A little over two years ago I noted down twenty five things I wanted to do before I turned twenty five. Looking back over them has been incredibly interesting. Twenty two year old Jennie is very much still a part of twenty five year old Jennie, but it's really quite amazing to see the little things that have changed, almost without me even realising.
A ✓means I did it. A x means I failed. And a // means plans changed a little or it's something I've started but not quite finished.
1. Set up a rainy day savings account and regularly pay into it. //
Well... I have the account. That's a start, right? I'm a bit lacking in the spare pennies to pay into it right now, but that's something I'm working on. I've certainly learned that money isn't the shiny key to happiness, but it would be nice to have a little more of a cushion for when a rainy day comes along.
2. Move in with my boyfriend. ✓
3. Fully set up my online jewellery & photography stores. //
Somewhere along the line I changed my mind on these. Although I would still love to have my own little photographic print shop, I think it'll have to wait until we get the chance to take photographs a little more consistently.
4. Get married. //
We're very happy with how things are right now. Maybe one day.
5. Adopt a dog. x
When we're home a little more and we finally get around to doing something with our tiny garden, then we will totally adopt a sweet four legged companion.
6. Welcome our first baby. //
I don't know how 22 year old Jennie ever thought 25 year old Jennie would be capable of raising another human, but somehow she knew that starting a family would be something that Mark and I would start thinking about at this point in our lives. Right now I don't think about it too much because it's a little overwhelming. I'm not sure if that's because we're not quite ready or if that's normal but I guess we'll find out when we've thought about the idea a little more. I have a feeling it's one of those things that will always be a little bit scary, but the good kind of scary.
We have no idea how to guide a human, who we will be solely responsible for, successfully through life. We don't know if we'll always make the right decisions. Or be able to step back and let them make the mistakes they need to make without wanting to rush in and help them out. We don't know anything about babies and we're both pretty keen on our sleep. But learning about our future baby, finding out what they like and what they don't sounds quite exciting. Trips to the park, bedtime stories and lots of games. Whether they want to immerse themselves in books, go to university, join a band, travel the world, whatever it is we don't mind. I just hope we'll be able to make them happy. We don't know if my body will let me, but we do really hope a little one is somewhere in our future.
7. Lose around 14lbs and keep it off. x
Oh gosh, I wrote this when I was at my smallest ever and I thought I was enormous. Getting back to that weight is my goal for this year and I'm probably about 20lbs away, so I think I'll call this one a bit of a work in progress...
8. Finish my degree. x
I'm almost there, which is incredible and a little scary.
9. Keep blogging. ✓
This is one of the goals I'm most proud of achieving. I rarely stick to anything. My quitting streak started pretty early and encompassed everything from keyboard lessons to ballet dancing to drama club. But I've found something here that I love, it's become a part of my life and given me so much more than I ever could have imagined.
10. Find a job I really quite like. x
This one is most certainly still a work in progress. Can I please just review books forever? That would be fabulous!
11. Make a homemade lasagne completely from scratch. ✓
Nailed it. Totally failed to document it because I was too busy inhaling it though...
12. Learn to drive. x
I've had one, very brief lesson. That doesn't count, does it? I will learn one day, I will! It's is just one of those things that I need to make time for.
13. Watch the sun set and the stars come out in the middle of the country. ✓
The stars in the countryside are so much brighter than they ever were in the light polluted town I used to live in. It's so wonderful being able to look up on a clear night and see thousands of tiny specks of light shimmering amongst the sea of darkness. It's incredibly inspiring!
14. Go on a real holiday with my boyfriend. x
My fear of planes has pretty much put a stop to this one so far.
15. Purchase and keep a One Line A Day Memory book. //
A few days ago I bought myself a journal as a little birthday gift to myself. It feels like a good time to start writing again. Journal's are nice because they're undated. If I don't have something to say on a particular day, it won't matter. Feeling pressured to write is the one thing that will instantly quell almost all creativity. And, well, that's no fun at all.
16. Take on a project 365; take one photograph a day for a year. x
No real excuses for why I haven't done this one, I just haven't. I think something like this needs real drive, commitment and inspiration. It's one I think I'm going to roll over to my thirty before thirty list!
17. Regularly print our photographs and organise them into scrapbooks. ✓
No scrapbooks were made, but we're definitely making progress on our gallery wall. As soon as we started framing photographs our house instantly felt more homely. It's fun too - making holes in the wall. It makes us feel like it's really ours!
18. Give blood. ✓
This is something I want to continue doing, it's so important!
19. Stop biting my nails. x
Well, I failed spectacularly. I stopped for a few months a couple of times but every time deadline week rolls around they're all gone within seconds. I don't even know I'm doing it sometimes but that's no excuse. I'm beginning to think that maybe this is just something I'll do forever. But I'm going to try harder to stop - maybe post degree!
20. Have a picnic in the countryside in the summer. ✓
This challenge has taught me that I totally fail to blog about these kinds of things. We have been on many a picnic over the last few years but there's not a single post or photograph to illustrate it. Note to self, take more pictures of the everyday - it doesn't matter if they're not picture perfect, it doesn't make them any less important!
21. Make sure date night happens at least once a month. //
We totally fail at this, but I actually think it's okay because we genuinely like to spend time at home. We've been on a few cinema trips and out for dinner here and there, but nothing really beats watching a film at home!
22. Make vegetarian maki at home more often. ✓
We've done this a couple of times. I love to eat it, but I don't love the faff that is making it! It is totally worth it every one in a while though.
23. Find a black eyeliner that doesn't smudge on me! x
...I've given up!
24. Plan my meals better and incorporate more healthy foods. ✓
I'm getting there! Snacking is my biggest downfall. If I'm having a bad day or if I'm particularly stressed out with work, I'll munch my way through anything I can get my hands on. But popcorn is my new best snacking friend, which is better than half a packet of biscuits!
25. Comment on every single blog post I read. ✓
When I wrote this one I almost already knew that it wouldn't really be possible, but it's something I've consciously had in the back of my mind whenever I sit down to read blogs. The interaction is one of my favourite parts about writing my own blog. Of course it's not about the number of comments etc, but the conversation element is lovely. I definitely comment much more than I used to, and it's something I do really want to get even better with.
- Jennie xo