30 Before I’m 30

On December 22, 2013, I will turn 30! I am excited about this year and want to challenge myself to accomplish some big goals & encourage my creativity & reflection before I turn 30. Reviewing this list for the last time before hitting the “publish” button on this post, I couldn’t help but laugh and smile to myself. My 30 before I’m 30 list is so representative of my life, my dedications (reading, cooking, family), my loves and my fears. One of the most enjoyable parts of this list is that I will be joined by two phenomenal women also pursuing their own list of things! You can follow our progress on the #30before30 hashtag & check out our shared Pintrest board

Travel to Paris & Rome for our Honeymoon (happening in September)!

See where Meme was born

Meme was my step-mother’s, mother. She was always there, no matter what. We bonded the first time we met when I was in the 8th grade over my elementary French language skills and the book I was reading (Gone With The Wind). She used to call me “bubbles”. When I asked her why, she answered, “because you are like the bubbles in the finest champagne.” In 2011, while at the ACPA conference in Baltimore, I got a text message 20 minutes before my presentation saying they were taking her off life support after an unexpected stroke. My heart broke. Evan, my partner, never got to meet her. She was born in Natan, 8 miles outside of Paris, France. I intend to see where she came from, and properly tell her good bye with a glass of the finest champagne.

Me and Meme`1

Read 52 books in 52 weeks and do one of the following:

I tried #52in52 last year and made it half way. This year, I’m committed to reading more as well as reading a broader variety!

Become moderately fluent in Italian
At Bucknell, I minored in Italian Studies and at one point was able to converse proficiently & read books in Italian. I still have the books! An added bonus is that one of my life long bucket list items is to read the Harry Potter series in Italian. Dream big!

Read a book written in Italian

Learn basic/beginner French

Take an in-state vacation to Asheville, NC with Evan.

Publish at least one article http://issuu.com/naca/docs/jan_feb_2013

Create my very own original flavor of delicious gourmet ice cream.

Make homemade pasta! I will probably start with this recipe.

Blog my way through Empowering Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

Read more poetry, starting with Maya Angelou.

Reflect through journaling (once a week) and blogging (24 post this year).

Attend NASPA for the first time.

Attend the Women’s Leadership Institute.

Run a 10K

This was my 29th birthday present to myself that got waylaid due to a chest infection. I ran it in early January at a faster pace than expected. Happy New Year & Belated Birthday to me! Next stop…

Run a Half Marathon

My feet hurt

Do one thing to make the world a better place.

Answer the following: Do I pursue a Ph.D?

Plant a Lemon Tree

I can’t wait to do this!

Plant Hydrangea bushes
The first time 506 Hillcrest Ave, Burlington, NC truly felt like home to Evan and I was when we had everyone over for Easter dinner and put green and white hydrangeas on our new dining room table in a big white vase. I cannot wait to plant our own hydrangeas and make more memories in our new home.

Grow a successful herb garden!  To use in my homemade pasta of course and who knows… maybe even the ice cream???

Take boxing lessons
Over winter break, while visiting my parents, I had the opportunity to take some boxing lessons with a trainer. It turns out, I’m pretty good at it. Running has served as a great way to get fit and get into a positive habit, but I have been wanting to try something new.

Get crafty!

Go white water rafting
Here it is, I’m terrified of being submerged in water. A pool in someone’s back yard – alone – where I can control my breathing and not panic – is the closest thing I can get to enjoying being in the water. I love being ON the water, boating and especially fishing, just not IN the water. Every year, I work towards getting past this. This year, I want to be really brave and try white water rafting.

Help to make somebody’s wish come true.

Go for a hike & a picnic at Pilot Mountain, NC.

I’m not sure how to make this one measurable, but it needs to happen. Stop being so hard on myself. A good place to start is by becoming more resilient.

Set some money aside and learn to invest.

Find a church community that feels welcoming, sustaining, and feeds my soul.


16 thoughts on “30 Before I’m 30

  1. I love your list Ciji! I’m coming to the end of a similar journey. Mine’s a “29 for 29” list to completed by my 30th birthday at the end of April. For me, I realize I might not finish everything on the list. However, I’ve had a fabulous time crossing things off the list. I don’t think I would have pushed myself as much to do different things if I didn’t have the list to keep me accountable. Also, I’ve found enlisting the assistance of others to be a great way to knock things off the list. I wish you good luck!


    • Thank you Ellen! I am looking forward to pushing myself & crossing things off the list too. Best of luck on rounding out the end of your journey.


  2. So incredibly proud and inspired by you Ciji! You continue to inspire me to communicate more through my personal journey etc. Love reading about yours and being with you in spirit through all of your adventures! Don’t ever doubt how truly fabulous you are!


  3. This is awesome. highly recommend Rosetta Stone for the language goals. I’m getting started with their Italian program actually so if you need practice/want to help me practice – give me a few weeks to get some conversational stuff down and we can talk!


    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your comment. I am doing Rosetta Stone as well and would enjoy the opportunity to talk/practice in Italian! FYI, if you have a Kindle there are several free Italian children’s novels available.


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