Real Talk, Recap

30 For 30


– my blog to me

It’s me, just a week or so past my 30th birthday and very excited to have written something here again.

Gonna cut right to it. I’m 30. And honestly so far, the water’s just fine. My twenties were amazing; I fell in love, twice – once with a man and another time with a city. I pushed myself into situations that were daunting and overwhelming—and by the grace of God came out the other side alive, and maybe better? I landed my dream job, two actually. Made so many friends. Stamped my passport a few times. I ran a business with my husband and friends and have learned so much that I’m now annoyingly distributing my learnings to younger women around me in an effort to spare them from heartache or frustration. They probably don’t listen, because they’re young and some lessons you just have to experience yourself.

You know you’re grown when you have a photo of you at the dry cleaners.

Your twenties are a really weird time. For me it was ten years of non-stop fun, mixed heavily with confusion, despair, and emotionally-taxing moments. And then a funny thing happened around 28 or so—a calm began to wash over me. Just like the expensive jeans I bought last year are finally starting to do what the man at Vintage Twin swore they’d do: I feel more broken in, more custom fit, and better suited to myself.

List-maker than I am, I wanted to round up 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years, so I have a place to come back to when I feel like I know nothing. Granted, most of the truths are from the past 10, but I tried to dip into the simple truths of childhood as well—because some things are just always right, at any age.

The Hi, Haleyannie 30 For 30 List

  1. CHILDHOOD TRUTH: Ice Cream is always good.
  2. Everyone needs a cathartic activity. For me it’s Shopping, Running or Weight Lifting, and watching Queer Eye—in that order.
  3. It’s 100% possible to make your dreams a reality, it takes prayer, hard work, kindness, and gratitude
  4. Connect the dots for people. Be specific with what you want to do and where you want to go. It’s easier to help someone accomplish a goal with a clear next step.
  5. CHILDHOOD TRUTH: When you are gifted (and every time you earn) money, give a little, save a little, and spend the rest.
  6. Drinking water really is important.
  7. Take your makeup off every night, no matter how tired you are.
  8. Invest in good jeans, handbags, and heels. You can fake the rest.
  9. Buy really beautiful clothes for your wedding events.
  10. When someone is speaking to you in a professional or personal setting, stop typing on your computer or looking at your phone. Eye contact is everything!
  11. When possible, travel.
  12. Show up for people, even if it means getting home late or not getting as much done on your to do list. Even if it costs money. Show up for people.
  13. TAILOR. YOUR. CLOTHES. Hem your pants if nothing else.
  14. A well-edited closet is key to avoiding outfit fatigue. Keep an outfit moodboard and make a list of clothes that you need. Don’t deviate from the list—except for maybe some stupid-good sales.
  15. CHILDHOOD TRUTH: You really should go outside and enjoy it when it’s a “really beautiful day.”
  16. Never stop trying to learn new things.
  17. You truly are enough as you are. Take in and BELIEVE the nice things that people say to you. And mean them when you say them back to others. You deserve to be confident and happy, not crippled by fear and anxiety.
  18. Stop worrying about “the plan” and the deadlines you’ve set for yourself. Work, relationships, babies, etc. all come exactly when God has them for you. Some of the best advice I’ve ever been given was to say to God, “I trust your plan for me.” So much comfort in that line.
  19. Ry taught me this one — treat your friends, colleagues, guests to coffee, dinner, drinks, etc. There’s always enough room in the bank account to be generous.
  20. It’s a blessing to have friendships that last a lifetime, and it’s okay to have some friends for just a season.
  21. Your job shouldn’t define you.
  22. Remember how generous people were to you with advice, time, and connections when you were starting out and try hard to be generous to that girl or guy DM’ing you for the same.
  23. Creativity isn’t limited to the “creatives” around you.
  24. Money comes and goes.
  25. My dad has been saying this to me for years: ENJOY THE RIDE. Don’t rush it and don’t waste it.
  26. Try the things you’ve dreamed of doing, you won’t believe how many “once in a lifetime” opportunities present themselves if you’re willing.
  27. Seriously, don’t buy cheap shoes.
  28. Assuming that everyone is an idiot until proven smart is a bad way to operate. Everyone has a story and a point of view; everyone has value to bring to the table.
  29. Sports are actually interesting.
  30. It’s impossible to sum up every necessary truth in a list. But sometimes it’s good to try.
Ready for you, baby girl.

Two weeks ago, I kissed 20-29 a very grateful, very fond farewell. And I’m looking ahead to 30-39 like it’s a mountain I have conquer. Thirty is ushering in a new challenge. In less than two months, Ryan and I will be welcoming our daughter into our little family. So I’m going to learn how to be a mom and a parent with my husband. I hope someday we get to build a house, and I hope someday I’m talking about clothes and getting dressed more than ever. Regardless of where we end up, I’m thinking many of the things I’ve listed out above are going to come back in play again, and again, and again.

Building a marriage, establishing a career, navigating friendships, dealing with failure, and embracing adventure—so many seasons weathered while I was still very much figuring out me, so what happens now that I’m a little more secure, and maybe a little smarter? Hopefully more of the same, but with less tears and a better articulation. Only, time will tell.

Happy Birthday, HH. On to the next ten.



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