I’ve never made a bucket list. It seemed kind of silly to me: A list of things you dream of doing before you’re dead? My dreams were always both immediate and ongoing. Make music. Write words. Sing. Perform. Be fabulous. Be famous. Be loved. That was it.
Now I’m somewhere around the midpoint of my life, which is kind of frightening, kind of exhilarating because a lot of mountains have already been climbed (mountain references must always be made when discussing bucket lists). I’ve talked with other friends my age and when you’ve met the goals you had in your 20s, then what?
Make new goals, clearly.
I’m hoping with the wisdom and clarity of my semi-advanced age, my new goals won’t be completely career- and ego- driven, as above. At least, not all of them.
An insight I’ve had recently is that life really should just be enjoyed. I’m a perfectionist with some latent anger issues and I’m fairly relentless and demanding. I know, Asian much? While all of that has served me (rage can be useful when you’re a single woman living in a big city), it’s also kind of a drag—for me and the people around me. Motherhood made the tendency worse but since my kids are bigger, I’m embracing the idea of letting go and chilling a little. Work gets done, food gets made, houses get clean, babies eventually sleep so why wind ourselves and everybody else up with stress and yelling over insignificant things? Frankly, anything besides love, acceptance and gratitude is pretty insignificant, isn’t it?
Enter the bucket list. Which, per Google, appears to include travel, marathons and threesomes for a whole hell of a lot of people.
Why do most of these bucket lists seem geared towards bros? (The other side being “Eat, Pray, Love.”) Though I did happily come across these four adorable young dudes who’ve created a bucket list multimedia empire. Over the past ten years, they’ve almost completed their “100 things to do before they die.” Did I mention how cute they are?
Initially, I was going down the familiar route of my new year’s resolutions: write a book, get fit, get my French driver’s license… but there isn’t much joy or evolution in that. I think the point of the bucket list is to go buck wild. Dream big like you did as a child, before you were taught to censor yourself and your thoughts. Be silly, crazy, unacceptable, far-fetched.
An ex-love once asked what I thought my mission in life was. With the bravado of a young woman who knows the young man asking is infatuated with her, I said something like, “I think my mission is to bring joy, the joy of fully expressing your true self, to other people. To let them know that it’s ok to be exactly who they are.” Not too grandiose, right?
To fulfill my 27-year-old self’s mission, here’s me daring you to be exactly who you are and make your bucket list, damn it.
I’ll go first:
- Go to outer space
- Hang out in the South Pacific islands for a month
- Write and publish a bestseller(s)—this one’s on every list, forever
- Drive an RV cross-country in the U.S. with my kids for a summer
- Find real absinthe like the Moulin Rouge movie (though I’ll take an opium den in a pinch)
- Chase rainbows until I reach the end of one and see what’s there
- Milk a cow
- Busk on the street or in the metro
- Learn to fight like a superhero
- Grow my own vegetables
- Dance like Yanis Marshall (or a reasonable amateur version of him)
- Sing torch songs in a sequined dress in a jazz club
- Go on a safari, cuddle with lions and tigers in a sanctuary somewhere
- Gossip with Madonna
- Get over my bug and alone-at-nighttime phobias
- Discover New Zealand to see if I want to buy a farm there
- Erase my tramp stamp
- Do grape harvesting in St. Emilion
- Explore Paris and really get to know it
- Kondo my house for good
I thought I’d cap it at 25 but these were pretty easy to come up with so I’m going to keep going until I run out. Now how about showing me yours?