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Tag Archives: birthday

30 Before 30

29 Sep
Don't entirely remember this picture from our bday celebration.

Don’t entirely remember this picture from our bday celebration.

It’s a bit unnerving to see the number 30 as the title of this post and looming ahead of me. But I remember being 26 and talking to my amazing co-worker, Kristina, when she was turning 30. She told me how excited and happy she was about life, her career, and dating. She told me that at that age, she knew what she wanted out of life and had a confidence to go after it that made things so much easier. But me, at that timid, mid-twenties age, I doubted what she told me and looked at my future with anxiety and fear.

But she was so right. And I leave 28 for 29 feeling the happiest and most secure of my life. This last year brought a lot of things that have done wonders for me. I got serious about kickboxing; I buckled down about school and finished my tech degree; I started listening to podcasts by Tara Brach about Buddhism. I went on adventures big and small. From riding horses through the New Mexican desert to stand-up paddle boarding in Maine to learning the Lindy Hop in Lincoln Center. I had an awesome year, and I see no reason why the next one won’t likewise be fantastic. I managed 10 last year, so here’s hoping I can expand that a bit.

THE STANDARDS

  1. Visit a new state 15 down, 35 to go.
  2. Visit a new country 12 down, 183 to go.
  3. Visit a new baseball stadium 7 down, 23 to go.
  4. Read “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion I have writerly friends who worship at the feet of Didion, yet I haven’t read a single book by her.
  5. Watch “The African Queen” I’ve added watching a classic movie to the standards.
  6. Make an Indian meal I order in Indian food quite a bit, and one of the new receptionists at work (who is Indian) likes to tease me that it’s a waste of money, and I could make it just as good at home. Challenge accepted.
  7. Eat a Ramen Burger There’s a place in NYC that serves a burger between two grilled ramen noodle loaves. I’m in.
  8. Visit One World Observatory 

THE LEFTOVERS

  1. Take a Sailing Lesson
  2. Go Scuba Diving I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON THIS.
  3. Go to a Gun Range
  4. Do a Juice Cleanse
  5. Visit a Whiskey Distillery
  6. Go to a Live Taping
  7. Ride a Mechanical Bull
  8. Take a trapeze class
  9. Go to a Monster Truck Show
  10. Sing at Live Band Karaoke I went on a first date a couple of months ago to a live band, rock and roll karaoke. It was amazing, and I regret not getting up and doing it. No chemistry with the guy. But SO MUCH chemistry with Arlene’s Grocery. Proof that dating can be rewarding.
  11. Go Sky Diving
  12. Learn to Play the Ukulele 
  13. Do a Knitting Donation Project

THE NEW CLASS

  1. Go Cross Country Skiing It sounds so New England to me.
  2. Compete in a Crossword Competition I am a nerd. I do the New York Times crossword every day and time myself. I think I’m ready to take my skills on the road.
  3. Take a Flamenco Dance lesson The fan! The little finger things! The stomping!
  4. Go Windsurfing When I was in Canada, I saw a couple of windsurfers on Georgian Bay. It looks terrifying and kind of cool.
  5. Get my aura photographed Sounds like bullshit, but I’m a sucker for these things.
  6. Go on a Ghost Tour I recently signed up for the New York Obscura Society, and they often have graveyard events.
  7. Go parasailing I can’t believe I’ve made it this far into my life without doing this!
  8. Run a 5K My boyfriend is deferring his NYC marathon eligibility to next year and wants me to train with him. But I don’t run. I hate running. I only run when I’m being chased. But he has convinced me that there are some fun 5Ks out there, and he seems to believe I am capable.
  9. Do an Escape the Room There are so many different kinds of these in New York. Ones with zombies. Ones for groups. Ones for couples. Basically they lock you in a room for an hour or two with a variety of puzzles that leads to the key to get out. I love puzzles! See #23 for proof.
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28 Before 28

16 Sep
Red Velvet Cake from my co-workers.

Red Velvet Cake from my co-workers.

Another year, friends. I still haven’t processed that I’m now 27, but the festivities of the last week have made me feel happy and loved which is all a girl can ask for.

This was a tumultuous year for me. I spent a lot of time in self-reflection, trying to figure out where I want to take my life, making peace with the past, and taking deep breaths in the present. A lot of it wasn’t easy. But from where I sit at this moment, I am the happiest, most together I have ever been.

Unfortunately, all this soul-searching and self-reflection left my bucket list out in the cold. I only accomplished 10 things on my list, down from the 12 I managed to do last year. But it’s a new year, and as much personal growth as I’ve gone through, my idea of a bucket list has also evolved, and I’m excited about the next year! As I’ve done before, I rolled over some of the previous items. One asterisk represents things I neglected to do last year. Two asterisks represent things I’ve neglected to do the past TWO years. Therefore it also represents my shame.

  1. Read Slaughterhouse-Five– I have never read any Kurt Vonnegut! Let’s face it. Despite prolific reading, it’s hard to read ALL the classics, ALL the best authors. But I enjoy tackling one embarrassing omission per year. This year is Mr. Vonnegut.
  2. Visit a new state– My grandfather visited all 50 states in his lifetime, and I admire the accomplishment. I’m only at 12. This will hopefully be a recurring item for years to come.
  3. Visit a new country- I’ve hesitated from putting anything travel-related on the list for fear that having something too big would hinder completing the list. But who am I kidding? I only completed 10 last year, so I should be able to dream as big as I want. So many countries I want to see. This will also be recurring.
  4. Visit the top of the Statue of Liberty– Whilst also dreaming big about traveling, I want to likewise take better advantage of living in the capital of the WORLD, New York City. I tried the Tourist Tuesday thing, which I’d like to continue, but putting things on my list will also push me to do them. What could be more touristy than this?
  5. Go to a live taping– This is the point in my list where I must give some credit to my friend Quincey who also does a birthday bucket list, although hers has been more New York City centric, so I’m pilfering a lot of my New York City items from her list. So, yeah, some sort of late night show, or the Daily Show, SNL is nearly impossible, but I’d like to try.
  6. Do Some Gardening**- I live in a city. I don’t just trip over gardening opportunities every day.
  7. Anonymously Pay Someone’s Tab**- I know it looks bad and selfish that I haven’t done this yet, but the majority of the time, this is my life: tumblr_ls5sctFDGt1qm30qjo1_500
  8. Be an extra in a tv show or movie**- I’ve looked into it, believe you me! I just haven’t found a simple way to do this without registering with an agency. I just want to be a witness in a Law and Order scene, do we have to bring my social security number into this?
  9. Take a boxing class*-Again, I looked into it. Just have to commit to a class.
  10. Visit a new baseball stadium- Wasn’t able to do this last year, but now that I’m dating an adorable baseball fan, things are looking up! We’ll definitely accomplish this one…next season.
  11. Do a Juice Cleanse*– Still determined to do this despite the eye rolls I got from people about it.
  12. Go to Lucky Cheng’s- Dinner and a drag show! Sounds like my ideal night out.
  13. Eat at White Castle– The East Coast fast food staple has eluded me. But one night (hopefully after imbibing a few adult beverages), I’d like to find myself there.
  14. Go Skinny Dipping**- I don’t think I’ve been to a beach or a warm body of water this year where this was even possible. Not sure how to rectify this situation.
  15. Go Scuba Diving**- I’m thinking I can accomplish this one if I plan out the visit a new state/visit a new country items appropriately.
  16. Go sailing**-So, who’s got a boat? Anyone, anyone…
  17. Join a book club**- I don’t have enough friends who are nerds. Where are you book nerds? Where do you all congregate, and can I please join you?!
  18. Ride a mechanical bull- Almost did this once. I told my friends I wasn’t drunk enough to do it. So when I finally felt I had the liquid courage, I march up to the bull. It’s then that I notice the room was spinning, I turn back to my friends and tell them that I was TOO drunk to do it. That was six years ago. I will find the perfect balance and embrace the urban cowgirl I know I am.
  19. Go to roller derby*- I wish I had the guts to join a roller derby team, but for now I’ll settle with watching other girls be violent and awesome.
  20. Go to a dog show*- Now that I’m a full-time vet tech, I think I’d really enjoy this, ogling all the breeds.
  21. Do a Circle Line cruise- An uber-touristy item. It’s a cruise around the isle of Manhattan, from which one can see all five boroughs, important landmarks, bridges. It sounds neat!
  22. Visit a whiskey distillery*- I’ve been to many beer breweries, and it’s always fun. And if there’s one thing that I love more than beer, it’s whiskey.
  23. Take a trapeze class- I’m not the most graceful of girls, so this could be interesting.
  24. Go to a gun range**- I want to do this! I want to do it so much! Why haven’t I done this?
  25. Eat at Serendipity- A famous New York restaurant known for amazing desserts. I tried to go once with visiting friends, but the 90 minute wait deterred me.
  26. Get a facial- I liked having the self-pampering list item of massage last year. Going to continue the “treat yo self” trend.
  27. Drink at the Bridge Cafe- The oldest business in New York, it has been open since 1794 and was once a brothel! This nerd loves her history.
  28. Go to a Monster Truck Show– Because why not?