At 30, I’ve learned …

Anniversary of 29th birthday

I turn 30 tomorrow. No, it’s really not a big deal, but I’ve been finding myself thinking about it, looking at old pictures, etc. It’s kind of crazy to look back over the years—and the bleached hair and the horrible disposable camera quality—and see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. In case you haven’t had enough of my deep thoughts this week, here’s a few more (plus a boatload of photos that I downloaded):


At 30, I’ve learned … that weekend plans don’t have to be as crazy or hangover-inducing, but I love that they’re still with the same awesome people.

Just keep running.

At 30, I’ve learned … that it’s okay to not be a thin as I once was because now I’m stronger. It 15, I was pencil-thin from being, you know, 15, and from running constantly. At 21, I was pencil-thin because I was horribly sick and could barely eat for months. At 30, I waffle with my weight but can run more than 13 miles without stopping.


At 30, I’ve learned … that spending 1/3 of your life with someone is not a scary thing, and long as you’re with the right someone. When Steve and I started dating, I refused to call him my boyfriend for months. I wouldn’t commit, just like I didn’t to other guys before him. Eventually, I realized that I didn’t want him to go anywhere—and I’m so glad that he hasn’t.


At 30, I’ve learned … that I’m not going to be carded at the liquor store. Ever again. 

Old friends
So much love.

At 30, I’ve learned … that I’m lucky to still be close with friends from high school and college. I know some people who barely keep in touch with those from 15+ years ago, but I still have a group of tight girlfriends from high school and college who are my rocks.


At 30, I’ve learned … how amazing it is to watch my friends’ families grow. From spouses, pets, and babies, it’s so cool to see them change over the years.

At 30, I’ve learned … how important it is to be there for those friends when things fall apart.

2006 vs. 2012. Strapless dresses are also not good for me.

At 30, I’ve learned … that loose updos work much better for me. The style is still not great for me in general, but the slicked-back, super tight curls are definitely not good.

Ghostface on the left and classic Renee mid-laugh face on the right.

At 30, I’ve learned … that parents can be pretty cool. I’m thankful to have awesome parents and to have gained a bonus set in my in-laws.

At 30, I’ve learned … 50 Cents’ “In da Club” is the best birthday song ever. (McDaniel crew, I remember dancing at a Bachelor club room on my 20th birthday to that song!)

Dianne, Brian, Michelle — come back?

At 30, I’ve learned that who you work with and why you do the work you do is more important that what you do or how much you make. For years, I jumped from place to place, looking for a job that could be a career, a place where I could be a big fish in the pond, and a company where my co-workers felt like friends. So far, so good.

No Kids

At 30, I’ve learned … that I was crazy to think that I’d have kids at 27. Seriously? Did I not know myself at all?

Top right? Pit stop to use a bathroom in a little Dominican hut.

At 30, I’ve learned … that I need to travel more. I’ve been a few fantastic places, but I need to see/do more. Why is traveling so expensive??

And, at 30, I’ve learned …

  • It’s usually not too late to start or quit;
  • You feel better when you eat well and exercise;
  • How to make a really good omelette;
  • When to use ‘who’ and ‘whom;’
  • I need eight hours of sleep every night;
  • How much I love the serial comma;
  • Quality shoes really are worth the investment;
  • Cheese makes almost anything better;
  • You don’t need to write down everything in meetings;
  • Being nice and getting along with people is not as difficult as many make it;
  • and I cannot be trusted around trail mix.
Love Life
Ahh, the booties of 22.


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