16 July 2019

Turning 25 - did I complete my 25 before 25 bucket list?

Turning 25 - did I complete my 25 before 25 bucket list?

At 22, having just moved to a town where I knew no one and had no job, I felt a little ~lost~ to say the least. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be and I was at a bit of a crossroads where I really needed to get sorted, find somewhere to work and start living my proper *adult* life.

So, instead of actually doing something, I procrastinated by writing a big list of 25 things I wanted to do before hitting 25. It did in the end make me think about what I really, deep down, wanted to do and where I wanted to be in three years' time. I think 25 sounded so far off to me back then that I had a pretty idealised version of my life as some kind of stress-free holiday. Thudding back down to reality (albeit a reality I'm pretty happy with), here's how I did over the three years on my bucket list:

1.) Learn to drive
This one is something I'm SO proud of. I passed my driving test last May (second time around), and I've almost been driving for a year now. It's something that flares my anxiety up a lot, but it also gives me a whole lotta freedom, and I'm so glad I forced myself to learn.

2.) Pay my parents back all the money they used to support me whilst I was at uni
This is a big fat nope. I have almost no savings, and I have no idea when or if this is ever going to be achievable.

3.) Settle down in a town
Moving to the town I live in was one of the hardest things I've done - I only knew my boyfriend and it was lonely for such a long time. Now however I feel very content in having a secure group of friends, I enjoy my job and I feel quite happy with the idea of staying here for the foreseeable future. 

4.) Have an organised self-care routine that I stick to
I've dipped in and out of this, but I'm just rubbish at sticking to routines. I end up permanently in a big loop of: feeling sad - starting to do more self care - having a routine for it - feeling happier - stopping the self care - feeling sad. One day I'll nail this, but it hasn't happened yet.

5.) Travel to a different continent
It feels like forever ago, but I did this back in 2017 when we went to Florida. I totally included this goal knowing that I'd be travelling there, so this one was a bit of a cop out!

6.) Volunteer in some way
I looked into this a LOT, but it felt like you had to jump through so many hoops to even be considered for it that ultimately my anxiety won out and I figured I'd never get through to actually volunteer anyway. Instead I did a 5K for charity and have donated food to a homeless charity every year, which goes some way (I think) to making up for this.

7.) Own a whole shelf of tsum tsums
I look back on this one and?? Why did I want this so much? I mean, I totally achieved it, and I did love having them on my bookshelves but wow what a waste of a goal.

8.) Learn how to do winged eyeliner properly
I am still shite at this. Well and truly. Wear the stuff every day and I don't think my eyes have ever looked vaguely even.

9.) Find a career I love
I told you I was feeling a bit lost. But I managed to get a job in publishing and even almost two years in I still love what I do. There are frustrating days, but I can count the number of days I've dreaded going to work on one hand, which is SUCH a big thing for me.

10.) Frame my degree certificate
I finally got around to this a few months ago and it's now hanging in pride of place in my office/spare room. It's a big reminder that I can actually do things, even when life gets a bit tough.

11.) Be living with someone I love
Again, this is totally one I was already doing when I wrote this list, but you never know what the future holds. My boyfriend and I have been together for nearing seven years now, and it's just fab to come home every day to a place you feel safe and comforted. 

12.) Have enough savings to put down a payment on a flat or house
LOL. I mean, for real, LOL. I'm not sure at what point I thought I'd have to start saving for this but whew the naivety. I've only *just* found something that works for me in the last three months to even start having a tiny amount of savings rather than live paycheck to paycheck.

13.) Have enough money to go on an IKEA spending spree.
See point above on my inability to save money. We moved in to an unfurnished house almost three years ago now and there were a fair few things we were in need of. It wasn't a totally unrestrained spree though, but a very calculated *wow can we even afford to have a washing basket after buying furniture* situation, so I'm not sure if this really counts?

14.) Start relying more on homeopathic medicine.
This is a big ol' no, but if I'm honest it's absolutely not a priority for me anymore, so I'm okay with this one.

15.) Maintain good relationships with all of my family members.
Nope. But, I have finally taken steps to protect myself against toxic family members who were just causing me pain. It's been a rough couple of years setting boundaries between myself and people who were meant to protect me but absolutely did the opposite. In a way, the relationship is better now, because I'm not being manipulated, but at the same time it's not pleasant.

16.) Be able to emotionally and financially support my sister.
I'm going to tick this one off. Although she absolutely has more savings than me all the time (see points above r.e. savings), we're still incredibly close, and she was able to move in with me when she needed to.
17.) Have a pretty, organised desk space for my freelance/blogging work
I love my little nook in the spare room for my desk. I've finally managed to cultivate something that's (mostly) free of clutter, and I love how light it is, the fact that I can look over my bookshelves from it and that it's surrounded by plants.

18.) Learn some basic calligraphy
I SO wish I'd done this. I really want to do calligraphy lessons, and it's annoyingly one of those things that I just never really seem to 'get around to'. I've seen a fab 'how to' style book online that *might* make its way onto my Christmas list, so I think I'm going to start there.

19.) Try kayaking and karate
I did kayaking once (hated it), and I still haven't sucked up the courage to give karate a go. It's something that I'm just not sure I'll enjoy, but that my boyfriend and I have been considering for years.

20.) Get good enough at yoga to do the crow
This part of the goals section isn't looking so good is it? I've not done yoga in so long, and I miss it, but with a full time job, trying to balance blogging, going to the gym and being sociable, it's something I've stopped making time for.

21.) Still enjoy blogging
I don't enjoy it as much as I did, I think. In the moment, writing my posts I love it. But sitting back and wondering whether to make my house a bit cleaner, go to a gym class or blog, I'll rarely go for the latter. Again, it's something that's dropped off a lot since I started working full time, but I think about it almost every day, even if I don't end up posting anything.

22.) Continue to improve my photography skills
I've moved to taking Insta photos on my phone, took some promotional photos for my work and have changed my style a lot. I'm loving bookstagram photos at the moment, as well as toying with different textured backgrounds. 

23.) Learn to love myself
I think I've reached a place where I'm more at peace with things. Rather than forcing myself to go on a night out because it's what I 'should' do as someone in their twenties, I've accepted over the last few years that it's not really my thing. I've spent a lot of time digging deep into what's good for my mental health and what's not, and it's led me to a place where I don't push myself to being burnt out, or bankrupt myself every month. The past few years I've come to the realisation that feeling happy or even content is better than looking skinny and oh my GOD the difference that has made.

24.) Go to Disneyworld (Florida)
Again, this is a sneaky one because I knew I was going before I included it. Disneyworld was INCREDIBLE, and there's a few blog posts on it if you search that or Florida on my blog. I'm a big Disney fan, so this was never not going to be great.

25.) Have developed my own sense of style
This is something that I've actually started on. I've never been 'stylish' or really considered what I would like to wear, or might look nice in. Recently however, I've taken a bit of a plunge. I looked into what my colour palette is and I feel like it's given me a bit of a sense of direction when shopping: I know what colours work for me so it's less overwhelming because I'm never looking at everything. Restricting myself in this sense has actually made me a lot freer with my choices: I'm trying on different styles and really considering what suits me. I wouldn't say I've really got my own sense of style yet, but I'm making my way there.

I'm going to do a big post on my 30 before 30 goals soon, which I imagine will be VERY different to these. It's a bit surreal looking back on the things that I most wanted to do three years ago, because whilst not that much time has passed, I have changed a LOT.

Follow me on Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Facebook


  1. I love looking back on lists like this. My 30 before 30 list was a bust (I think because I only gave myself a year?) but I'm planning to publish my 40 before 40 list in September when I have 1,000 days to go. I think what makes them so interesting is how our goals change as we grow, even more so than the things we do end up ticking off the way we anticipated!

    Lis / last year's girl x

    1. I really need to get cracking on making my 30 before 30 list (which means I absolutely need to start thinking about what to put on it, oops!)

      Steph x

  2. It's surprising how much can change in three years! You've still done so many amazing things in those three years and should be really pleased with how far you've come and all the things you have ticked off, whether they were on the list or not!

  3. omg I love your card with the guinea pig on, so cute! well done on achieving the goals you did in 3 years :)


    1. It's the cutest! Thank you :)

      Steph x


I read each and every one of your comments, and really appreciate the time you've taken to add them! If you want or need a more immediate response then contact me through my twitter @stephhartley4. Thank you!