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30 things for my 30th year!

Working under a neon hustle sign in a cafe

I remember sitting on our cozy living room couch, half watching the ball drop on CNN with my family on new year's eve and half fighting sleep. We had decided to stay in and step into the new year being "present" and actually wake up early the next day and make the most of the 1st day of the new year. I was tired but my angst didn't let me sleep that night, something in me was changing or wanting to change. I woke up half way through the night, when everyone was fast asleep and began to think and write...about all the things I wanted to do this year, the year I turned 30, so I don't have that many regrets. We've all done this at the beginning of a new year but something just felt different this time. There was this energy and excitement about it that I prayed wouldn't leave me ever. Over the course of a few days, I wrote a list of things I wanted to do, or do more of, some were no brainers and some just to push my boundaries. None of these are ground breaking ideas, most of them are things we should be doing already or think that we are, but I'm definitely more conscious of it now and hope i don't waver from these 30 things for my 30th year on earth. I am finally ready to share, maybe it will spark something in someone reading this and also to make myself more accountable as time goes on :)

Here it goes, in no particular order...

1. Verbalize my love for people. I didn't grow up in an environment where we said "I love you" to parents, siblings, friends etc. I am hoping to do more of this now.... life is short, let's love.

2. Start a blog/write more about whatever inspires me.

3. Start my own business.

4. Be more patient with myself.

5. Learn something new every single day- something as simple as a new word or a skill like creating a website (I track this daily on my phone. There are also apps that could help with it example - Productive or Habit List.)

6. Learn to say "No." If you know me, then you're aware that this has been a big struggle. It has lead me to some sticky situations, toxic relationships, and just mental and emotional exhaustion.

7. Be in the moment and worry less.

8. Being "ok" leaving people that are toxic/negative/superficial.

9. Make a conscious effort to make new friends in the city I live in.

10. Fight the urge to smoke (shocker!!!) Yes, I recently quit after many (failed) attempts and then officially becoming a closet smoker - June marks the 7th month without my "lovelies." I also hope to help one other person quit this year. If you're reading this and going through the same struggle, please reach out because you're not alone!

Ok, let's break this up at every 10. Also, coffee! Be right back ;)

Coffee break

Have I lost you yet? Sorry, brevity is not my forte but I promise to keep the next post short and sweet :)

11. Have dinner on the dining table, without the presence of any technology. Talk or be silent but present and thankful for the meal and another (hopefully) good day on earth.

12. Take better care of my body.

13. Pray/Meditate more.

14. Try new experiences at least once before judging/writing them off.

15. Start dancing/choreographing again (My Bollywood dance experience helps with this itch!)

16. Create new traditions with my Husband, Arshia (I'm Pakistani, he's Persian and not having family in Chicago we sometimes forget to celebrate things from our culture. Hoping we can make more of an effort now.)

17. Have 3 or more sources of income. Hustle, hustle, hustle is the name of the game.

18. Travel to places I've never been before and stay with a local (Airbnb, thank you for making this easy and stress free!)

19. Surround myself with people I can learn from and vice versa.

20. Be kind, first.

On a side note, how amazing are the paintings on either side of me? Cafe Tola, you had me at tacos but your space made me even happier!

21. Stop using "I'm so busy with work" excuse all the time and just create time for whatever the heart desires.

22. Join an organization or figure out a way that would benefit/help Syrian/refugee crises in general.

23. Forgive and let go.

24. Set aside 20-30 minutes to read things of substance. I was never an avid reader but hoping to read more short stories/articles or anything to keep me inspired.

25. Learn how to make food to entertain more than 6 people.

26. Small gestures to make a person's day, ever so often!

27. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

28. Try cuisine from every country on earth at least once (Tajikistan is next!)

29. Create beautiful and thoughtful events/experiences for people.

30. Collaborate with trailblazers from different fields and walks of life.

If you made it all the way down here, thank you for reading or skimming and I can't wait to connect with you in some capacity soon.

Love & love,