Well, I turned 27 last weekend, officially finding myself into the throes of my late-twenties.
At the same time, the window for the 26 List closed. How’d things turn out? 17/26. There were 9 things I couldn’t (or simply didn’t) make happen. I never planned on nailing them all, so for my first ever bucket-list-of-sorts, I’m feeling pretty good. Especially because I didn’t quite realize the scope of a few of these things. And that I didn’t really start until three months after my birthday.
Read the whats, hows, and how-nots, below. (And stay tuned for the 27 list later this week.) From the original 26 List page.
“A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.”
– D.H. Lawrence
Twenty-six started hungover from the letdowns and heartbreaks of twenty-five. But regrets aren’t what-ifs (at least), and all you can do is face your mistakes and improve. So, three days after my birthday, I started a list that I’ve been working on ever since. The 26 List: 26 things to challenge myself to heal the wounds, become a better adult/woman/professional/whatever, and bring some new life into this side of my twenties.
Fluid and open to new goals. I’ll track my progress, in an unfashionably slow manner, here.
The 26 List
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
Done and done. First, I took a cardboard Yoda cutout on a walk to Starbucks with me, and photographed the whole thing. (You can find it on my Facebook page). Then, I tattooed 007 to my hand (see#12). If that’s not taking myself (and my body) less seriously, then I don’t know what else to do.
- Visit at least 3 places you’ve never been
This list could have been a bunch of small town rest stops between Des Moines and SUX. But it’s not, because I have stellar friends and family.
#1 Indianapolis, Indiana: Delta Gamma Convention
#2 Kansas City, MO: The infamous Plaza and Shakespeare Festival
#3Washington, DC: Museums. Bars. Life.
#4 Dover, Delaware: Firefly Music Festival
#5 England: Vacation of a Lifetime
- Try new foods
Indian vegetable something or other (street food in Des Moines) and Meat Pie (Lacock, England, GB). AND I TRIED GRAPE NUTS! My whole life I’ve been fascinated by that cereal, and my mom always said I’d hate it and she wasn’t going to waste money. So when I was wandering Target I snagged a box. As expected: there’s no taste, but the texture is grand.
- Go to a concert
Try 5. I was lucky enough to see The Killers, Lupe Fiasco, The Knocks, Cake and Modest Mouse at the Firefly Music Festival in July 2012. Also, my third viewing of Matchbox Twenty in February 2013. Life is good.
- Watch the Dr. Who series
This is a big challenge. See, I want to watch from the beginning, with the first Doctor, William Hartnell. Unfortunately the early years are all messed up on Netflix, and they aren’t even all there. So, I’m through most of what I can get with the first Doctor. But this is a lot bigger task than what I anticipated. One doctor seems legit to me.
- Go to an Iowa Cubs game
Damn you, June 20! There was a doubleheader that I fully anticipated attending for an in-the-clutch-last-minute-list-maker but too-drunk-on-June-2o happened, and I couldn’t stomach the idea of beer and heat on Friday night. IT WILL HAPPEN IN 27.
- Go to a Twins game
One of the dynamic duo who live right by the stadium is off-site for a few months of summer, meaning I didn’t make this one happen, but I feel confident it will be a future, achievable goal.
- Read a new Jane Austen novel
With the impending England trip, I opted for Persuasion, which was largely set in Bath. Although I didn’t spend much time there, it was a lot of fun to have in the back of my mind as we walked around. Also, I discovered it was possible to like something more than Elizabeth and Darcy. And that was Captain Wentworth’s letter. swoon
- Read a new Charles Dickens novel
Bleak House was in-progress, but mad-bookclubbing, and more significantly #26, got in the way. I did read the start to a collection of short stories by Mr. Dickens, which was monumental in its own right (see the 27 List).
- Learn to cook something new
That I did! Avocado, pepper jack, and provolone grilled cheese. You think I’m lying, but I have never made grilled cheese before. And I’ve actually only made it once since. But whatever.
- Decorate for Christmas
My fabulous Aunt Betsy always gave such wonderful Christmas gifts to me, including a shamrock Santa last year (her last Christmas with us). For some reason she always makes me think of Christmas decorations, so this year I decided to decorate in her memory. I actually never got to bring the Santa back to Des Moines, but I got other little goodies that I think she’d approve.
- Get a tattoo
On the first-ever (only ever?) Global James Bond Day, Oct 5, 2012, I made the ultimate commitment to my nerd side–and dedication to not taking myself so damn seriously–by getting a 007 on my finger.
- Make pretty things
I did! Sort of. I made this cute little coffee, tea, book themed canvas, and I’ve actually created an insanely expensive book nook upstairs in my bedroom. It’s not completed, but it still counts, because I have all the pieces just can’t hang the shelves on my own.
- Give back
I’m working on it. I’ve already given a lot of my time and talent to DG, so my treasures are going elsewhere (if you went to Catholic school, I think you probably get the time, talent, treasure thing). I’ve donated money here and there, and while it’s not to an animal shelter as I’d planned, there’s still time to make a difference somewhere. <<update>> Still just donating money. Still pretty okay with it.
- Read more American literature
Well, by default, I guess I have. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Stephen King’s 11/22/63, George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, and I’m currently into Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue. While, when I wrote this I was thinking more about Little Women or A Farewell to Arms, I think I’m still allowed to safely check this one off the list. My other blog is a very slowly updated tale of literary adventure.
- Brush up on history
Fail. Not a chance.
- Write at least one sentence every day that’s not for work
HAH. Failed again.
- Refresh French
But I did give my mom a French lesson for 30 minutes and she wanted to kill me.
- Find results in physical fitness
Yeah, no. Not at all. Probably should be reconsidering… not for 27 but for the sake of my fall-time physical, yet again.
- Read Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels
Well, I haven’t read them all, but two is more than I was at 25!
- Consider your career
This I have done. Over and over again. I have kept active tabs on a couple markets of interest. I also updated my resume, created an online portfolio, and applied (and interviewed!) for a job. I don’t have an answer to that shitty interview question–What are your long- and short-term career goals–but I’m working on it.
- Get made
I bought mascara. So, there’s that. But what I actually did was make wearing lipstick a new year’s resolution, and that stuck for the most part. Not to mention I freaking LOVE it.
- Forgive yourself
In the spirit of Daniel Craig’s Bond in response to Skyfall: “Done.”
- Play World of Warcraft
I PLAYED! It’s fabulous. I’m terrible at it, but my goal didn’t hinge on my successes.
- Figure out Twitter
Done, done, and done. Not only can you find me and my bloggish wit gracing the Twitterverse , I have a profession handle, too, where I have had success navigating my k+b world as well. I love sharing things on Twitter. And following people on Twitter. And catching breaking news on Twitter. But, honestly, it seems like one big circle jerk on the professional side.
- Get my Game of Thrones on
Previously listed as “[open]”: I wanted #26 to present itself to me, and I think what’s stood out most this year is my slight infatuation with reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series. All the cool kids can spit mad game about the books and show, Game of Thrones, and we know I don’t like to be left out of geekery. I’ve read four of the five published books, so I’m finally at a point where I can pirate the TV show. The fifth book just couldn’t happen, because I have two pressing novels (here’s one) to read with more significant deadlines than my bday.