Halfway through my 30s

I just wrote a post about how I actually feel turning 35 (there’s a little hint of it at the end), and I don’t want to post it because it’s so negative, so here are some photos of what I’ve accomplished so far in my 30s. Hopefully, this will make me feel better.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single mile. Thank you all for your support!

I ran a marathon. Just the one though.

Ragnar Madison to Chicago

I ran Ragnar. Again … just the one. I drove a van for another one.


I moved out of my parents’ house, again, and into Chicago proper. That’s, uh, not my view. In case there was any confusion. That’s the view from the Planetarium.

Aww they like me here

I left the company I worked at for almost 7 years and started at a new company, doing basically the same job (digital content publishing). After 3 years, I switched to a different job (analytics) on the same team at the same company. EXCITING.



I dealt with runners knee and didn’t run all that much for a couple years. But then I started running again and I’ve gotten back up to 10 miles.


I taught burlesque to some ladies.

I created my own burlesque acts – including costumes and choreography – and performed them in front of an audience. And then decided I was tired of doing that and took a break although maybe I’m “retired.”


I arm wrestled other women for charity.

spartan (5)

I completed a Spartan Race.


So that’s all fun. But one thing I’m struggling with right now is my legacy. What am I doing with my life? How am I leaving the world better than I found it? I’m coming up short on that front, and it’s really bothering me. I no longer work for a non-profit that literally saves lives (a hospital system). Even though I never actually saved any lives, I was still part of something that made a difference. I do some volunteer work, but not enough to feel like I’m making an impact. I’m pretty certain I’ll never have children (by choice), so I can’t fall back on motherhood as my legacy. So, what am I doing? I have ideas, it’s on me to find the time and motivation to do something with them. So, I guess I have my goal for the second half of my 30s. 

In the meantime, what bucket listy stuff should I do before 40? 

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8 Comments on “Halfway through my 30s”

  1. Happy Birthday! I can definitely understand your thoughts at the end about leaving a legacy without kids (although I’ve had thoughts more along the lines of – crap, we really do need to save up a lot of money for retirement since we won’t have kids to take care of us when we’re old :-P), but there are plenty of child-free women who have made incredible marks on the world. It’s just a matter of figuring out how you want to do that. And hey, if nothing else, you’re still a cool aunt 😉 The best I’ve got in that regard is being the cool older cousin.

  2. I’ve “just” run one Ragnar as well, and I’ll be 100% okay with that still being the case when I’m 35…or 45…or 95…or at literally any point in my life. Haha. Some people are not cut out for some things, and let me tell you, I am most DEFINITELY not cut out for Ragnars!

    In terms of the legacy stuff 1) who am I to talk? but 2) I think most people’s legacies are made up of the collection of small things they do over the years rather than one grand gesture. We can’t all develop the polio vaccine, or discover the medicinal benefits of penicillin, or be the top fundraiser running the Chicago Marathon, or whatever. You never really know how you’re going to impact a person with what you say or do, and while admittedly there probably won’t be a moment when everyone you’ve ever impacted gets together and shares the way you’ve influenced their lives, I don’t think that discounts what you’ve done. People remember how you treat them–I could still rant and rave about the woman who taught me swim lessons in third grade and how MEAN she was, or sing the praises of the road commission employee in Michigan who changed my tire for me after I blew it on railroad tracks right outside their facilities and came out when he heard the noise–and I certainly think that counts as a legacy, even if neither of those things will probably end up in those people’s obituaries. But, of course, if there are big, legacy-leaving things you want to pursue, I think you absolutely should! You have to do what makes you happy, and if chasing after those things will bring you fulfillment or peace (or both!), then it’s certainly more than worth going after.

    Happy birthday!

    1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll never do another Ragnar, even if I did think my knee could handle it. Maybe.

      That’s some good insight on legacy. I don’t necessarily want to do one big thing, but I do want to know that I’m not just sucking away at resources, but actually contributing.

  3. Legacy can be an overwhelming word/concept. There’s so many ways to leave a legacy without doing something big, or following one of the “obvious” routes.

    It’s not just doing something huge and newsworthy. It’s not just about dedicating all your free time or spare funds to volunteering/charity (though I’d never discourage anyone from doing both in moderation). We can all, in small every day ways, make a positive impact on the people around us that lasts for a lifetime.

    Just look at your burlesque career/work/hobby… How many of the people who came out to see you perform, both strangers and friends, were inspired to do something new, a little scary, outside their comfort zone? And how about your time teaching? How many of your students, whether they went on to perform or not, walked away from their time with you, having gained both newfound confidence, and an ability to love and appreciate their bodies, because of your example, your encouragement, and your positivity?

    That’s a legacy. You’re making a positive impact in the lives of others. An impression that stays with them long after they leave your circle of influence. Maybe even motivating them to go out and provide the same positive influence to people that enter their lives.

    That’s a legacy.

  4. Happy birthday. I turned 35 last month and I feel like my biggest impact right now is as a volunteer counselor (had no prior experience) with Crisis Text Line. It’s heavy work but rewarding. It’s all done online, so when I left Chicago last year, I was able to still volunteer.

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