As college becomes an increasingly blurry memory, and my 22nd birthday approaches, and “adulthood” continues to fly at me with uncontrollable speed—I find myself in the mood to make a list. I love lists, and think there is nothing more gratifying than crossing something off of a list. Laundry done? Cross it out. Event attended? Cross it out. Deadline met? Cross that shit OUT.
I’ve seen 25 before 25-esque lists floating around the blogsphere. Reading other people’s goals, both big and small, has got me to thinking about what my goals are lately. I’ve always been a goal-oriented person, a planner, constantly grappling with my inherent need to plan out every moment of my day, week, year…to ensure its maximum satisfaction and to minimize boredom.
But I’d be lying if I told you post-grad hasn’t felt a little directionless! Not in a way that’s necessarily bad. It has felt nice to just sort of sit back and let life handle it for a while. But I don’t want to steer too far off course. I don’t want to lose my sense of urgency in regards to what it is that I’m trying to do with this little life I have been given. So what are 25 things I want to get done before I turn 25? I have a solid 3 years to do this, so I’ll mix up lofty goals with simpler ones. (I suggest you write your list, too!)
My 25 before 25:
1. Start a graduate program. (As of right now, I’d love that program to be a writing MFA.)
2. Find an artistic community to call home in NYC. (Or, perhaps, in whatever city I end up in if it’s not NYC in the next few years.)
3. Plant a garden. (I want to grow my own veggies, and flowers, and have it be robust and beautiful!)
4. Celebrate my first-ever two and three year anniversaries with my love.
5. Get something I wrote up and on its feet in NYC. (I really want to bring all that Michigan-centric production luck over to the east coast…)
6. Travel up & down the west coast—Seattle, Portland, San Fran. (I’ve been to LA and loved it…I’m afraid once I get to the Pacific Northwest I’ll never want to leave, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.)
7. Document life through photos, more. (I mean, something beyond my iPhone. I want solid, real life photographs that I can hold or use as a bookmark or tack on my wall. My beautiful friend Gracie takes a disposable camera with her everywhere she goes, and therefore has a myriad of sentimental, hardcopy photos.)
8. Make a personal website. (I’m talking like, an actual website. Something beyond this blog with the crappy layout. Something to convince people I am a very serious “professional.”)
9. Get headshots. (I’ve never gotten them before. I figure I am going to need them at some point if I’m trying to be a writer. Also, a professional photoshoot would be fun.)
10. Learn a new skill. (I’m not sure what that skill is yet. Perhaps I’ll perfect knitting, or learn to play a musical instrument, or how to build things. The skill will find me, I hope.)
11. Make a new close friend. (I’ve got so many wonderful friends, with bests in every category—Canadian, gay, high school, college—but there is always room for more. Especially one in the city I live in.)
12. Confront and solve an interpersonal problem head-on. (I don’t mean in an aggressive way, but in a way that is direct and through person-to-person communication. I can be an awful communicator sometimes—I let things fester, bubble up, and blow over without really ever finding resolution outside of dissipation. I don’t like this! Let’s tackle something outside of text or Facebook messaging.)
13. Get into exercising. (I so often go on a three-day exercise kick and call it a justification for a muffin every morning for the next month. Pretty soon I’ll be hitting that wall where the things you eat actually do show up on your thighs, and I want to be prepared for it by being able to jog longer than 30 seconds.)
14. Develop a new interest. (I’ve already got some weird interests up my sleeve, but I’d love to expand my horizons by adding to them. Comic books? The state of the economy? 80s teen movies? I’ll find something to love.)
15. Go dark again. (I’ve been such a committed blonde for over a year now! —For those of you who know me and my rapidly-changing hair personalities, you know that this is a personal achievement in itself. But now that I love the blonde, and feel like I identify with the blonde, I feel I lack the old edge I used to have—the girl who would chop off 12 inches of hair on a whim at the mall. Let’s get her back. We’ll take this hair crazy places before 25.)
16. Have another excursion abroad. (It’s been well over a year since my brief stint in Russia, and it still remains one of the most formative experiences of my life. I’m not saying that you have to travel overseas to find yourself, but it doesn’t hurt. Especially for someone like me. I’d like to disappear in the coffee shops of Prague or the hillsides of Ireland for a while.)
17. Create a (near) perfect home. (I’ve lived in a lot of different places the past 5 years, and not one of them has reached even close to perfection potential. I always move in to new places with plans and ideas for what I want it to look like and what I want to have there—but those dreams fizzle out shortly after unpacking. I’d love to find a place where I can hunker down for a while, probably in NYC, that I can make a real home without having to worry about moving.)
18. Write a screenplay.
19. Write an original TV pilot.
20. Find a writer’s group. (Similar to number two…oh well :) )
21. Find near-one-hundred-percent comfort in who I am and what I want. (This one is hard because I know that this is something that most people never come to…because, well, we’re human. We’re always learning and evolving and changing our mind. But by 25, I’d like to feel just a little less schizophrenic. It’s something to always be actively working toward.)
22. Get something published by a widely-read publication.
23. Read and finish twenty books. (I always buy books and never find the time to finish them. We will find the time!)
24. Write in my journal more regularly. (I always feel much better after regurgitating the day’s thoughts into my journal. So I don’t know why it only happens once or twice a month when everything has reached the boiling point. Let’s have a goal of three entires a week.)
25. Go berry picking and make jam. (This is something I have always wanted to do. I should have gotten into it when I lived in the Midwest and there were berry fields abound, but alas. It’s on the list.)
So there it is, folks. My 25 before 25. I will keep you posted on my progress. Join me in making a list of your personal goals!