I found an old journal today. I was about to go to church with my friends, Ashley and Charles, and was looking for a Bible to take with me and when I pulled one off the lower shelf of an end table I have in my bedroom, my journal fell onto the floor. I started writing in this particular journal on July 5, 2006 (My sister’s birthday!) and only wrote through about half of it. My last entry was sometime in 2008, but I’m not sure when because I didn’t date it (weird). I only know it was 2008 because the entry before that was entitled “2008 Reading List.”
So, I’m browsing through the entries and I find a list: “Things I want to Do Before I Die.”
I don’t remember writing it! And I certainly didn’t remember it when I sat down and wrote Twenty-Five. It isn’t surprising, but it is rather humorous, that several items on this list also show up on dear old Abby’s list in the book. Because after all, Abby is basically me- just a better me.
I’m going to put the list here, as a bit of a teaser, because I’ve decided I’m going to post Twenty-Five on this blog. Yes, the whole book. I’ll post one chapter every other day starting October 17th. I’ve read a lot of warnings about posting stories, books, poetry etc. on blogs because you risk someone stealing it and passing it off as their own, but I’m still going to do it. I know there’s a risk, but I’m honestly not worried about it. I want the world to read my book. I don’t know that it will ever be published. So I’m going to send it out there for free. Plus, I have all of the early drafts and the first draft is hand written, so I’m pretty sure I can prove it is my work if someone does try to steal it. I hope everyone likes it and passes it on to their friends to read!
Okay, so here’s the list I wrote back in 2006:
Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
1. Get married/ fall in love
2. Have a child
3. Visit London
4. See another Broadway Show
5. Live in New York City
6. Go on a mission trip
7. Do something completely out of character
8. Watch every Academy Award winner of Best Picture
9. Own a brand new car
10. Learn how to cook
11. Read the whole Bible
12. Get accepted to NYU
13. Take a photography class/ learn how to develop my own pictures
14. Go to the dentist*
15. Work for a non-profit organization
16. Serve on a jury
17. Befriend a stranger
18. Meet someone famous
19. Take a tour of the White House
20. Visit the Supreme Court
21. Have 15 minutes of fame
22. Go to Disneyworld
* My parents didn’t have dental insurance when we were growing up and couldn’t afford to take 4 children to the dentist, so I never went as a child. I have been now- it pays to work for an orthodontist!
For the record I have completed only 2 of these list items, #14 (as stated above) and #22 (as seen in my 5 part blog post about it). I’ve come close to #16- I had jury duty a few months back, but I didn’t get picked for the actual jury. I’ll have to work on the rest of them!
Milestone Updates: This is my 97th Post and there are 19 days left until my Blogiversary! I’ve had 5,119 views! and I just received my 500th comment a few days ago- that wasn’t on the original milestone list, but I thought it was pretty cool.
And a little thing that makes me happy: A new pair of boots, or jeans, or a new cute sweater- anything new that I can wear, really!
14 thoughts on “My Own List”
How many of these things do you want to do/can you do before you’re 30? Thirty was my magical goal. Or the end of my 30th year, I should say. I’m pretty sure Bad Pants was my 31st birthday present from the Universe for completing all the goals I set for myself by 30. (Guess I need new goals!)
My magical age was 25 and I’m a year past that, so… Hmm… by 30, though? I don’t know. I’m sure I can do a fair amount, but I don’t think all of them are possible– I only have 3 1/2 years left! We’ll see!
Someone reminded me how much I enjoy the comments on my blog, and how much I don’t comment elsewhere when I’m busy, so I’m going to try to be more participatory in your writing.
I want you to know I’ve read every post you’ve written, and I can’t say that for many blogs. Your writing is special, and I hope you continue to share it with us.
To your list, some of these go without saying, but I’m saying them anyway:
Do #1 before #2. Not because there’s anything wrong with the other order, but it will change how you react to and accept #1 if #2 has already happened.
I can’t recommend #3 highly enough.
#9 is worth doing at least once.
#10 has become one of my favorite things about myself.
#11 is over-rated. As someone who spent years and years and years in religious education, what you take out of it is vastly influenced by what other’s put into your process. I’ve read the Vulgate Latin and the Septuagint Greek. Personally, I recommend the New Testament, the Pentateuch and the psalms and proverbs and then stopping there.
If you’re determined to slog through “the whole thing” I recommend the Zondervan Publishing book “Reading the Bible for All It’s Worth” as a contextual guide, or better yet, just read “The Message”.
In fact, skip all of that and just read “The Message.” Yes, it’s a paraphrase, but it’s the best version of the spirit of The Word in english we’ve yet produced as a species.
The rest are obviously personal, I’ll just say that #16 isn’t nearly as cool if you get some kind of white collar grand jury investigation. Corporate tax hinky-ness isn’t nearly as interesting as John Grisham makes you think it is.
“Someone reminded me how much I enjoy the comments on my blog”
Was it me?? It was me, wasn’t it?? Haha, you’re welcome 🙂
“I want you to know I’ve read every post you’ve written, and I can’t say that for many blogs.”
Thank you, so much.
“Your writing is special, and I hope you continue to share it with us.”
Flattery will get you very far, my dear. And thank you.
“Do #1 before #2.”
That is the plan, but I can honestly say I don’t know that I’ll get to do either. Sometimes I wonder if it’s too late now for #1- isn’t falling in love something that is supposed to happen when you are still bright-eyed, young, and innocent? And I don’t want #2 without #1.
“#11 is over-rated.”
I don’t really want #11 or #6 anymore. This list was written when I was fresh out of college and still believed very much that God was the answer to everything in life. Maybe he is. But I don’t really think or feel like that anymore. Too much crap in the world.
#16,19, and 20 also came from being fresh out of college. I got a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science and really thought I’d end up in a career in one of those areas. I obviously have not. And that’s okay. I still find America’s criminal justice system fascinating and enjoy learning more about it when possible, but I don’t think I actually want to work in it.
The rest, I still think I’d like to do someday, but most of them don’t seem as important to me now as I guess they did when I wrote it.
It’s NEVER too late for #1. Don’t ever think that!
I don’t want to think it
All I’ll say is no, #1 isn’t just for being 25. Yes, I’m a bleeding-heart romantic, and I believe bleeding-heart romantic things about life and love and the universe…but I know FAR too many people who found #1 at many ages, young-and-innocent and otherwise.
I have some opinions about #1 and youth and innocence, but that might just be the cynicism that comes from getting married at 19 and going 11 years before the wheels come off.
Don’t discount #2. While I think you’ll find #1 before you know it, and you’ll be “right on track” for #2…don’t count out #2 as being worthwhile and meaningful on it’s own.
That being said, I’m 100% sure you’ll find #1. Generally about a hot-millisecond after you stop looking.
That’s what everyone says- you’ll find it when you aren’t looking for it. But I don’t know that I’ve ever looked for it, really. Just expected it to happen and it never did. I think it stopped looking for me
Then I must send you here:
(I am not all cool and nifty with the inserted links. That’s what BP is for at our house, but he is cooking)
When I tossed in the proverbial towel and decided I was done looking, he came along. I will call him my second best birthday present, ever.
Oh, and btw, I used to refer to him on my blog as the Corporate Prince, before he started mybadpants.com.
No offense, because I appreciate what you are trying to do, but it doesn’t sound like you threw in the towel at all! You sent out a wish to the universe- sounds like you were still looking. Not that that’s a bad thing- it’s a great thing. And you had Dude, so you found something once before, right?
I know I sound ungrateful, I don’t mean to, and I really appreciate you trying to help and say the right thing that will make me feel better. It’s just that everyone thinks they understand, but I’m not convinced they do. I don’t think anyone truly understands this feeling I have, deep deep down, that it’s never going to happen for me- that no one could possibly ever love me. I’m sure other people have had had those kind of doubts before, but I’ve never met anyone else my age who’d never had a single relationship- who could count the number of dates she’d been on in her whole life on one hand. I don’t even like me very much- how could anyone love me?
So instead of searching fruitlessly, I wrote a love story for myself. I created the man who could love me. Sadly, he is a piece of fiction. He isn’t real. Luckily, I know that.
Yes, I have Dude. But Dude wasn’t conceived out of love. He’s mine and mine alone. That is an ugly story that’s better not rehashed. But, yes, I was married once before. And I spent years alone before Bad Pants.
I will say that I have an idea of how you feel. Just because I was married doesn’t mean that HE was in love. And it sucks hard to be in a one-sided relationship.
I’m very sorry you had to go through that. I can’t possibly understand how that feels.
I think I have always had a list like that in my head, but now i just fly by the seat of my pants and try to be open to new people and new moments…it’s less stressful than a be-all-end-all list, and I think in your heart you’ll always know what you really want to do…so do it. do it. do it.
I befriended a stranger once on the train. Which was rare because I try to be unfriendly so no one will bother me while I read or listen to my music 😉 . Years later we are still friends, so that’s a good one to try out!
The funny thing about this list is that most of the items really aren’t important to me now. And like I said, I’d completely forgotten that I wrote it. But it’s very ME in it’s expression of desires. If someone were to ask me what my personality was like 4 years ago, I could have just handed them this list and it would have told them everything they needed to know.
I tried to befriend a stranger yesterday. I was reading at Barnes and Noble. I was not very good at it. I’ll have to try harder next time.