Thirty Things for Thirty Years


Tonight is the last night of my 20s; tomorrow I turn the big 3-0. Nature gave me quite the send off on my drive home this evening with a simply spectacular sunset. Above is just one piece of the fiery red, pink, orange, blue, purple sky.

I thought it'd be fun to look back on some of the fun and interesting things I've done with my life so far. Here are the 30 most noteworthy:

1. Traveled to 9 other countries.
2. My first trip out of the country was in 2002 to the Bahamas on a cruise with my dad and brother.
3. In 2004 I performed in the Edinburgh, Scotland Fringe Festival and saw England (mostly London) and Scotland.
4. In 2008 I went on Winter Term abroad to Vienna, Prague, and Berlin, and went to Canada for the first time (Niagara Falls).
5. In 2009 I went to Ireland and to Russia with a brief stopover in London.
6. I went again to Canada in 2015 (Waterton Lakes National Park), in 2016 (Toronto and Canada's Wonderland), and in 2017 (our honeymoon in Newfoundland).
Currently, my top must-see other countries are Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, France, Belgium, Iceland, and the Netherlands. If possible, I'd also like to see Japan.

7. Traveled extensively in the USA. I've been to 43 states (+ DC), only missing Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Hopefully we will get some of these soon, and continue to travel back to the places we've enjoyed and to explore new places.

8. Had some pretty interesting jobs.
9. I interned 3 summers at Aerospace helping launch rockets (that job will probably always win for coolest; also, Eric and I met during the second summer). That first summer was one of  the best summers of my life in terms of growing as a person and getting to live in LA.
10. And interned 1 summer at the College Board learning ins and outs of testing.
11. I got to be a soccer coach to middle school girls and get paid for it (plus we won conference).
12. I've also worked at 4 different universities in various roles, including my current and favorite role of computer science professor.

13. Got engaged and married on a mountain. Meeting Eric is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I am so lucky. And, of course, getting married again in Bloomington with so many friends and family was pretty great too.

14. Designed my own engagement ring. I have always wanted to do this. Some girls dream about their perfect dress or perfect day; I dreamed about my perfect ring. (And also my perfect house. But building that is for the next decade.)

15. Participated fully in the arts, mostly by choice.
16. At one point in time, I could play violin, guitar, drums, recorder, piano, and bagpipes.
17. I also sang, including singing in Carnegie Hall and doing the National Anthem at various events in my hometown.
18. I did theater, with the lead as Mrs. Savage in The Curious Savage (which we performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and I won Best Actress even though I had a broken foot) and another lead in Fiddler on the Roof as Hodel.
19. And I did art, taking lessons for many years and participating in all sorts of national call-outs, including one making firefighter angels post-911 that was featured in the newspaper. I took an oil painting lesson in New Mexico this summer and loved it.
Getting back into art and music is one of my aims for the future. I need creative outlets that go beyond photography.

20. Participated fully in athletics. I played varsity soccer in high school and ran track & cross country in college (as well as frisbee). At one point growing up I even played basketball and was the tallest girl on my team for one season (the next season everyone else suddenly grew several inches taller than me, and I never grew again).

21. Participated in a documentary for PBS on the PDP-11; although I didn't make it into the final film, it was still really cool to be part of getting taped.

22. Was ranked 9th in the nation for HTML programming in high school as part of Business Professionals of America.

23. Was a three-time state champion for academic team in high school for fine arts and social studies.

24. Back-to-back barrel racing championships at camp in middle school. I love horses and used to ride all the time.

25. Got my master's degree, and I am particularly glad I did because it allows me to teach.

26. Was able to navigate by myself mostly in a foreign language in both Austria and Russia.

27. Learned how to sew enough to sew my senior-year prom dress. It was an 1800s English ball gown style.

28. Witnessed the total solar eclipse in Hopkinsville, KY in 2017.

29. Driven a speed boat, pontoon boat, sailboat, and giant cruise ship (for a few minutes as a little kid).

30. Lived in 8 different places (more than my parents combined).
Thirty Things for Thirty Years Thirty Things for Thirty Years Reviewed by Maria on 10:49:00 PM Rating: 5

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