I've been counting down the years 'til I turn 30 ever since I turned 20. There's something about the big 3-0 that's made me so nervous, I've slowly become a nighttime teeth grinder.
But here I am, only one year away from the birthday I've been dreading, thinking about how there are so many things I want to accomplish before I enter a brand new age bracket.
When I was younger, I envisioned that I'd be much more of an adult by the time I was 30. Perhaps I'd own a house, have a lot of money in the bank and be married to the man of my dreams with a couple of kids, a dog and a pet fish.
But I have none of the above. Instead, I have lots of debt, many failed relationships and lots of friends who also happen to be delivery men from nearby restaurants, as my cooking skills are below average.
So before I wave goodbye to my twenties, the time in my life defined by saying YOLO far too much and making the kind of mistakes that I hope to never admit to my future kids, I have put together a list of the things I hope to accomplish before turning 30.
1. Get a retirement plan.
I've spent most of my twenties working hard and saving very little, so on the very bottom of my to-do list is the phrase "find a financial advisor."
I've never had a 401K, a Roth IRA or even a savings account that I didn't use for emergencies or a very necessary shopping trip to Forever21. If I keep this up, I'll be 65 years old hoping that Social Security is still a "thing."
2. Go on a solo trip to another country.
I've always wanted to pack a tiny suitcase, head to the airport and jump on a spur of the moment trip to another country, all my by myself. I've traveled to Europe, Israel and Canada before, but I've always opted-in to join organized trips or backpacked with friends.
I'd love to experience the thrill, the fear and the stress of traveling all by myself, so I can wake up when I want, eat what I want and sightsee only when I desperately want to.
3. Adopt a puppy.
The other day, I thought about curing my perpetual loneliness by adopting a dog. But then I realized that I can hardly remember to take care of myself most days, so I'd surely neglect any animal that I take in as my own.
It would be a huge achievement to take care of something else more serious than a plant and less serious than a human being.
4. Learn to cook.
I burn plain pasta, can't figure out the correct water to oatmeal ratio when making breakfast and have set off the fire alarm in my apartment more than six times last year while trying to make asparagus in the oven.
I need cooking 101 classes ASAP.
5. Pay off my credit cards
Nobody wants to head into their thirties with a pile of debt, yet many of us will be still eyeballing our student loans, credit card mistakes and city-living bills we still haven't paid off.
Though I've tried to slowly, but surely, pay off my credit card debt, I still have ways to go. My goal is to cut spending on things like overpriced coffee and clothes and instead give that extra cash to my lump sum of debt.