The end is near. The end of an era, literally. The end of short skirts, strong drinks and permanently empty kitchen cabinets. (OK, not really—at all—because who am I kidding? All those things are totally still going to happen even after the clock strikes 30. But at least I’ll try to avoid them. Maybe.)
But before any of that happens (or doesn’t happen), I am going to try to fit in all those carefree, slightly irresponsible things only a 20-something can excuse, and take baby steps toward becoming, you know, like, a real, live, grown up.
When I decided I wanted to commemorate my 30th year like this, my first instinct was to run to the Internet for “expert” opinion on the things I should do, and was surprised—and kinda proud—to see that I’d already accomplished, well, a lot of them. Milestones like running a half marathon (San Fran! Amazing.), taking a class totally out of your comfort zone (drawing an, ahem, naked, lady. More on that in another post…), skinny dipping (sorry, mom!) and the biggie, which is actually a two-for-one: taking a cross-country road trip/traveling somewhere by yourself (pretty sure you guys know that story.)
But after reading all those repetitive lists, I decided it wasn’t enough of a challenge to pick one I’d already half-completed. So I opted to write my own—full of some things big and some things small, but all things I’d be remiss not to have done at least once (or once more) before the last birthday I’ll ever have. (Because I mean, every year after 30 is a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation, right?)
Over the next 90(ish) days, before the sand runs out in the hourglass that is my 20s, I’m going to try to do all these things. I’ll be honest. Some of the items I’ve written seem utterly hopeless (wearing—and not staining—a white T-shirt. Is that even physically possible?), a little dangerous (test driving my dream car. I hear Porsches are pretty fast…) and just really, really hard (go to a concert on a school night. But, but, I like sleeeeeep.).
And I know I’ll need a lot of support from friends (come over for the dinner party!), the hubs (please don’t kick me out when I whine incessantly about having to cook, AGAIN) and the Universe (do jeans that actually fit a human-person well even exist?).
But who knows, at the end of all this, when I’m old and grey and settling into life as a 30-something, maybe I’ll find that I actually kinda like it—and doing some of these things.
With no further ado, and in no particular order, my 30 Before 30 bucket list:
- Dance ’til dawn somewhere other than my living room
- Prepare a recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
- Wear a white shirt 3 times without staining it
- Pick a fancy cocktail and learn how to make it at home. Bonus points for flashy shaking/pouring performance
- Throw a dinner party with 3 courses
- Buy a pair of jeans that actually fit
- Master a hairdo that isn’t just half up, ponytail or bun
- Put those wedding gifts to use (thanks again, guys!) and cook dinner 3 times a week—for at least 6 of the 12 weeks
- Learn how to make arepas the way Mami does—without measuring cups and perfect every time
- Get a pair of glasses that actually fit and aren’t held together with tape, that I would actually wear out
- Test drive my dream car
- Sit under the stars with a blanket, a husbabe and a bottle of wine counting the stars
- Throw myself a “big” birthday party
- Unplug for an entire weekend—no phone, no TV, no computer
- Fire a gun (I am married to a gun owner, after all)
- Go to a concert on a school night, one last time
- Pull an all-nighter
- Retrain myself to drink black coffee
- When that fails, make my own creamer
- Ditch the TV before bed at least 3 times a week
- Drive somewhere I’ve never been before the old-fashioned way: Maps, directions on paper, no GPS
- Eat a dish that weirds me out
- Ride a Vespa or motorcylce
- Visit a famous fictional location (e.g. the Twilight setting in WA? (Yeah, I know where it’s set. What?) )
- Party in a big city like Miami, Vegas or L.A. (Good thing I’ve already got a couple trips on the calendar!)
- Go gluten-free for a week
- Have a slumber party
- Fold the clean laundry within a day of drying it, not a week later
- Cut back on my condiment consumption
- Write about it.