Help Me Figure Out The 30 Things I Need To Do Before Turning 30

Just to clarify: I’m 29, and in 10 months I’ll be 30.

I have always looked forward to turning 30. I had this idea in my head that turning 30 would mean that I’d enter a totally different stage of my life. Like, all of a sudden I wouldn’t be so clumsy, and I’d have my shit together, basically.

But I was talking to a friend the other day about turning 30, and much like me, she’s right on the cusp of it. When I mentioned that I was excited for the change, she said, “Really? Because I think that turning 30 is going to be exactly the same, except I’ll be 30.”

The problem is, she had a point. My 30th is only 10 months away and, really, why would that age make my life drastically different?

Turning 30Much like any other birthday, the only thing that truly changes is your age. And yet, I can look back at 25, 26, 27, and 28, and remember if it was a good year, or a bad year. I’d really like to make 29 a good year. So good that by the time I’m 30 I really do feel different.

There are a lot of “30 things to do before you turn 30” lists out there, and they have suggestions like travel, volunteer, write a book, etc etc. All of those are great things to do, but realistically, I probably won’t be able to backpack through Europe, and I wouldn’t really want to, at this point in my life. My thing is this: I’d actually like to make a to do list of what I should accomplish before 30 that are actually accomplishable. A list of 30 things to do before you leave your 20s, basically.

With the help of E, I came up with some things that I’ve always personally wanted to do, and I think I could get done in the next 10 months:

  1. Eat an entire cheese pizza all by myself in one sitting. This has been a goal of mine ever since watching Curly Sue do it as a kid.
  2. Finish writing the musical I’ve been working on, and have it put up in New York.
  3. Go on a totally spontaneous, spur of the moment weekend trip.
  4. Learn how to make sushi! Which is also a bucket list item of mine.
  5. Read Anna Karenina 
  6. Go camping/glamping, because I’ve ever been.
  7. Spend a day at a weird food festival, and don’t feel guilty about not doing any work that day. (Maybe the LA Street Food Fest?)
  8. Watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Because I’ve actually never seen it.
  9. Learn Italian. Or rather, begin to learn Italian. So, maybe a goal of 200 Italian words in 10 months?
  10. For the next 10 months, have some kind of dinner party with friends once a month.
  11. Finish decorating and painting our new apartment so that it feels complete. (E said, “I feel like a few more rugs would really tie the place together!”)
  12. Beat E in a game of chess. He’s really good.

I’d like to get this list up to 30, and I’m curious if anyone has suggestions? If you’re already 30 or older, what are some things you would have liked to have done? And if you’re under 30, what are some cool and realistic goals I could set over the next 10 months to make me a more well-rounded person? Help me turn 30!

 

Blogging Is 20 Years Old, And Here’s A Vintage Post Of Mine To Celebrate

Did you know that blogging turned 20? It had a birthday. Which is kind of strange to think about. When I was 9, blogging started. And there are people younger than me who don’t even know what it’s like to live in a world without blogging. (Blasphemy!)

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that blogging changed my life. I started blogging in grad school, just on the side to build up a portfolio so that I could get freelance jobs and make extra money. And now I work at BuzzFeed, in large part thanks to my blogging jobs.

My first blog was called La Rosa Knows. I don’t know why I named it that, it just seemed appropriate, and it became a bit of an identity for me. People who knew me and my blog would say, LA ROSA KNOWS!, if I said something funny. It made me feel so proud of that blog, which started in 2009. I blogged about stuff I found funny, traveling through Utah to chase polygamists, and cats, of course.

Erin Circa 2010

This is a photo of me that I put on my blog in 2010. I was a big fan of selfies and the photobooth app.

Side of Ginger came about because I felt that I’d moved into a different phase of my life, and wanted to be able to reflect that through my blog. But in honor of blogging’s 20th birthday, I wanted to share an old post of mine from 2010. (I would’ve done one from 2009, but a lot of my old posts were eaten when I switched from blogger to Tumblr, sadly.)

So, without further ado: Here’s a post I wrote in 2010, when I briefly flirted with the idea of taking Spanish classes…

Beginner Level 1

I decided that since I have the summer off, and I “love to learn” that I would take some language classes to brush up on my skillz. First I called my mom to tell her about my idea, and she asked me what language I’d be focusing on. I threw out some ideas, “Well, I was thinking French or Italian because those are really hip…” to which my mother replied “Who do you know that you’ll be able to speak those with? People speak Spanish here. Take Spanish.” Obviously this was not the response I was looking for. I wanted her to say, “French, why, they speak that in France! You should move there for a year and eat baguettes and ride a bike and write novels while drinking wine!”

But the thing is, she had a point. I took Spanish all throughout middle and high school. When we went on a family trip to Barcelona I was the one who ended up ordering tapas at dinner and asking directions from the locals in their native tongue. That trip was three years ago. I now live in Los Angeles and plenty of people speak Spanish here. I’m from Florida, where most of the billboards and store clerks are purely conversing in Spanish at this point. I should know Spanish, and a brush up course would be helpful.

So, I put a call into the Beverly Hills Lingual Institute. A nice woman named Eva with a slight accent answered, and once I informed her that I had taken Spanish and was essentially not a beginner she proceeded to ask me some questions.

“How do you say ‘I have a dog’?”

“That would be ‘Yo tengo un perro.’”

“Very good, and how about ‘I left the book on the table.’”

“Oh, huh, well, okay now let’s see… I know the words for book ‘libro’ and table ‘la mesa’ but I cant really…”

“Okay, not a problem! How about we conjugate a bit, how do you say ‘I am.’”

“Yo soy.”

“Good, and now ‘They are.’”

“Eeee, yikes, um… not totally remembering now…”

(Eva laughing slightly) “We’ll move on, let’s try ‘We are.’”

“Yup, not gonna happen.”

(Eva really laughing) “I think let’s start at beginner’s level for now, and if you get bored we’ll move you up. Okay?”

And so it seems my eight plus years of Spanish have completely failed me. If I had any knowledge of how to conjugate verbs, that apparently scrammed out the door immediately after our trip to Spain. I can tell you I have a dog, but ask me to say ‘They have a dog’ and you’ve lost me.

I start my beginner Spanish class when I get back from my vacation in Florida. It will meet once a week and I have to buy a textbook for it. My hopes are that I will be the brightest in the class… We’ll see how that goes.