I’m turning 30 this year and I’m really excited about it. People seem to have mixed feelings about reaching milestone birthdays: sometimes with dread and apprehension. For the most part, I don’t look back at eras of my life with regret or remorse. When I graduated high school, I looked forward in excitement and anticipation to college, while many friends felt a sense of loss regarding the end of that period of our lives. When college graduation came around, I was ready to get the heck out dodge—move onto the phase of adulthood where first jobs, first apartments and a new-found independence would abound—while friends nursed their woes of leaving the days of sleeping until noon, drinking after class and escaping true responsibility, if not for a brief moment. Even when I left my first job out of college—one where I learned so much, grew as a person and really enjoyed—I walked away knowing deep down it was for the best and that it was exactly what I needed to do.
That sense of resolute determination has helped me so many times in the past. It’s a deep sense of purpose that makes me feel grounded and right where I need to be. At other times, when I can’t reach this inner sense of peace, I end up feeling very out of control and lost. It’s both a blessing and curse in that sense, because after a period of wandering, when I get back to the resolution, I feel absolutely whole again. At least for a little while anyway.
Turning 30 is treated so much as a milestone, but for me it feels very much like the next chapter. In one sense, yes, I’m just going to be another year older and hey, that’s just fine by me. In another way, 30 represents a form of excitement: I’m looking forward to this next decade. The 20s were fun: college, flirtations, moving out of my mom’s house, getting a job, getting another job, figuring out what I want in life, navigating how to get those things in life. Now I’m ready for the 30s. This is not to say that I’m not still navigating, figuring, getting, flirting, moving, funning. But I hope with the passage into one decade from another, there will be new experiences that have thus far alluded me.
In celebration of this milestone (there’s that word again), I have decided to celebrate my 30th birthday in epic style by doing some pretty epic things. And because I’m turning 30, I’m shooting to do 30 things. The symbolism of numbers is amazing. Some of these on this bucket list, if you will, have long been goals of mine, and some are new found. The only deadline is that I’d like to complete them all before I turn 31. I’m giving myself about a year to accomplish it all. As I usually do, I’ll be blogging about my accomplishments. So here’s the list.
The 30 at 30 list.
- Create a collaborative music playlist from 1981.
- Complete a marathon. (Learn more.)
- Get a tattoo of “Ten Blessings” in Japanese.
- Go on a European adventure.*—visiting Geneva, London, Edinburgh, Paris
- Perform on stage with a band for a song.
- Participate in L.A.T.E. Ride.
- Visit the Sears Tower Skydeck.
- Visit Turkey Run and hike the canyons.
- Go to 30 gigs.
- Raise $3,000 for charity.
- Learn something new.
- Unplug from all electronics for a full 30 hours.
- Knit something commemorative.
- Participate in Project 365—starting with my 30th birthday.
- Write a song to be proud of.
- Try Bikram yoga.
- Take up a daily meditation practice.
- Save $3,000.
- Be Cat Woman (the Michelle Pfieffer version) for Halloween.
- Visit the Eiffel Tower at night.*
- Go on a road trip.
- Send myself flowers.
- Learn to live in the now.
- Visit Frank Lloyd Wright Museum.
- Write myself a love letter.
- Learn how to bake gluten free.
- Give up my car for 30 days.
- Throw a 30th birthday party, of course.
*Due to timing, this will not be done at the actual age of 30.
Completed goals: 15