighthearted; it is a more cynical, anxious look at my life thus far and why I - like many others - set a bar that we constantly move for ourselves making it consistently unattainable. But don't fret, I will also be sharing 30 things I'd like to achieve in the next 3 years to set myself some actually attainable goals and make sure I live my life to the fullest, with only myself to impress or prove wrong.

By the age of 25, I thought I'd be married and have at least one kid. That seemed like a good age for everything to have fallen into place yet here I am, 27, not remotely married, and certainly nowhere close to having at least one kid (or even a sparkle in my eye towards the creation of one). I joked in my post celebrating turning 25 that people would start asking the "Got married yet? Bought a house yet? Have you heard the pitter patter of tiny feet yet?!" questions that fill most of us with dread, but it genuinely does happen. Not only do we put ourselves under unnecessary pressures to 'accomplish' certain things by a certain milestone, but it seems that it is all linked to outside influencers too. One thing I am learning though is that this pressure, whilst I still seemingly let it get to me at times, isn't a true reflection of me and my happiness at this moment in time. I think I'm growing up in a generation that are looking for that instant gratification and it's fuelled by the skewed view social media gives us of other individuals. How many times have you sat there and compared yourself to that girl who didn't like you at school who has just bought a house and is expecting her first child or that blogger who has the same amount of followers and engagement as you do, yet they're currently jetting off on a free trip to a different country for a blogging opportunity? We do it all the damn time and unfortunately, I think it's part-and-parcel of being in the *millennial era*.

Enough of this doom and gloom though - it is my birthday after all! I always see my birthdays as an opportunity to reflect on the past year and also set some goals for myself so this year has been no different. So to let you guys in to the fold, here's 30 things I'd like to achieve before 30 (some of which are just things to work on rather than this "bucket list" sort of thing) and I have a grand old 3 years to achieve them all:

1. I want to continue to work on not saying sorry all the goddamn time. I've already stopped doing this in some aspects of my life, but it would be wonderful if I could stop it completely. I should not be sorry for being myself.

2. I will go on holiday alone at least once.

3. Minimalism isn't a lifestyle for me, but I do want to minimise and cut down in every aspect of my life - my makeup and skincare collections, my clothes, my books, my stationery etc.

4. Go to gigs a hell of a lot more - like I'm talking at least once every 2 months more. This isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it is a lot more than I currently attend so I want to change that.

5. Go glamping somewhere in the UK. No, really.

6. Take a trip to Edinburgh.

7. Go on a long weekend camping trip alone.

8. Spend more time exploring my local nature spots - I'm looking at you, New Forest.

9. Join a kayaking club.

10. I have 25 tattoos on my "to get" list. Let's get that down to 15 in the next 3 years if we can, team.

11. Start a masters and gain my postgraduate in a subject I actually enjoy.

12. Spend time studying a trade - gas and electric particularly (yes, I did actually want to study these at college but parental pressure pushed me into A-Levels instead).

13. Try my hand at vlogging.

14. Podcasts too - why the hell not.

15. Take a pottery making class or 30.

16. Completely switch out dairy for dairy alternatives.

17. Be happy and content within my home (wherever and whatever that ends up being).

18. Be happy and content within myself and mental health.

19. Spend at least one day of each weekend doing something worthwhile. That could be creating, crafting, photographing, studying, writing, or getting outside and exploring. Anything and everything as long as it makes me feel good and fulfilled.

20. Try to find a way to actually enjoy eating avocados because I know I know, they're good for you but *mate*, they taste rank.

21. Get a goddamn dog.

22. Play ukulele at an open mic night.

23. Read my poetry at an open mic night.

24. Spend more time with family. This has been a difficult one over the last 5 years as I moved to the other end of the country, but I've got the opportunity to change the lack of family time into "too much family time" and I need to grab that chance with both hands now.

25. Do a "photo a day" challenge for a whole year with my film camera.

26. Make sure my little brother has a perfect 18th birthday party. Holy shit I want to cry writing that.

27. Become as zero waste as possible.

28. Learn how to propagate succulents.

29. Get at least one of my archaeological pieces published.

30. Find the inner strength and determination to rely on just myself to make my own happiness. When I say hello to 30, I want to do it knowing I'm not relying on or seeking out others to fill the happiness void, I want to be happy and it to be because of myself - everyone and anyone else is a bonus. I want to put myself first more not in a selfish context, but more in a "I deserve to be happy" context because boy oh boy am I notorious for just going along with anything and everything to keep everyone else happy and I struggle to stay afloat that way.

Most of the things I've just listed aren't strictly measurable, but they are all valid and all things I want to work on to some degree. They are also things that I'm fully aware will possibly and probably change over the next 3 years as circumstances and mindsets change and grow, but ultimately I want to continue to work on being a happy individual, feeling fulfilled, at peace with myself and others, and also minimising the negative impact I have on the world and maximising the positive. If I had 27 candles right now, you betcha I'd be popping 27 of these goals on them as wishes to come true.

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