When I was a younger, I had a (delusional) idea of where I'd be at certain stages in my life...married at 24, 2.5 kids by 30, fancy career, making TONS of money, house with a spiral stair case with a piano at the bottom of the stairs. I have never been a huge fan of animals but I would have several fish in a huge tank in my living room.
I celebrated my 29th birthday this past monday (October 24th). I had a lovely dinner with my sister and her other half. No fireworks, cake, or partying all night 'til my feet hurt. I turned 29 and yet the world didn't stop to congratulate me on making it to the last year of my 20's. Not married. Career is (currently) far from fancy. My bank account laughs at the "TONS of money" statement. The only stairs near my residence lead to the condos above me. I don't even have the fish yet.
I admit I spent a few days prior to my birthday wondering what happened. I had this feeling of slight panic questioning WHY I didn't feel successful at all, as if I hadn't done enough. Afterall at 29, people have it all, right? The more I thought about it, I realized my panic was not necessary. Of course I want a lot more for myself in the future but as they would say "I'm right where I need to be".
With that said, I told many friends and family that I wanted to be more daring and bold after a friend dared me to be. As others have done, I decided I wanted a bucket list of sorts. This bucket list would consist of 30 things I wanted to do BEFORE I turned the big 3-0. I asked for suggestions and many chimed in. So here's the list, not in any particular order.
1. Learn to ride a bicycle (Yep, i never learned)
2. Volunteer 30 hours for a cause I support
3. Take a self defense class
4. Run/walk 30 miles a month
5. Do some sort of water activity: parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, swim with dolphins
6. Officially start my own company (Born To Fly)
7. Read/perform my poetry in front of a group of strangers
8. Travel out of the country VIA airplane
9. Take a conversational spanish class (I was the only black girl in Advanced Placement Spanish in 12th grade)
10. 10 5k's
11. Submit my pictures to a plus size modeling agency, site or contest just because
12. Blog more often
14. Visit a gun range
15. Take professional pictures by the infamous Saddi Khali
16. Actually make youtube videos here: JackieONappy
17. Write and publish an article
18. Pose nude for pictures *gasps*
19. Pierce something/ tattoo something (probably the easiest task on this list)
20. Break the rules, make LESS lists and LIVE.
Ok ok, so I suppose you've noticed there's only 20 things on this list but I decided, this was my idea and I couldn't think of 10 more things so 20 was sufficient.
I realize the lessons I've learned in my 28th year were all things I've already known but had to be reminded:
Love can be fantastic but isn't enough (by itself) to maintain or substain a relationship.
Most of the "You can'ts," & "You shouldn'ts," come from within. Self doubt can ruin you before you begin.
People will judge you, tell lies about you, and try to break you just to see how you react.
People will dislike you SIMPLY because you have something they want(ed)
The best lesson I've been reminded of though isn't particulary surprising or shocking by any means:
Life is all about chances and taking risks. You only get out what you put in. Be bold. Be beautiful. Be DARING. Life isn't always about to do lists and following the script. It's about getting up and doing IT and writing it down AFTER the fact.
My 29th year's motto: "In full bloom".
I look forward to the journey.