Monday, October 15, 2007
Jen MacNeil
Approaching 30 can cause angst for some twentysomethings. But for Jen MacNeil, it was a reason to celebrate her life and try some pretty cool things. MacNeil decided to give her 20s a big sendoff by doing one new thing every day from her 29th birthday until the day she turns 30.

The things she says she has tried range from giving someone a haircut and learning to fold fancy napkins to castrating a calf (which she says isn't as gory as it sounds) and serenading an overworked customer service representative. Some of her favorite experiences include adopting an endangered species (a blue-footed booby), culturing organic honey by using a chainsaw and attending an Al-Anon meeting. Of course, being featured on CNN makes the list, too.

MacNeil documents all of her adventures and misadventures on her blog: In the New. She gets hundreds of readers from all over the world, inspiring people to step outside their comfort zones. As she says on her blog, "Life is short, let's make it interesting."

Update: Watch the Live Video interview
I like this idea. It makes sure that every day is memorable. Life is presious and we should take advantage of the time we have.
Life is a process, not an explosion.
This lady is simply amazing. It's good to know that she is celebrating her life and not letting it go to waste. It inspires me. =]
Obviously we'd appreciate knowing why she has a mustache.
I don't have a problem with the 'project', per se, moreso the mustache. I just don't understand why it has to be a tequilla drinker type as opposed to a smaller one
I too am approching 30 and kind of freaking out...I feel like I haven't had enough adventure in my life. Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the fun work!
I love the idea. I'm glad someone decided to do things diffently instead of being obsessed with their careers . There is alot out there to do especially for a younger person
What an interesting idea. Good for her!
Was there anything you decided to do and then backed out of?
Wow, how true it is-that life is too short. I think this is just absolutely admirable, Jen. Good for YOU! Being a fellow 20-Something I often feel like my days are ticking away and I sometimes wish I could find ways to make them more interesting and fun. You certainly gave me some excellent pointers. Thanks to you, and never ever stop in your quest to enjoy life. Truly inspiring. ;-)
Is there something you wish now that you had included that you didn't know about when you were in your countdown year?
Hmmm...I'm sorry, but what's with the castrating a calf? Unless she was helping out at an animal sanctuary, there's nothing admirable about it.
Jen MacNeil, you do rock! Congratulations on a great year that you will not ever forget! I hope your attitude continues well into your 30's.

Trust me as a 40 year old, it (I hope it is okay to read the Young People That Rock Blog!) is a big change at 40 and you do get set in your ways of routine. Sometimes predictability is a blessing other times it is sheer boredom!

Work, home, work, work, work, laundry, work, dishes, work, work, work, sex, sex, work, work, home, dishes, laundry. You get the picture!
Her doing something new every day until she turns 30 is what I have been doing all my life. Before I turned 30, I got a B.S. degree, and an MBA, lived in Okinawa and worked there for 2-1/2 years, traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, lived and worked in San Francisco, lived in Maryland, traveled cross country in a car numerous times sight seeing, bought a house in San Diego, snow skiing in Colorado (XX slopes), Utah, Montana, California, etc.; learned scuba diving, surfing, took sailing lessons, passed the CPA exam, volunteered for numerous organizations, had 'relations' with over 80 men (looking back not my proudest moments), married twice but never had children, had 6 jobs, and tried to do something new or help someone almost everyday. All the above and more, before I turned 30. Today I am 61, still keeping up the same routine (except for the men thing), always trying something new and still volunteering and working and riding/owning horses . I am now President of my own computer programming company and I continually keep active. I guess it is best to start young but for those that don't it is never too late.
I too have a dream of trying new things everyday. Unfortunately, I am not able to do this on a regular basis. This woman insppires me. Please don't stop.
Did this young woman think Logan's Run was a documentary? I'll give all you twentysomethings a minute to look that up on "the google."

How old were the Rolling Stones when they recorded "Exile on Main Street"? They were in their 30s. By CNN's definition, Mick and the Boys would not have been "Young People who Rock."

There's nothing really final about turning 30. Some of us look back on our twenties and are amazed we survived them, and we still mourn those who didn't.

Speaking of surviving, could you maybe profile some young men and women who are serving in Iraq? Their stories would put Jen McNeil's "adventures and misadventures" to shame.
I don't understand why we are patting Ms. MacNeil on the back when this is how we should be living our lives every day...not just when we are approaching 30.
I find this to be inspiring. I am trying to do alot before I turn 30 as well, i am 5 years away from completing my goal. I am on the track towards a rewarding career, I may have found the man of my dreams, whom I want to start a family with and I hope to do this all before I am 30. Don't get me wrong, i know everything in life can't be planned, but it's nice to have a guideline. :)
A great idea, but your whole life should be this way. I'm 55, now live in Florida, have lived all over New England and New York. Have worked for large corporations, small companies, myself (freelance artist), printers, avertising agencies, left the corporate world, built fishing boats on Cape Cod. Built a tallship after leaving an advertising agency (freaked out my fiance and in-laws), back to advertising, off to set construction for Universal Studios, back to art and printing, then to freelance writing. While I admit, there's not a lot in my pension fund or savings account, I wouldn't have traded a moment for the things I have experienced and new things I have learned. Live your life!
I don't get it. Doesn't everyone do at least one new thing each day?
This is so totally Jen. We went to college together, which means I'm about the same age. Ack! I definately like her aproach to it.
Wow! In my opinion, Jen is the best Young Person Who Rocks because she inspired me to go out and live life to the fullest, and she renewed my outlook on the way to live one's life everyday. Moreover, her daily adventures are something anyone can emulate and make a part of their own lives. I may not have the resources or ability to climb every mountain in the world or go to Rwanda or Haiti to fight poverty, but I can do this! Thanks for the inspiration and for making me laugh, Jen.
Seriously though, what is up with the 'stache? The entire story for me is shadowed by the crazy pic used in this story. Can anyone explain it?
I can explain it, Jesse.
I'm doing things I've never done before.
I'd never before worn a moustache out to dinner. That photo is of me wearing a moustache out to dinner.
I hope that clears things up!
hey there!
moustache to dinner...
im about to turn 29 in a couple of months. i do have a list. but would not include the moustache thing.

keep up with being inspired and being an inspiration to others.

Great idea for those lacking excitment and variety in their lives. But why not strive to do this every day instead of just for a limited time?
Anonymous Coward asked, "I don't get it. Doesn't everyone do at least one new thing each day? "

No. I know some people who fight doing new things with a passion. Ironic, eh? And very sad IMO.

You go, Jen!
AWESOME girl! keep going!

Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. CNN Anchor Nicole Lapin introduces them here, then interviews them Fridays on Live. Log on in the 3 p.m. ET hour to catch the interviews.
Know someone who rocks?
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