How I feel about turning the big 30 this year

That's right, this year, I turn the big 3-0 & you know what? I have had a range of emotions about it (some evident in the image above). After some serious reflection about it, my conclusion is (drum roll please): I feel excited. You can either stop reading here because now you know how I feel about the big 3-0 or, keep reading. Join me on a trip down memory lane.

My parents used to always tell me that the teen years were the hardest. For me, that has not been the case. I think that mid - late 20s have been the most difficult. Not saying they haven't been fun, it has felt like one big roller coaster of emotion for the last 5 or so years.

I'm excited to open a new chapter. Rummaging through my past helps me to plan for the future. What do I want? What is my purpose? What can I learn from the past to help guide my future? 

Here goes:


The start of my life. Baby Cheyney came into this world. I learned to hold my head up, walk, talk, & all those other things babies do. 

Primary school - I hated it. I often fell victim to the school bully. I did come second in an International art competition, the prize was a trip to Taiwan. The trip made the bitter Primary school pill, a bit easier to swallow.

I loved art & being creative. This came out at a young age (I was intense about colouring-in competitions, haha). I used to make my own clothes. I started to develop my own, unique sense of style. I remember wearing a pair of navy blue rayon pants & a half black, half higher orange crop top to school. 

We had many family trips including a 3-month trip traveling the West Coast of the USA in a motorhome. I remember more from that trip than I do from my entire Primary school life. 

I suffered my first losses (my Nana, our cat Cara & our dog Elle). I was too young to comprehend what loss was. My comprehension of loss surfaces later, in decade 3. Mortality must have been present somewhere in Cheyney's decade 1 brain, because I was sure that Rangitoto was going to erupt & take us all. Morbid. I blame Harrold the Giraffe from the LIFE bus. I'm sure that all stemmed from "Natural Disaster" day.

It was a decade where I started to find my feet. It was close-knit with my immediate family. Rather than making a tonne of friends & caring too much about what people thought: I just wanted to play with dolls, make art, avoid Rangitoto & win colouring-in competitions.


The decade of relationships. During Intermediate & High School I made loads of life-long friends. I had my first kiss with a boy (ooooooh la la). My relationship with my parents & brother changed & I placed more emphasis on my friendships. I had my first boyfriend (plus all the drama that goes with that). I also had my first job. Which I loved.

In this decade I like to think I was refining my style. I endured a couple of years with braces. My body was in a constant state of flux, my weight yo-yo'd. It was pretty much one big fashion faux pas & I tried just about every hair colour under the sun. 

I learned to drive & got my first car (Hillman Avenger pictured above). I went to High School to paint, hang out with my friends & eat my lunch. I somehow managed to gain University Entrance & started university. Which I loved.

Decade 2 was dedicated to my friendships & having fun. It was also a bit awkward. As my hormones changed, so did my body & my mind. I became more aware of what it was to have emotions. I already knew it all. I had this 'adult' gig sussed. I was carefree. My biggest fear would have been bumping into my crush after I decided to hack my own fringe. It's difficult to rock a curly fringe. I think I was quite funny in this decade too.


I started this decade off with a bang with my 21st Birthday. I thought I knew what it was to be an adult at about 18 so this decade was a little bit of a shock for me.

I have suffered a few losses in this decade. Three noteworthy losses are my Papa, cousin Ted & cat Natalie. As I mentioned before, the comprehension of loss wasn't on my radar in decade 1. In decade two I didn't lose too many loved ones. These losses have made this decade tough. I know it's a part of life, but that doesn't mean it is easy. I have also watched just about everyone I know also deal with loss in their own way. The loss component of this last decade has been what has made this period the most difficult for me. 

This decade is the one I have absorbed the most information. Ok, except for maybe decade 1, between the ages of 0-1). I graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Design. I also received a Diploma in Secondary Teaching. For half of this decade, I studied. And not the free kind (like in decade 1 & 2), but the study that costs mega bucks. Anyone feel like making a donation to help me pay off my student loan?

The best part of this decade was the travel. I made many trips. I went to the States a couple times, travelled to Europe & moved to Canada! I made so many wonderful friends & had great experiences. I saw snow for the first time & developed a fondness for snowsports like cross country skiing & snowboarding.

I started attending weddings of friends. Joyous occasions have been dotted throughout the decade. I settled back in NZ after my OE & every time an overseas friend arrives back from their travels (usually one of my life-long friends) I get excited. 

I finally illustrated a Children's book which had been a life goal.

I drank too much alcohol, stopped drinking as much, & then stopped drinking altogether. This was & still is a challenge for me but we can go into that another time. I exercised more in decade 3 than I did in the whole of decade 1 & 2. I feel compelled to take better care of my body.

In the last year & a half, I started Camille Co.Design by Cheyney. The business world is a new one but I am loving it! In my opinion, running a business is having the best of both worlds. It's like having everything I loved in a job & at university, merged together. I am driven & determined for these businesses to succeed. It is scary if I wonder too much about their future because a lot of it is out of my control. I remind myself to give up some of that control & just enjoy the ride.

PHWOAR! As I write this down, I realise what a decade the last one has been! So much happened. The last decade has been brain orientated & driven a lot by my emotions. A greater sense of empathy & understanding has arisen from dealing with loss.


I want decade 4 to have the carefreeness & humour of decade 2, & the drive of decade 3. I want it to be a decade that I will look back on in another decade & think "yeah giiiiirl". I want to buy a property in Muriwai. Have children. Maintain healthy relationships. Strike up a good work / life balance and continue to grow both Camille Co. & Design by Cheyney.

I'm celebrating my 30th with a trip to Queenstown. What better way to bring in 30? Spending time with close friends & surrounded by beautiful scenery. Fingers crossed there is some good snow for snowboarding. 

Stay tuned because in 10 years you get to hear all about how my 4th decade panned out. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

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  • Marj Hall

    Wow What a read! ! Insightful, inspiring, thought provoking emotional, raw honesty and thoroughly entertaining, makes me feel like I know you better than I actually do. You may want to add “writer” to your resume Cheyney, you are bloody good at it. May decade four be all you want and more! X

  • Brit Fish

    When I saw the shout out for this blog post, I thought..I have to read that!! I am glad i did. I literally just smiled, cried, and laughed in minutes. I canttttt lol (in the brit voice). Cheyney, You are a beautiful inspiration. Everyday thankful that our paths crossed. Cant wait to see where your path takes you, and how your life and business unfold and progress!! #getitgirl

  • Hannah

    What a life! So many ups and down and this makes you the awesome, caring, thoughtful and passionate person you are! Can’t wait for another decade of fun times xx

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