Today is my 29th birthday.
I'm so excited to have had the opportunity to build this business the past few years—and to be able to share my special moments with all of the people I've met along the way. You guys have been such a benefit to my life, and I feel absolutely blessed to be where I am!
I've always held a number of goals close to my heart; I've accomplished some and pushed off others. I'm a huge dreamer, and I get so much out of every single experience. So, in honor of my birthday, I decided to write this list.
30 things before I'm 30
This is a list of 30 "big" things I want to accomplish before my 30th birthday!
1. Get a tattoo
I know what you're thinking—hasn't almost everyone done this by now? Well, no. I've been holding onto one very specific idea in honor of my late best friend for years, but I haven't been brave enough to go through with it yet. I'd love to finally do it this year.
2. Change my hair
I'm going to be real here, I've never dyed my hair. It's another one of those small things that I say I'm going to do every few months and then I chicken out. Might as well shake it up a little before 30.
3. Try a new style
I've always wanted to change things up in the clothing department as well, but I've been too self-conscious to do it. I hope this year I can step out of my comfort zone a little more!
4. Go to a concert (or music festival)
I've seriously never done this, either. I listen to very mellow music and I'm not into the Warped Tour scene or whatever, so I haven't had many opportunities to get out to a concert with friends. I'd like to look into something that's a little more my style this year!
I've also never done this. Please stop laughing.
6. Learn more Spanish
While I've grown up around Spanish speakers (hola, abuela!), and can generally understand and speak a small amount, I'd love to actually be able to hold a meaningful conversation with those in my community.
7. Read more classics
I love to read, and I'd love to enjoy a few more classic novels this year. There are some sitting on my shelf that I have never even opened because I was too busy with grad school or raising a child or living my life, and that's sad!
8. Learn a challenging hobby
I'm not sure what this is yet—Coding? Knitting? Horseback riding? There are a lot of possibilities and a lot of things I've always wanted to know how to do. I feel like this is the year to really figure out something new.
9. Travel solo (but not for work)
I hit the road alone for the first time this year. The trip was only around 3 hours each way, but it was so cathartic. I was able to sing too loud, roll down the windows, appreciate the scenery, and just think. I'd love to do it again, but this time without the responsibility of work.
10. Go skinny-dipping
Why not? I've never done it!
11. Spend a night under the stars
But this has to be somewhere amazing. We don't have a very good view of the night sky down here in the valley, so I'll have to find a remote and wide open space!
12. Visit at least one new state
I've only ever left California twice: once when I was seven to go to Vegas, and once in 2018 when I went to Singapore and Malaysia with my MBA program. I definitely need to see more of my home country. Plus, I'd love to visit a few friends!
13. Be a part of history or a major world event
I want to be a part of something big, even if just once. The closest I've ever gotten was attending a Bernie rally!
14. Go to Alcatraz
I've been saying I'm going to do it for years, but I still haven't. San Francisco has become one of my favorite cities in the world, and any excuse to get back there and explore more if it is definitely one that I'll utilize. This is the year!
15. Learn to apologize first
I think it's important to understand that we don't have to be defensive, and that being vulnerable can work to strengthen relationships. Now to employ that.
16. Get featured in the media
I want to get recognized for my work and/or for something that I've been able to do for my local community. I try my best to help others, and I'd love to do that in such a big way that it really gets noticed!
17. Get my work published
This is the ultimate compliment. Specifically, I want to be published by Looks Like Film or Dear Photographer, but I'm willing and ready to submit my work to every corner of the internet.
18. Start something big in my community
This is self-explanatory: I want to start something that makes a difference for those in my hometown. I don't know exactly what that is yet, but I'll definitely be looking out for any opportunities.
19. Fly in a helicopter
I used to be so afraid of the idea of flying, but now I have the urge to try everything I can! It would be so amazing to ride over a large canyon or body of water!
20. Be a mentor
I want to take the time to help someone get started with something they're passionate about. I think we'll always need more beauty and ambition in the world, and I'd love to contribute to making that happen.
21. Climb to the top of a lighthouse
I've never seen one in person, but I've always wanted to. If I could mix it in with a session, it would be the ultimate dream!
22. Have a bonfire on the beach
I've taken small walks along the shore in the middle of the night, and the vast darkness, the chill, the ocean air—it all comes together to make you feel small (in the best way). I'd love to spend one night out there enjoying that feeling with the person I love.
23. Hone my video skills
I've always wanted to add video services to my business, but I haven't had the tools or the skills to commit to it. I'd love to work on that this year.
24. Upgrade my gear
I've been wanting a refresh, so I'm adding it to the list! Now I have to do it, right?
25. Get ordained
There's no way around it: I love love. I've recently started offering elopements, and I'd love to be able to play an even bigger role in helping my couples celebrate their love off the grid. It would be absolutely amazing to officiate these weddings and solemnize their vows.
26. Explore a cave
There's one in Sequoia National Park that I've always wanted to visit, but I seem to miss the open season every year.
27. Get CPR-certified
I haven't been certified since middle school, but it's something I'd love to do again.
28. Take more photos in beautiful places
I've been bitten so hard by the travel bug these last few years, and I have a huge need to see more of the world. I hope to get further and further from home in the coming year so that I can take pictures of beautiful people in even more rad places.
29. Find peace
Just to be completely vulnerable, I’ve been working a lot on my mental health lately. I want to find peace with myself and learn to love myself (and others) unconditionally.
30. Keep going
I want to keep setting goals, keep achieving them, and just generally keep progressing in life. I want to never give up, because there's always something better waiting for me.
In the past, a lot of my goal lists have included so many small things—get out of debt, lose weight, keep my grades up. These are things everyone wants. I wanted this list to be bigger than that, and I think it is. It's a collection of things that I've never done before, and things that I want to do before I die. They're a jump outside of my comfort zone. And I think that accomplishing them will feel amazing.
Here's to another amazing year!