The List


I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment when I decided to make a 30-before-30 list, but I can tell you that it began with the realization that I wasn’t happy.

At a time when I should be happy – I’m newly engaged and I’ve got a great career – there’s still something missing.

There are some obvious culprits for my dissatisfaction:

  • I’m overweight. I have been moderately overweight for the better part of my 20s and it’s held me back, in one way or another, from a lot of opportunities.
  • I’m struggling to complete my master’s degree while working full time in my profession. It’s been a grind for nearly two years and it’s STILL NOT FINISHED.
  • Despite working at my dream job, I suffer from a tremendous amount of anxiety about my performance. I put a lot of pressure on myself and I constantly fear that I don’t belong, or worse, that I’m not good enough to accomplish my dreams.
  • I’m still carrying a lot of debt from my undergraduate and graduate years. While I’m proud to say I’ve made great strides in paying some of it off, it continues to be a burden.

Those are the main reasons that I’m dissatisfied with myself, but they don’t necessarily explain why I’m dissatisfied with my life. 

As I approach my 29th birthday I realize that I’ve been in a kind of holding pattern for the last few years. For a long time I was convinced that I had to fix my problems before I could go out and enjoy some of the other things that I kept meaning to do and try. I thought I had to lose the weight before I could go out partying with my friends. I thought I had to finish my master’s degree before I could pitch a big project at work.

But that’s ridiculous, isn’t it?

I’m starting to realize that in the past, my attitude resulted in a depressing waiting game where I don’t try new things, or go on trips, or take big risks because it’s “not the right time.”

But that is going to stop. It has to.

And I know just the way to turn it around.

Over a few days – and with the help of more than a couple glasses of wine – I’ve drafted a pretty epic list of activities. The items on the list are diverse – some of them are ridiculous (like #2 & #9), some of the are a little more ridiculous (like #15 and basically #26 through #28), but some of them are character-building (like #3 and #11)

My 30 before 30 list

1.  Successfully saber a bottle of champagne.

2.  Launch some fireworks.

3.  Read 12 classic books in 12 months.

4.  Watch one classic film a month.

5.  Code my own wedding website.

6.  Wear a bikini.

7.  Complete the 30-day Bikram hot yoga challenge.

8.  Find my go-to karaoke song.

9.  Memorize the dance to Single Ladies or Suit & Tie.

10. Learn how to play poker.

11. Volunteer.

12. Learn to play a song on the guitar.

13. Do the polar bear plunge.

14. Watch the sunrise after staying up all night.

15. Ride a mechanical bull.

16. Complete my master’s degree.

17. Lose 30 pounds.

18. Donate or consign at least 30 things from my closet.

19. Memorize an entire poem. Perform it aloud.

20. Shoot a gun.

21. Ride a horse.

22. Learn how to drive a stick shift.

23. Take a digital skills workshop.

24. Complete my 2014 career goals.

25. Participate in a run.

26. Go to a strip club.

27. Have a ridiculous bachelorette party.

28. Skinny dip.

29. Give up something for Lent.

30. Take a roadtrip with friends.

The list isn’t necessarily set in stone. I’m going to give myself up to three swaps – that is, permission to trade up to three items on the list for three different items – but the finally tally MUST remain 30.

The only rule? I’ve got to finish the list before my 30th birthday on November 21st, 2014.

Join me. Read about my progress. Make your own list. Tell me about it.


photo credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc


2 thoughts on “The List

  1. Pingback: The Liebster Award! | The 30 before 30 list

  2. Pingback: 29 lessons learned in 29 years | The 30 before 30 list

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