Sunday, March 20, 2016

Introducing the 2016 Bucket List

Today is significant.  It marks the first day of spring.  It's a day spent looking to the growing light as a sign of good things to come.  It represents fertility, possibility, newness in everything.  And of course, it's gotten me thinking.

I've been talking a lot lately about bucket list items.  About things I want to do now, in the future, in my life.  About reasons I have not to do these things.

I am more free than I have ever been and (likely) will ever be at any other point in my life.  No family at home, no responsibilities and requirements and rules and expectations.  Nothing, really, to say that I can't.  Nothing other than fear.

But here's the thing about fear- I'm fucking sick of it.  It's been ruling my life, my decisions, my expectations for the better part of my existence.  In the biggest way at home and my whole concept of identity.  So many things I didn't do because I believed- in my core- that I just wasn't that girl.  Leave those things to the daring ones, the brave ones, the reckless ones.  Leave me here in my safe stability with my wise choices and rational decisions.  Safe.  Such a bullshit idea.

So I've come up with a new list- a new selection of activities that I hadn't thought of at the beginning of the year- my life hadn't been flipped completely upside down back then.  These things are things I want to happen now- before life goes where I can't see it going yet, before I end up in a completely different place again.

1) Run a full marathon.  The Philadelphia marathon, specifically.  I did the half marathon in 2014 and it was, at that time, the hardest and most rewarding experience of my life.  I can't think of a better time to do something so crazy and brave as double that.

2) Go to Martha's Vineyard and Greece.  Both are yoga retreats, both are relatively expensive, both have the potential to be life altering in the best way possible.  Part of me is still thinking the old thoughts: this is not what responsible people do.  They don't spend their savings on vacations when their entire financial future is the most uncertain it's ever been, when their home life gets torn apart and they're emotionally wrecked.  But the other part- the part that is becoming- says why the hell not?  What real, valid excuse do I have now?  So yeah- I'm going.  And it's going to be amazing.

3) Publish something.  Probably just an article, probably not the next great American novel.  But still- something.  Writing here everyday isn't enough.  I want people to read my writing.  I want all these experiences and epiphanies and revelations to mean something to others.  I want my voice to be heard.  So, yeah.

4)  Sing.  A friend of mine plays guitar and said recently that he and his friend were looking for someone to jam with them.  I've never sung in public before.  I've auditioned, maybe twice, for musicals but I never thought myself very good and therefore never pursued it.  I haven't suddenly come to the conclusion that I'm a world class singer and the the world needs to hear my voice, but I would like to try actually singing.  Even just at a coffee house, even just for a few songs.  Just because it's a fear that's kept me from ever trying it- and this list is all about staring my fears in the eye and going 'that's bullshit'.

5)  Live, actually, truly, like it's my last day on earth.  Say yes to all the stuff I used to always say no to.  Try foods I've been too scared to try, go to places I've been too scared to go to, hang out with people I'd normally dismiss.  Like I said, I feel like this is a significant time in my life.  I'm an adult, I have enough money and wherewithall to do what I actually want to do (whereas I could only dream about that stuff when I was younger) and I have nothing in my life that would prevent form trying all this stuff out.

Freedom means nothing to lose, right?  Well after such a life-changing loss I am free.  And I'm going to act like it.

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