I should preface this entry by saying that blogging from the Starbucks patio on sunny Marco Island is a hell of a lot better than doing it from my bed at home – or even worse, my desk at work. So if this post has a little excess optimism, don’t worry. It’s the vacation. I’ll be back to my normal sarcastic self by Saturday.
So, this week has got me thinking a lot about the infamous “bucket list.” If you don’t know what a bucket list is, I will say two things. 1) See the movie. 2) it’s basically just a compilation of things you want to accomplish before you die. But aren’t you a little young to be thinking about death? Probably. At least I hope so. But I keep thinking that if you live with the intent of constantly knocking things off your bucket list, then life can really be nothing less than stellar, right?
So, what’s on my bucket list? You’ll have to ask me in person. I say this mainly because it’s a fairly personal list, and every single thing on it means something spectacular to me. It’s also a constantly evolving list. It’s changing and growing constantly, even in the past week. I will say though, that in January, I’ll be knocking one of the things off the list – by completing a half marathon. Notice how I have no time requirements. I just want to finish. By making this first go-round about times, I know I’m running for the wrong reasons. If I’m running for the right reasons, then I’m running for me.
Also – I’ve realized that I’ve done a lot this past month. Or hell, this past year. So… in light of my new found discoveries, I’m going to share some thoughts. Don’t worry – I’ve gathered some of my findings and realizations from helpful friends and readers who have offered advice and words of wisdom through conversations, comments and Facebook messages. So if you see your advice down here, consider yourself credited. Words can’t express how much I appreciate the fact that you care enough to share your thoughts.
In 2010, I have…
…realized I’m not dead inside. What? Seriously?! Uh, YEAH. If you know me, you know that I spend the majority of my time doing and acting – usually without feeling or thought. Personal decisions, career choices, and even my reactions to those around me are often void of thought and effort, leaving me an unemotional robot who, quite frankly, is a ton of fun. But the passion I thought I had lost forever is starting to creep back in, in its own way of course. I don’t know what I’m passionate about yet, but I now know I’m not void of it completely. I also managed to let myself care about someone else, whether I wanted to or not. I have no idea where that idea is going to take me in the future, but knowing that it exists again is both scary and comforting all at the same time.
…I visited the Harry Potter theme park. Geeked out, completely. I got fitted for a cloak, an experience I’ll have to post pictures of later because it’s absolutely hilarious. But for all of you Harry fanatics out there – it is absolutely as magical and awesome as you dream it to be.
…I said no. Easier said than done, trust me. For a long time, I honestly felt deprived of opportunity. Opportunity to grow, to change, to have options. As a result, saying no becomes hard, simply because you’re often hooked on the idea that you have to grab ahold of what you can and hold on for dear life. Well, once you do a little changing, self improvement and inner discovery, you slowly learn that you can and should say no sometimes. I’ve said no, and knowing that I’m going to be okay is a really powerful feeling.
…I took my health and happiness into my own hands. Anyone who has ever done this knows that it’s often a battle between understanding how others make you happy and knowing how to make yourself happy. If you figure out the latter, you soon realize that happiness doesn’t get you far when you place its existence in the hands of other people. I don’t mean to sound jaded and bitter, but when it comes down to it, it really is just you in the end. It’s not anyone else’s job to make you happy.
…I’ve learned the importance of alone time. Living alone should mean that you get enough of this already, right? Wrong. I’m never home, and even when I am, I feel like I’m constantly consumed by the people around me. I tend to worry too much about other people’s problems, trying to solve things that don’t even pertain to me just for the sake of trying to keep the peace. Some consider it being nosy. I honestly tend to think of it is as a desire to just want everything to be okay, all the time. Time and experience has told me that this is both unrealistic, impossible, and quite frankly – not my problem. Consider the now: I’m sitting at the coffee bar in Starbucks at Marco Island, blogging about every single thing on my mind (okay, almost everything). I’m listening to coffee shop music, which ironically is what I listen to half the time on my own accord. I’m watching half the elderly population of this island shuffle in and out, getting their usual order, then stopping by the regulars outside to say hello, pet the dogs and probably discuss the best early bird specials in town (or so I’d like to think, because stereotypes are fun sometimes). And quite frankly, right now I’m so…happy.
…I’ve gotten some perspective. After one blog post, a friend wrote to me to tell me how important it was to surround yourself with people who challenge you and inspire you to be a better person. I’ve always stood by the belief that if you’re strong enough in your sense of self, it doesn’t matter who you’re around. But that’s so not the case. I’m on a mission to surround myself with people who make me want to be a better person, who challenge me to reach my goals, help me and encourage me. In return, that’s what I really want to do for the people I care about – help them, inspire them, be there for them. I’ve discovered that those people are few and far between, and slowly making this transition means I’ll most likely spend a lot more time alone, but hey – maybe that’ll kill two birds with one stone and I’ll get my much needed “alone time.”
…I like men. No, this isn’t a new realization. I’ve never liked women, so shut your mouths. I just mean that I like really cliche men. Masculinity, independence and the occasional need to prove it to the world are all incredibly attractive and necessary qualities. I don’t know why I find this discovery so important, but I do.
…I really don’t want kids. Yet. Or maybe ever, I don’t know. I’ve recently gotten the impression that more women than I like to believe honestly think that motherhood is something they’re destined for – something that is inherent in a woman’s genes and every fiber of their being. I am, for better or worse, not one of those people. I often cringe at the idea of children being within a 10 foot radius of me. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally glance at one and think “oh, well that’s cute,” but to say that I have a maternal instinct – some sort of fertility clock that starts ticking once I hit a certain age, is a huge fail on the part of biology. My only saving grace will be the hope that I marry someone who I care about so much that I want to have kids with them. For the time being, all I can even think about committing to is the year’s worth of personal training sessions I signed up for. My two tiny tattoos are the most permanent things in my life, and even those are removable.
Ok seriously, I realize this is the longest entry ever. Sometimes I post for you – sometimes I post for me. This one’s for me. If you happened to enjoy it, then I’ve more than done my job.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have coffee to drink, and people to watch.
Oh, and for the record – the picture in this is my view for the week. Something eerily inspiring about actually feeling like you’re at the end of the world.