30 things before thirty

I am turning 30 on May 17, 2017, and I have a list of 30 things I want to do before I get there.

  1. Go gliding – booked 
  2. Fall in love
  3. Go to New York
  4. Get in shape and be happy with my body
  5. Learn to knit
  6. Learn to play piano
  7. Do 30 random acts of kindness
  8. Complete a color run – Booked in
  9. Watch the sun set and then rise
  10. See the northern lights
  11. Go to Scotland
  12. Visit Auschwitz
  13. Learn to snowboard
  14. Finish/almost finish PhD
  15. Get published
  16. Write a blog or a love story
  17. Master being proactive
  18. Stop biting my fingernails – working on it 
  19. Learn to say no to me
  20. Go to an outdoor cinema
  21. Fly to any destination
  22. Jump off a waterfall – Lack of UK waterfalls
  23. Master makeup
  24. Learn to make sushi
  25. Take photos in a Photo Booth
  26. Make macaroons
  27. Pierce my ears – NYC
  28. Dance in the rain
  29. Participate in a flash mob
  30. Donate blood

And here is the evidence….

1. If anyone lives in the UK, then they understand the weather. I have attempted this three times without them canceling this due to the weather and wind, HOWEVER, I have booked to go gliding in June. I am really excited and cannot wait. Watch this space.

2. I wrote this on here, not really sure why I did because I know you cannot rush love. However, in some weird and twisted way, I didn’t have to put it on a list. I believe that if you portray love, it will find you. I feel in love with myself after my accident and then I found Liv. I have found a love unlike any other I have experience and now we are getting married. It is beyond what I expected but it is what I deserve. It is what everyone deserves.

3. We are off to NYC on the 15th of May!! I cannot wait. I cannot actually believe we are going there. It is the perfect way to turn 30. I am one very lucky girl. Photographic evidence to follow.

4. This item was never about being my ideal weight. It was all about balance. The balance between eating right and healthy and enjoying life and food. I use to abuse food and comfort it. Now I eat to enjoy it, to try new things, to explore different tastes. I exercise 5 days a week and I found activities I love doing. I never dread going to the gym or pool, I really look forward to it. I use that time to unwind, to reflect, to feel better about myself and because I want to. I have learned that the key to doing something is actually wanting to. I want to eat good food without feeling guilty and have a takeaway and I also want to look in the mirror and like what I see. Sure, I still see improvement needed and areas I don’t like but damn, do I like where this is going! So check! – one off the list.

5. I have learned to knit – not well and I need practice (lots of it) but I can do it! Life skill achieved. 🙂

6. So I thought about this one and it changed. I am not musically minded and I am so tone deaf that I really did not want to do it. But instead, I found a course on how to do calligraphy. This item on my list was about learning something new, something I would use. I know that I will never buy a piano or keyboard but I would use my calligraphy skills so I consider this done. (Sorry to all those out there that think I am breaking some sort of cardinal rule of lists but this is my list and my rules.)

7. So this is something that I think everyone should do more. We need to be kind to each other in this world. Everyone is battling their own demons and kindness may be their lifeline or yours.

  • 11/04/2016 – I offered the postman a travel mug of coffee or tea as it was raining. He is there every day without fail, rain or shine. He declined but thanked me for considering him.

8. I signed up for a color run and then – bam – my accident happened. I took not to run for years but instead I could swim. So I started swimming and now I have signed up for a 1.4-mile pier to pier mile in July (in UK water!) this is going to be cold but worth it. This will conquer my irrational fear of sharks and complete this item on the list. I am raising money for the British Heart Foundation and so far have raised over £130! It does feel really special to be able to raise money for a great charity and be able to do things that others can only dream of. Therefore, item complete. Last month, I swam over 18 miles in the pool, so it is safe to say that training is well underway and I am on a good pace at the moment. Wish me luck!!

9. When I went to Australia for my brother’s wedding (2015), I sat on a plane for over 23 hours. I watch two sunsets and a sunrise above the clouds. It was magical. It gave me such a sense of smallness, that my life, is short enough to see a limited number of days and nights within an infinite number of years that this world has seen and will see long after I am gone. It is my reminder that each day will end, and a new begin, and with that, you should spend your days living. Living amongst others, within nature, and most of all, living to enjoy what time we do have. My problems and issues are small and I chose the battles I want to fight. I chose the coexist with people where we all build each other up rather than tear our supports down. I start each day with a positive thought and end it with an affirmation of self-love or gratitude. I am no longer fruitless in my spending but save for the experiences of a rain day. I am thankful for the consistency of the setting and rising sun that reminds me to hit the restart and breathe. The importance of breathing and the importance of forgiving yourself and letting go. Item, well and truly completed.

10. So back in 2010, I went to Iceland but it was too cloudy to see the Northern Lights. BUT!! in Norwich there was a   something called tunnel of light – which is the northern lights (in a LED form) but it was incredible. I was in absolute awe and I love it. Another one down 🙂

11. Liv and I went to Scotland (Edinburgh) and it was so incredible and humbling. The city is magical and we hope to return soon. Here are just a few photos. You should have seen me when we reached the border… I got my passport out and said “where do I take this?” haha. The drive was incredible and I adore Liv for staying awake with me.

12. Now, this was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever been to. I felt so deeply moved and affected by the visit. You really must see it to experience the sheer level of pain and the heartache that you walk over. It was truly mind blowing and I felt incredibly privileged to have been able to visit this historical place. I feel awkward saying that it was a privilege but it is the only way I can express it. We walked were many came and fell.To see and think of the tracks, the trains, the sound, and smell that would linger over miles and miles of people. Willing ignorance to an atrocity. Camps are being built once more and I will bare witness and stare at the land where no bird sings. All you can see is the absence of life and it was truly humbling. I will never forget this experience.

13. So this did not go quite to plan…. but I did learn to snowboard then went to Verbier for a holiday. What can I say, it is what it is and I will get back on a board when I can. Hey, I survived my first accident and they did say that the first lesson a snowboarder has to learn is how to fall over. So I consider this item done.

14. This one came through only recently. I have to admit that I did not think this one was going to be completed. But I want for a job in June 2016 and was offered the post of a trainee with protected time to finish my PhD. However, despite this, my dream job, being offered to me, it has taken 10 months of waiting, vetting, paperwork being lost and pretty much anything that could go wrong happening for my contract and start date to come through. So in July of this year, I embark on my final leg to getting my PhD. And along with this comes a whole new life. We are moving to Norwich, getting married, buying a home and getting my dog, Rupert, back. It’s just perfect. I have worked so hard for 8 years to get this. All the studying, bad jobs, and rejections have finally lead to this. Congratulations to me, Future Dr.

15. Within my job, I have a fanatic opportunity to conduct research that helps wider professionals rethink the way we implement the use of the law in the management of children. This was then presented at a congress conference in Greece and won an award for most creative and forward thinking presentation. Due to this award, we have been published within a psychological and psychiatric journal. Amazing right!! I can not believe that work I am significantly contributed to has been published. Outright and beyond belief.

16.This seems a little ironic as I am describing that an item on the list was to write a blog and well I am writing this, on my current blog. It’s a little strange, right? Anyways, I started this blog with little knowledge or expectation about where it would lead to. And if you said to me, a year ago that I would still be blogging then I would have called you crazy. But here I am, turning 30 and updating MY pages on MY blog. #mindblown. Now, I know I do not blog as much as I would like but life is busy and time-consuming. I am getting back to it, so bare with me all.

17. This has been a hard lesson to learn. I am stopped waiting for the situation to “chase up with me” and took the control back in my life. I have found out that being proactive means taking responsibility for your life and actions rather than just watching how things happen.

“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.” ~ Stephen Covey

I realize that this is what I need to be to achieve results in life. I believe that m change in attitude may have implemented itself within my employability and my friendships. I have several examples of this (to only list a few):

  • I have been to the dentist, who I have a fear off, and now go regularly.
  • I continue to prepare every night for the next day
  • I clean the house regularly
  • I proactively seek people out at work before they do me
  • I stand accountable for my actions when I have not done something
  • I always try and propose a solution when I have a problem
  • I set SMART goals to work towards things I want to achieve
  • I am consistent with what I do
  • I contact my friends and family more frequently than I use to

18. My fingernails – I did stop for a while, like four months, but then started ago. I definitely do not bite them as much as I use to but this needs to stop. It is on my mind and I am actively trying. Watch this space too. Wedding pictures and all 🙂

19. Learning to say no to me was like learning to ride a bike. It hurt and took a lot of time, not to say no, but to listen to it. Listening to yourself and being your own boundary is so difficult, let me tell you, but I feel like I have control of myself back. Christ, I like myself so much more because of it. I don’t feel ashamed, embarrassed or act like an idiot anymore. I don’t abuse food or take others for granted. I am learning patience and how to wait for the good parts. You have to wade through the crap that is thrown at you to reach the other side. I cannot rush in my life because I only get it once. I have learned that no is not a negative word and when I do say yes, damn it feels so good. I have realized that when you always say yes, it gets too much and I let others down. I have realized that yes is just as dangerous as no. It’s all about balance. I am now balanced.

20. This was so awesome. My friend Kelly and I  were literally freezing shaking by the end of the night but it was so amazing to watch a film outside under the stars. We watch the Grand Budapest Hotel and it was not something I would normally watch but it was funny, witty, and a quintessentially British film. Would highly recommend seeing the film and the location. here’s the link – http://summernightsfilm.co.uk/venues/belton-house/. Off the list 🙂

21. One day Soph (old supervisor turned good friend) came over and  “the royal” we (I) were making mince pies and Soph suggested going to Jamaica. Haha and then I suggested going to Norway. Well within the hour we had booked our hotel and flights and we were off. I could not believe it. I actually booked a flight to any destination with no idea what to do there. It was bound to win over Jamaica and it was cheaper and more accessible. I mean flights were £15 altogether?!! We went and had the best time. My cousin Tim lived there and he showed us around. it was wonderful to actually get to know my cousin like really get to know him. I recommend Oslo to anyone. It’s expensive when you get there but I have some get tips for you so if you want to go – get in touch. 🙂

22. Sadly I have not jumped off a waterfall. I found out that there aren’t many waterfalls in the United Kingdom to jump off. 😦 However, I will endeavor to do this at the first opportunity.

23. I have spent time watching youtube videos and trying out a different brand and I think I realized along the way that I am not really a makeup kind of girl. Maybe the accident made me realize that there is more to life than looking my best all the time, or that wearing makeup is when I am at my best. I spent two months not wearing makeup with two black eyes and a stitched up face with people looking at me. I think through all that, I realize that there is more to life than a beautiful face or having the perfect winged eyeliner look. I know what I know with makeup and I occasionally try out something new, that good enough for me. Tick!

24. This was so fun. Sushi is easy to make but just don’t stop stirring! We had a blast and it actually tasted so good. An item worthy of everyone’s bucket list.

25. I love this one so much that we did it TWICE. I cannot find the item from the first time but I remember going to Ely with Liv and Rupert for a day out and her telling me that we are going there as there is a photo booth in the train station. I looked at her confused and she said – it’s part of your 30 before 30. I smiled at her and the photo is placed somewhere safe as we are currently selling the flat but I will upload it when I can. However, we went to camden market not too long ago and found a photo booth there and we did it again. See below 🙂 A favourite item on the list due to be repeated again.


26. What can I say, this was an amazing experience. I did this for my 29th birthday and I absolutely loved it. The learn an art like this and be able to make something so delicate was the perfect birthday. I blogged about it – click here (Coffee & macaroons – hello 29!)

27. Doing this in NYC!!! how exciting!! Pictures to follow.

28. I haven’t just danced in the rain, I learned to dance in the middle of a hurricane. When someone wrote that life is about learning to dance in the rain, they were not kidding. Life will always throw you a curve ball or pull the rug from under your feet. All I have to say is get back up. Don’t let it break you. Do not let people dictate your life or how you live it. If something makes you happy, do it, do it on repeat. Your life, your rules, your style of dance. Now I dance every dance and I have found peace in the chaos of life. Please know this, others like chaos, it is comfortable to them. They like the unpredictable of a storm and will create it where ever they can. But they storm does not have to ruin you. Let the rain wash over you and eventually, it will stop. They will stop.

29. I was walking through my local shopping center when I was calling over. I saw my dancing team (CEROC) setting up in the middle of the square on a Saturday.  There were going to be dancing there all afternoon to help show others what we do. Its modern jive dancing with a family atmosphere. They offered me the chance to dance there and I was so nervous but I dropped my bags and off I went. There were people everywhere, stopping, taking photos, dancing, and it was such an incredible feeling to be a part of something bigger than just me. Did not expect to get this done – but I did.

30. This is something I have been trying to do for years but something always came up. Got a tattoo, illness, flu, hospital visit, forgot the appointment, prior arrangements. Then finally, I was dating a girl named Hannah and I told her about my list. She immediate went out and gave blood because she felt inspired to do so. She said if I met the appointment she would take me. Now I am a big girl and I could go by myself but knowing that she was taking me, made me actually go. I walked into what I thought was a zombie apocalypse or a natural disaster camp with make-shift tents and cornered off zones everywhere. I sat down and it was okay once I got over the shock of it. I mean it felt like I was turning someone life. I was a total pansy and couldn’t look at the needle but I knew I was doing something good for someone. It was funny because I went in my skirt from work and didn’t realize that they tilt the chair back. haha well Hannah was in stitches and I also went as red as my blood but it was worth it. I made an appointment for June and I am really excited to do this regularly. If you can, please donate blood. I promise it is worth it. 🙂

This is the life worth living and I am the leading lady. So sit back, grab a coffee and live the next decade with me.

Ivy xx