It’s late, and I should be in bed, but I want to do this before I go to sleep, and before it’s officially not my Birthday anymore.  I want to start my trudge to 30 on a positive note, so here goes… 29 things I’ve learned in 29 years (don’t expect these to be amazingly profound).

1.) I’ve learned that life is not what we plan or expect, it’s what we do when the unplanned and unexpected happen.

2.) I’ve learned that I love all of my siblings in completely unique ways.

3.) I’ve learned that there are many things my parents were actually right about… and that there are also things that they were wrong about.

4.) I’ve learned that I like MANY different kinds of foods… including, but not limited to greek food, vegan food, vegetarian food, indian food… mmm.

5.) I’ve learned that I can do what I set my mind to do, I have amazing will power, a good amount of focus, and a heap of determination when I really want something. I can, as Tim Gunn says, “Make it work.”

6.) I’ve learned that I really appreciate socks that actually fit.

7.) I’ve learned that I can be very hard on myself… that sometimes I set unrealistic expectations, and sometimes I push myself too hard, but it’s ok because I realize it and I can work on it.

8.) I’ve learned that I don’t like ground meat, cooked, and crumbled.

9.) I’ve learned that I feel loved when people affirm me with encouraging words.

10.) I’ve learned that I love learning and being challenged.

11.) I’ve learned that I will always love cheesy romantic comedy no matter how sophisticated I try to be. I love the cheese.

12.) I’ve learned that I should never leave the house without a light jacket or a sweater.

13.) I’ve learned that I am very creative… but I don’t like trying to pin all of my creative energy on one thing.

14.) I’ve learned that being an aunt is one of the most wonderful experiences you can ever have, and that nothing in the entire world feels as awesome as having a little person look up at you and tell you that they love you, or that they miss you, or that they want to be just like you. Nothing is as special or as terrifying. It’s wonderful.

15.) I’ve learned that wheat pasta is nasty.

16.) I’ve learned that I LOVE to travel, I love airports, airplanes, and packing.

17.) I’ve learned the difference between love and infatuation.

18.) I’ve learned what it feels like to have your heart broken, and then what it feels like to find each pieces and put it back in place one by one.

19.) I’ve learned that going to bed on time (ha!), at a reasonable time, doesn’t make me old and boring. It makes me wise.

20.) I’ve learned that I need to be outside.

21.) I’ve learned that I really like to cook. A lot.

22.) I’ve learned that I should never, ever, ever wear those pantsuit things, the ones that are all one piece. Yeah, bad idea.

23.) I’ve learned that my life is made much simpler by having a car with a navigation system. I feel like I can go anywhere.

24.) I’ve learned that I CAN swim in natural bodies of water, in spite of being ridiculously afraid of the fish.

25.) I’ve learned that I can avoid being eaten by a shark…. by staying out of the ocean and the Mississippi River.

26.) I’ve learned that I will never be able to play poker… not only because I can’t remember the rules to save my life, but because I have the extreme opposite of a poker face.

27.) I’ve learned that plants make me feel happy, specifically trees.

28.) I’ve learned that childbirth isn’t the scariest thing on the planet after seeing multiple children come into the world.

29.) The last one. I’ve learned that I don’t have all the answers… I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, I don’t know the whole plan or where I’ll end up, but that in the end, it doesn’t matter if I know.