Turning Thirty and Thinking About My Twenties

This past weekend I turned 30. THIRTY! Doesn’t that sound old(ish)?! I feel like if getting married and becoming a mom didn’t make me an adult, turning 30 certainly did.

I love looking at my life and seeing how far I’ve come over time. I was talking to a best friend last night about our journeys over the past few years and how at peace we both are because even though our twenties were hard, they were also wonderful, and led us to be exactly where we wanted to be at 30.

My twenties are definitely worth some reflection.

Reverse Bucket List

Things I Did In My 20s:

  • Made a lot of mistakes. A lot.
  • Went on my first ‘real’ job interview.
  • Got an internship in finance.
  • Got my first ‘real’ job as a software consultant with IBM.
  • Traveled 100% for work and visited a ton of fun (and some really boring) places.
  • Fell in love a few times.
  • Broke up with two long term boyfriends.
  • Learned my parents were getting a divorce, and then dealt with that entire drama.
  • Graduated college with degrees in accounting and finance.
  • Ran three marathons.
  • Ran a bunch of half marathons and other shorter races.
  • Traveled around the country and the world with friends.
  • Signed my first lease for an apartment in Chicago.
  • Volunteered in Nicaragua at an elementary school.
  • Volunteered at an orphanage in Tanzania.
  • Spent one memorable NYE in Madrid.
  • Lived with roommates and lived alone and lived with two guys and lived with just Tim.
  • Got a dog.
  • Got married in Jamaica.
  • Got pregnant. Twice.
  • Had a baby.
  • Moved across the country to Seattle.
  • Overcame more than a bit of adversity.
  • Passed all parts of the CPA exam and became a CPA in Illinois.
  • Switched jobs 3 times.
  • And then decided to be a SAHM for a while.
  • Found a church in Chicago and then a church in Seattle, both of which feel like home.
  • Made a lot of friends.
  • Lost some friends through distance or life circumstances.
  • Hiked on the Appalachian trail.
  • Started a blog.
  • Went on a safari (the best vacation ever).
  • Drank too much.
  • Spent time on five continents.
  • Became pescatarian.
  • Started attending church regularly.
  • Lived in three different states (Indiana, Illinois, and Washington).
  • Went to playoff NHL and NFL games and celebrated the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup a few times.
  • Watched the Bears in the Superbowl (but saw them lose to the Colts).
  • Saw my first baby take her first steps and speak her first words.
  • Really became an adult.
  • Bought my first car.
  • Read countless books.
  • Mourned the loss of three grandparents and other family members.
  • Celebrated a lot of weddings and babies.
  • Went to Lollapalooza a few times, which was always a highlight of my summer.
  • Met my now-husband on an online dating site.
  • Learned about setting boundaries in relationships – and began enforcing them.
  • Traveled to Nicaragua, China, Spain, Italy, Jamaica, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, France, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Turkey, Tanzania, Mexico, Canada, and many other places inside the USA.
  • Played in some waterfalls.
  • Learned a lot of things about myself.

Of course, there are so many smaller moments in these larger events that comprised the years of my twenties. Over the last decade I’ve made friends and memories that will last a lifetime, and I’ve had a lot of fun. I consider my twenties a decade of major growth and transitions, and I’m excited to start a (hopefully) more stable and less-chaotic decade full of family of love and continued friendships.

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16 Responses to Turning Thirty and Thinking About My Twenties

  1. What an awesome list. I’m super impressed by all the countries you traveled to!

    • Lisa says:

      My 20s were definitely a fun decade, but I have a feeling my 30s are going to be even better! Although, traveling with a toddler is SO MUCH HARDER! We did well until she was about 18 months and then we kind of stopped trips… hopefully we’ll start up again soon!

  2. Jordyn says:

    I loved reading the condensed bullets of your accomplishments and experiences in your twenties. It makes me excited for all that I will hopefully experience in the next 6 years of my twenties. I know your thirties are going to be exciting too! I can’t wait to follow along as you do and accomplish even more!

    • Lisa says:

      You’re so sweet, Jordyn! I definitely lived it up in my 20s, so my 30s have a lot to live up to! They’re already off to a pretty good start, though 🙂

  3. This is such a cool post, and I love it. (Also, did not know you had run three marathons, are a former Lollapaloozer, and met Tim online. We have way more in common than I realized! Except I haven’t met my husband online yet, but considering that all my dating has been done online, I would be surprised if I did meet him online.) Happy belated birthday to you!

    • Lisa says:

      YES, so much in common! And I’m sure you’ll meet your future husband online, it’s how all the cool kids do it these days 😉 (Is ‘cool’ still a word people use?! I don’t even know.)

  4. erinhzauner says:

    you’ve done a good job in the last ten years girl. does it not blow your mind that you met tim, married tim, and got pregnant twice in that time? amongst all the other things?? it doesn’t seem possible! you make 30 look amazing, and I hope your birthday was the happiest.

    • Lisa says:

      YES it does blow my mind, especially because I met Tim at 24, so all of the family stuff happened in the second half of my 20s – time flies!

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You rocked your twenties.

  6. Happy 30th! Love that your girlfriends all came in to celebrate with you- so fun! Cheers to the best decade yet!

  7. What an amazing list! I do wish I would have traveled more before having Holland. I’ve never been to any other country besides Mexico. It sounds like you did your fair share of traveling though! Cheers to 30 my friend!


    • Lisa says:

      I definitely love traveling so took advantage of every opportunity I had! We haven’t gone out of the country with Clara yet, but hopefully we’ll be back to traveling more soon now that we’re feeling more settled in to Seattle 🙂

  8. Lisa C says:

    Your 20s were an amazing decade! I have two years to travel as much as you did, haha.

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