29 Truths About Turning 29


Last month was a time of reflection. As mentioned before, I was in the midst of a move to a cheery new home full of wonderful lights and shadows and its own joys to explore, but May contained another important day: the day of my birth. Yes, I may have been packing boxes and swirling in a tornado of couches, rugs, and paint colors, but I still tried to chisel away some time for reflection. A year can hold so many good things. Moments of truth. Lessons learned. Acceptance. Self improvement.

And so I have compiled a mish-mash of thoughts regarding the year that is my 29th. Regarding what I accept, what I want to improve upon, what is ugly and embarrassing, and what is the beautiful truth. Some are just basic facts, but the kind that you always knew, but only just now began to understand. Some of things I am not especially proud of. Some a still frame of art hanging on cracked wall. All are a part of who I am.

1. You aren’t 30 yet. Go you!

2. A night out? You’d rather take the price of one drink and hit up Trader Joe’s to buy an entire bottle of wine. Because you’d so much rather sit at home on Saturday editing photos and drinking wine while the record player hums a tune.

3. Number 2 makes you both sad and delighted. You wish you still wanted to go out on Saturdays.

4. Your younger brother had to explain what “Netflix and chill” meant. No, it is apparently NOT hanging out with your husband and watching reruns of 30 Rock. You wish you had known this before telling the cashier at Target that you were going home to Netflix and chill that one Friday.

5. At 29, you are not doing anything you thought you would be doing, and that’s ok. It’s better, really. New art, new love, new life are always exactly what you need, whether it’s what you planned or not.

6. You are now a badass pasta chef.

7. You did learn to like beer after all! The darker, the better.

8. In regards to number 2, after shopping at Trader Joe’s for the past 4 years, you never want to buy wine anywhere else. You honestly can’t tell the difference between the $5 bottle and the $20 bottle so why pay more?

9. You became a dog lover.

10. You’ve outgrown music festivals. It’s just so effing hot and crowded and whose sweat are you rubbing up against now? Yet, later today (as in really, today in a few hours) you headed out to Cincinnati to see Florence + the Machine at Bunbury. Lessons not learned.

11. You never thought you would ever be anywhere near skilled with a camera, let alone taking your own pics for a fashion blog.

12. You bought a house! What happened to never growing up, settling down, being tied to any one place? Oh, the ever-rising rent. Yeah… no. House it is.

13. You have a lot more opinions about how to decorate a home than you ever thought you would.

14. You will never stop being an overplanner.

15. You will never stop panicking about your plans falling through, but then being satisfied with what actually happened instead of what you wanted.

16. You will always have anxiety when you overplan something and a wrench or 18 gets thrown in there. Every time you will swear to learn to let go a little bit more, and remember that you promised to chill out the next time you have an anxiety attack over a muddy paw print.

17. You accept that your hair will always be messy. Always.

18. You have successfully procrastinated the decision of whether or not to procreate for a whole ‘nother year. Nothing like saying maybe someday.

19. You still feel a little tug at your heart when a surprise card comes in the mail from your grandmother. It’s the simplest things that taste the most like sugar on your heart-tongue.

20. You learned that a true 30 piece capsule wardrobe just isn’t for you. Somedays you want to dance in the woods with scarves and a ring on every finger and let the ruffles of a skirt sing with the wind. Other times, you feel pure tomboy – ripped jeans, oversized tees, Converse… the staples of summer.

21. You have decided this dichotomy mentioned above can be healthy. Not everyone has to stick to any one thing forever. You can love both your extremes in your own time and place.

22. You decided to care a lot less about social media. Instagram is not a depiction of real life, so stop trying to force your life into the perfect picture. It’s unhealthy.

23. You were never an ungrateful person, but the past few years have taught you what it really, truly means to be grateful from the very pit of your abdomen. There is a difference between merely mouthing the words “thank you” and having gratitude leak out of every bone in your body because you just don’t know what you would have done without that moment of salvation.

24. You tried to stop eating meat… and failed yet again. Sorry, cows.

25. You’ve never been prouder to cast a vote.

26. After dedicating more time to writing, whether in scribbles or deep thought, you have an appreciation for a good book like I think only writers can.

27. Sometimes, staying the same is fine. We don’t need to constantly be in transit to the next destination.

28. After teaching children for a short period of time, you realized that yes, dogs are practice children. Surely two dogs = 2/3 a child.

29. Girl, you have resting bitch face. You just do. Stop trying to pretend to smile all the time in photos. Love that face.

What about you? Do you reflect each year? Do you have ugly truths or moments of art? What was the most important lesson learned in the past year and how did it define you?

Stay Beautiful,


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  • Happy belated birthday!! Love this post! I would rather stay in most nights than go out! I like that bit about appreciating books a way only other writers can! So true! I don't think I could give up meat. Sorry cows indeed! That top is really, really cute!

    • Oh, thanks so much! It was a Goodwill find!

  • Happy belated birthday, Liz! I had such a lovely time reading this one. I'm not sure if it's just the way you write, but this felt very earnest and poignant. I'm a decade your junior but can relate to some of the things in this post, like the resting bitch face dilemma and gratefulness.

    I like to reflect each year, too. My 19th birthday is coming up and I'm thinking of doing a similar post. I find it very interesting to look back and see how much I've grown over the space of 365 days.

    Are you done moving yet, Liz? I hope all is well on your end. x


    • Please do make a reflection post! It feels so good to see how far you've come on the journey. As always, thank you for your kind sentiments. It always my hope to spark dreams in others. 🙂

      Yes, we are officially done moving. Now, it is time to decorate.

  • I'm almost 28 and I don't like going out, I like staying in! Can't say I'm a good pasta chef though, ha ha!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

    • Yay! I just have too much to do to regularly be out and about when I don't have to be.

  • Hope the moving in is going well and I love these portraits as well. It was also lovely to learn more about you and your thoughts of turning 29 in this post. I am turning 29 this summer as well, but honestly I am not too worried about eventually turning 30 next year – used to be but in reality, 40 is the new 30 and 30 the new 20 so it's no biggie 🙂

    Rae | Love from Berlin

    • I'm really trying to absorb that attitude. A dance teacher once told me that best age in your life is the one you are currently living in. I need to take that to heart.