In My Next 30 Years

This time last year, I had a rough plan in place that was going to get me where I needed to be physically, but I was blissfully unaware of the changes I desperately needed to make in so many other areas of my life.
printed dress and block heelsbachelorette party dress and heelsI’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’ve got it all figured out now that I’m 30. It’s more important to know (and accept) that I never will.

Releasing your fingers from their death-grip on perfection takes away so much of the self-inflicted pressure, you know?
the best cold shoulder dress off-the-shoulder dress with rufflessitting pretty in ChicagoAt 29, my life looked pretty good on paper, and even better on Instagram. But the glory of life is that it is ever-changing – sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. This past year of my life was full of triumphs and tribulations, the latter of which created tiny fractures in my being. Those tiny fractures have been healing (albeit slower than I’d like) and molding me into the person I’m meant to be moving forward. ruffle hem dress and black block heels pink and black printed dressWith so much happening in my personal life I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that society’s idea of what my life should look like at this point in time really doesn’t matter.

Don’t want to date people “appropriate” for your age? Not interested in having kids? No plans to own a home one day? That’s okay, and there’s nothing more to it. I wholeheartedly believe in living your life in a way that will bring you the happiness your soul desires, which in turn will allow you to be the best person you can possibly be to both yourself and to the people in your life.
30th birthday dressthoughts on turning 30 the perfect birthday dress and heels

This quote from Oriah Mountain Dreamer has been top of mind as of late: “I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “yes!” It doesn’t interest me who you know, or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with who you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” sky high in Chicago the best block heelsmy thoughts on turning 30 Chicago skyline A toast to 30Here’s to staying true to yourself, to finding the beauty in the mediocre days, to striving for independence while acknowledging that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Here’s to embracing change, to bringing your ideas to fruition, no matter how crazy they may sound when you say them out loud, to stepping outside of your comfort zone, and to loving with all you’ve got.

I’m beyond grateful for another year on this earth as tomorrow is denied to so many. I hope to keep growing, trusting, learning, loving, laughing, and wearing my heart on my ruffle-y sleeve in my next 30 years.

As always, I appreciate you following along with me more than you will ever know!

And if you’re wondering if I cried my way through this post, the answer is yes. I guess there are some things that never change, and that’s a-okay with me.

Lots of love to you. ✌🏼

SHOP THE POST:


WAYF Off-the-Shoulder Dress // Ann Taylor Block Heels // Maya Brenner Initial Necklace // Monica Vinader Bracelet (in gold) c/o // BaubleBar Tortoise Cuff // Lancome Lip Crayon (in Oui, Monsieur)

Photos by Iron and Honey Photography

25 comments

25 thoughts on “In My Next 30 Years

  1. Whitney Dunbar

    Well said Jess. You have gone through so many different experiences, realizations, and changes in this past year and the woman that has all helped you become is tremendous. I am so grateful and proud to call you one of my best friends and don’t you worry, I will stand in the fire with you and not shrink back. Cheers to 30!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      All the tears. I’m so thankful to have you in my life, Whit! I wouldn’t have made it through this last year without you.

      Reply
  2. Michelle Crenshaw

    Jess, my first born, you my Love have never “shrunk back” from anything in life! And, I’m so proud of you for it! Your choices are always all your own, and while they may not look like what the rest of the world sees as the path most take. It is yours and you’ve owned it, and made it work. You are living life on your own terms and to the fullest and I couldn’t be happier for you. I love and miss you so much! And, cannot wait to come visit you again! Love, Mom 😘😘😘

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Let’s be honest, I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way (and I’ll keep making mistakes), but they’ve taught me the hard lessons I needed. Can’t wait for you to visit again in the fall. Love you!

      Reply
      1. Michelle Crenshaw

        We all do. It’s what we do with those and how we move forward afterward that makes us who we are. We are all imperfect human beings. None of us are ever going to have it completely right, thank goodness, I’d hate to have to try and live up to that unreasonable expectation :p. All we can do is keep on making those “mistakes along the way” and learning those “hard lessons”, You are a very insightful and bright woman. I’ve learned plenty of those things myself, as you well know, and it took me so much longer to figure out then it has you. And, for that I will forever be grateful, because I never want any of you kids to go through some of the horrible things I chose along the way. I love you! <3 I can't wait for fall either, and to see the new digs! Love, Mom

        Reply
  3. Alissa

    Jess your words have gotten me through many, many times that you don’t even know about it. Did you know I’m dating someone that is a lot older than I am? Well, I am and I had to come to terms that I don’t relate to men my age. I’ve always been a little more mature than dudes my age and I realized I NEED a man who is just as determined and motivated as I am. The result? Guess what, sometimes that’s a dude in your 40’s and people you think are going to give you side eye but the people who get you are like OMG THIS MAKES SENSE YOU ARE DOING YOU! So I say all of that to say, you are fucking right. Do not box yourself into anything!

    The Adored Life

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Gahh…reading this gave me goosebumps. I’m working on a response to your email, but just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing this with me. It means the world, truly! You are awesome 🙂

      Reply
  4. Sarah

    I loved this paragraph: “Here’s to staying true to yourself, to finding the beauty in the mediocre days, to striving for independence while acknowledging that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Here’s to embracing change, to bringing your ideas to fruition, no matter how crazy they may sound when you say them out loud, to stepping outside of your comfort zone, and to loving with all you’ve got.”

    It reminded me of a poem sent to me years ago – I think you might enjoy.
    https://taylormali.com/poems/silver%C2%AD%E2%80%90lined-heart/

    Reply
  5. Sarah Lagen

    Cheers to your birthday and I loved this post!! I’m soooo grateful that you took that flight here a few years ago and we’ve ended up becoming such good friends! This past year wouldn’t be the same without you and I have a feeling that will be true for the future! 🙂

    Great birthday post and reflection back! You truly are where you need to be and life will take you the right way! And if you go down the wrong route, you know I’ll never make you feel back about it.. haha!!

    xo, Sarah

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you so much, girlfriend! Crazy to think back to where I was then and where I’m at now….right where I need to be 🙂 I’m so lucky to have you in my life! xx

      Reply
  6. Erin

    Anazing quote and article. I honestly dont even know how to put in words the way I fealt while reading that. Love you Jess! Here’s to the next 30 ✌🏼

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Yay! I’m so happy it resonated with you. Love you more, baby E! Life wouldn’t be the same without you in it 🙂 Beyond thankful for your friendship and endless support in everything I do.

      Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      It really is! Cheers to the next chapter for the both of us 🙂 Now, let’s get that yoga date on the books! It’s long overdue and I take full responsibility haha.

      Reply
  7. Cait

    Happy Birthday, Jess! Love your perspective and can’t wait to see all that’s ahead for you as you enter into a brand new chapter.

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you so much, Cait! Lots of change for the both of us over the last year and it’s nice to know I’m not going through it all alone. Next time you’re in Chicago, let’s plan a get together!

      Reply
  8. Meghan

    I so loved reading this. We all go through these times of tremendous trial but you are approaching it with such a positive and humble spirit. Thank you for sharing this and you look gorgeous in these photos, btw!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      I really appreciate you saying that, Meghan! So incredibly nice of you. I’m certainly trying my hardest! I hope you have the best week 🙂

      Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    Happy belated birthday! Love your photos and the quote in this post. 😊👏🏻 You are doing such great things and it’s fun to follow along!

    Reply
  10. Mary-Katherine

    Jess you have a way with words, and it’s been so fun to watch as your life has changed so much in the past year and yet you are thriving! Taking what life gives you and molding it to how you want it to look.

    Absolutely loved this line from the excerpt you included: “I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” So beautifully said and so true I can’t even handle it.

    Cheers to this next year, go and make it your own!

    xo MK
    http://www.goldhattedlover.com

    Reply
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