H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, 9 May 2014

Looking back at 25 before 25.

Twenty Five. An age that for some reason I thought would feel scary, like I had to suddenly say goodbye to my youth. But it doesn't feel scary at all. In fact it feels oddly comforting and strangely familiar. It feels like this is where I'm supposed to be. I'm grateful to be here. Grateful to have a better understanding of myself. To have everything that is in my life. To the things I would like to be in my life, providing goals to work towards. And even though things aren't always easy and sometimes I long for the beautiful simplicity of my childhood, the difficult times make the good times even better.

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


  1. It must have been so interesting to look back on your goals you set three years ago! What are you studying Jennie? I also really want to do a picture a day for a year and don't your fear of planes hold you back too long, travel can be so life changing in the smallest ways, if you let it!


    1. It was! I'm studying English Lit & Language! <3

  2. That's a great list and it's really inspiring for me as a 22 year old to be able to see where I might be in 3 years. I guess we never really feel like we change that much until we look at ourselves 5 years ago and think of how far we've come. I'm really excited now for all of the things ahead of me. I might try and get my boyfriend to collaborate on a list of things we can do together in the next few years but as my erratic life planning demonstrates, things don't always turn out the way we imagine and I guess that's ok!
    P.s, obviously I have no idea at all, but I don't think anyone ever feels 100% ready to bring another human into the world, some are just better at bluffing than others :) xxx
    La Lingua : Food, Life, Love, Travel, Friends, Italy

  3. Jennie! 25 is a brilliant age. I hope you had the most wonderful birthday with your loved ones. Reading this was so wonderful, amazing to see what you have achieved and also nice to see how you've changed and developed over the last few years. I've found the thing I am liking most about being 25 is giving myself a break. Accepting that my plans may not go as I envisaged but that that the paths they take might actually end up for the better. It is comforting. I still don't have any clearer a vision of my future than I did at 20 but I'm much happier with that and it seems like you are too. A thousand kisses to you for the next 25! Welcome to the next quarter of a century!

    1. I think that's a wonderful way to look at things! xo

  4. Loved this post Jennie! I hope you had a really great birthday. It's always so nice to look back and see where you thought you would be at this stage, and it's especially nice when you realise what you have actually achieved, so well done! I wish you all the best for the future! xx

  5. I loved reading this!25 seems like old age when you're young but I think once you get to thirty, you start to realise how young it is. xx

  6. This is really lovely Jennie! You've accomplished so many things on your list, and I think it's perfectly fine that some things have changed or adapted over the course of time - that's just natural! I hope that 25 ends up being an amazing age for you, and you get to achieve some more of your goals! <3 xxx

  7. I love this list it is such a great balance of big, little and romantic things! If you ever find that eyeliner let me know! Stephie from Tea in Your Twenties xx

  8. It's so interesting to look back and see how far you've come with lists like this! Your list is lovely, so varied, and I think you've done really well - obviously your interests, goals and priorities change but that's okay.
    I'm also super glad I'm not the only one who can't drive yet - you're one lesson ahead of me at the moment! One day...

    Jess xo

    1. Thank you lovely! Hehe you're definitely not the only one! xo

  9. Jennie, I just love your blogs so much! I feel like if we ever met we would get on really well, there's so much in these posts that I really relate too. I'm basically the same age as you and I am also a big list maker (end of year goals, life goals, ambitions etc) and it's so interesting to compare mine to yours. You have a good mix of kind of life things (i.e. healthy food, job) and lovely things with Mark and lots of things about documenting (blogging, photography etc) which is so interesting to me. My goals for this year are so hedonistic in contrast, a combination of career things (and I think of my career as extremely hedonistic because I basically just think of things I want to do and do them) and travelling around. I've recently started doing a thing where I make mini-aims for each month which is where I've made a few "life goals" i.e. eating and sleeping better and that kind of thing and it's amazing how by just making it a priority for a relatively short space of time it has really affected me. I wonder if you've found that?

    Also this is by the by but you don't have to go on a plane to have a real holiday! I mean I'm not sure what you constitute as a real holiday but you can go camping, or to a different area of the UK or even get a boat or train to a different country. Also, this has just occurred to me but now I'm all over this idea, if you were up for visiting the capital for a few days you two should totally come and stay with me for a few days - you can save on accommodation and also I'm a bloody amazing cook :) There's an exhibition about wedding dresses at the V&A we can go to also!! I think travels and holidays are so important, that it made me sort of sad to think that you felt you hadn't achieved that goal. XX

    1. Aww thank you sweet lady! I think those kinds of goals are the best, life is all about doing the things that you really want to do! Ooh that sounds fabulous - might take you up on that offer at some point!! xx

  10. Aw I loved this post, so interesting to look back at your goals x

  11. I really want to do a 25 before 25 too. Crazy how much our minds and lives change in a few years. You've ticked off some great achievements though. And my advice? Don't be scared of planes, some of the most beautiful places I've visited have been because I've flown there. You're more likely to be hurt by walking out your front door than anything bad happening on a plane. x

    1. I know, it's not quite that simple when it's a pretty deep seated fear, no matter how irrational! xo

  12. This is so interesting to read! Great idea, both to do the list and to look back on it later :) x

  13. I really should do something like this in anticipation of the fact I will be 40 in 5 years time - eeeeek!!


    1. They're definitely a lot of fun to write and then look back on! xo

  14. Wooo this is pretty cool! Well done for all the things! The baby bit kind of made me laugh XD I think I may do one of these for next Friday's post - such a brilliant idea. Well done Jennie!
    Jasmine xo | www.rabbitwoodblog.co.uk

  15. At 28, making a minature human is a pretty terrifying thought, I remember wanting to me married by the time I was 26 - hahaha!! I love this little list, you've accomplished lots of lovely things. I think it's important to comment on blog posts you read, just a few words can mean a lot to someone. I always see you commenting on posts and I think it's awesome!

    Tara x

  16. I love this idea Jennie, it must be so interesting to look back and see all you have achieved. Congratulations on surpassing so many of them, you should definitely feel very proud of yourself! <3

    I feel we are quite alike in some ways; fear of planes, nail biting and commenting on blogs to name just a few. I wish you well for all your goals too, am sure you will get to enjoy the lovely holiday you want with your boyfriend, find a job you really like and pass your degree with flying colours, go for it girl! xo

    Sophie | soinspo xo

  17. Absolutely love this idea and I truly enjoyed reading this post. I think I might need to write down my own list as well, as I love looking back and reminiscing :)


  18. I'm a year older than you, so its interesting to see this, and how you thought things would be. It's nice to have you posting again too, by the way!

    Nicola // pink-confetti.co.uk

  19. I can fully get behind the last one! I've been making a massive effort this week to comment on all the blogs I read as I think it's important to show support for the lovely people who put such hard work into writing the blogs that keep me entertained on a daily basis :) It's made me feel much more a part of the community and it's something I hope to continue to do (when Hux is down for his naps!)
    Don't worry too much about the rest of it, especially the marriage and babies. There's no point rushing these things, they will come when the time is right :) (And don't worry too much about babies - they're much easier than they look and the support from other mums I've had on Twitter has been incredible)

  20. It must have been so interesting looking back at this list! I might create my own one :) oh, and I've never found a black eyeliner that doesn't smudge on me either haha xx

  21. I know I just commented on your other post, but that's not going to stop me commenting again ^__^
    Anyway I know the struggle with stop biting your nails.... I've been trying to stop biting my nails for years, and when I stop it only lasts for two months or so. I've tried all the different weird things you can put on your nails, but it doesn't work..... Sigh - Guess we both need to work on that haha xx Have a nice day!

    C:ndy | mazedays.blogspot.com

  22. Your list is amazing! I'm 22 right now so I kinda feel as you did when you made this list and a lot of things in your list are very similar to mine. :) I'm terrified of driving and need to get my driver's license at some point. Good luck with getting your degree! Such a great accomplishment! Here's to achieving our goals!
    Lots of love,

  23. I love this post Jennie - it must be so interesting looking back over your goals! I'm tempted to do something like this but with less than a year til I hit 25 I'm not sure I'd be able to tick off an awful lot xx

  24. That's really nice to look back on. I have similar things in an old diary!

  25. I really liked this post, you've inspired me to create my own 25 before 25. Now just to think of 25 things! :)


  26. firstly, a belated happy birthday to you, beautiful girl! this is so great to read - it's a "success" to have goals in the first place, and to complete so many of them is a bonus. i think nights in with a movie totally count as date nights ;) and i love to read the comments you leave me! x

  27. Amazing list! I got inspired and I think I should do one too!

  28. I turned 25 last month and I know what you mean about it feeling like a significant birthday - not helped by the people who would exclaim "Oh, 25?! That's a BIG one!" every time I mentioned my age. But so far I haven't woken up to a head full of grey hair or have stopped being interested in everything 24 year old Charlene liked!

    I wish I'd made a list of things that I wanted to achieve before I turned 25 - it would be so interesting to look like and see what used to matter to me that doesn't any more, and what I still really care about (perhaps the best way to find out what REALLY matters to you?). Congratulations on everything you have achieved so far, and good luck for the rest still to come!


    p.s. happy belated birthday!

  29. you've done quite well! Happy Belated birthday too :)

  30. JENNIEEE I loved this! It's like you've done a little time capsule! I turned 25 recently, and it isn't as scary as I though it would be! Probably because I am now more scared of turning 30 haha. I'm totally going to write myself a list like this. Well done on all that you have achieved and happy late birthday!

    Kirsten | kirstenlearns.com

    1. Definitely do one, I'm totally going to do a 30 before thirty! <3

  31. This is such a great post, and I love that you're still blogging two years on, so you can look back on your dreams and aspirations back then. I would definitely love to read more about your day-to-day picnic adventures,and I hope you have an amazing time for your birthday. As an aside, I've found Maybelline's Master Drama kohl eyeliner to be amazing (and that's coming from a fellow smudgette of eyeliner!)

    Steph xx
    Lay It Bare


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