Adulthood & the Reverse Bucket List

My own “Adult Reverse Bucket List”
(I have stories for many of these ‘accomplishments’ if you’d like to hear/read them.)
–drove the Oregon Trail (by myself)
–lived in the same apartment (on my own) for 3 years
–achieved financial independence
–became self-employed
–wrote a novel
–went on a mission trip
–planned & executed a vacation to England
–learned to bake bread
–learned to make crumpets
–bought a water filter
–was a bridesmaid
–was a flower girl
–tried out for a play
–sang a duet at a wedding
–joined a non-school choir
–kept the same job for almost 6 years
–taught myself piano pieces
–met one of my political heroes (Ron Paul)
–shook the hand of two presidential candidates
–been on the radio
–climbed a mountain
–ate mountain snow
–had major surgery
–stayed in a hotel (or twelve) on my own
–went canoeing
–qualified for my concealed-carry permit in Ohio
–own a gun
–was an extra in a different play
–was also on the set crew for said play
–learned to change a flat tire (sort of)
–swam in both the Atlantic and the Pacific
–completed several fanfiction stories
–went on a three-week backpacking trip in the Rockies via Outward Bound
–slept with several different guys on said backpacking trip
–(literal sleeping…in separate sleeping bags…because there were like six of us to a tarp…and oh yeah there were no proper tents…just tarps propped up on ski poles…)
–saw Horatio Nelson’s uniform
–stood on the deck of the HMS Victory
–saw the Crown Jewels (twice)
–wrote fan letters to celebrities (some more recently than others)
–got books personally autographed by famous people
–won a writing contest
–saw musicals/plays on Broadway
–walked on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
–toured a film studio
–saw the view from the Sears Tower
–had a celebrity Tweet me back (Josh Groban)
–had a letter/email read by Craig Ferguson on his late-late show
–saw Phantom of the Opera in Toronto
–slept in a hostel
–tried ‘no-shampoo’ for weeks (possibly months?)
–had fish & chips and Guinness in England
–played pub/bar trivia
–visited a mosque in London
–visited a Sikh temple, also in London
–won county-fair awards for artwork
–skipped a class in high school
–almost failed a class in high school
–avoided getting a speeding ticket
–rode a camel in Israel
–saw whales and dolphins in Hawaii
–grew cacti from seeds bought in Arizona
–got my Bachelor’s Degree

Egotist's Club

One of the abiding questions of my life is “Am I grown up yet?” Not because I’m Susan Pevensie and super-eager to be An Adult, but because years have rushed by, and I don’t exactly have the best vantage for seeing how they’ve changed me. Am I really any different from myself at age 14? Surely I’m not old enough or mature enough to care about, say, insurance premiums or local construction projects?

xkcd 616 26-year-old me has a better vocabulary than 14-year-old me, that’s all.

Presumably certain people who are not me can point to their spouse, their children, or their 30-year-mortgage and stop feeling angst about this kind of thing. Some of them act like nothing you do in your life counts until you’re married with progeny. Maybe it’s unintentional, but it seeps through their words anyway, like one can’t really live without somehow being bound to or responsible for…

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4 thoughts on “Adulthood & the Reverse Bucket List

  1. I…am honestly intrigued by the water filter. Please tell me the story of the water filter! And what your letter to Craig Ferguson said!

    also: we should do pub trivia again sometime :D

    also also: You RODE A CAMEL IN ISRAEL? How did I not know this?

    • You somehow picked the least interesting items on the list! Well, the water filter is.

      Target was having a sale on Brita water filters, so I bought one, because DC-area water isn’t the best. I felt very boring and grown-up. That’s all there is to it.

      As for Israel, it wasn’t like we were part of a merchant caravan traveling on camels through the country. I forget what town it was, but some guy was offering camel rides just outside of it. It only lasted a few minutes, which was good because it was very bumpy (no pun intended—it really is not a comfortable or graceful ride) and smelly.

      And Craig reads viewer emails on his show every night (or he did), and about 2005, 2006 I was determined to write one that was unique so it would get on the show. I wrote, “Are all Scottish men as adorable as you? If so, where can I find one?” He said, “Have you seen ‘Braveheart’? They’re all Scottish, *except* for the cute one” so it wasn’t encouraging in that part but it was highly entertaining.

      • Haha, that’s why it intrigued me. I figured there was some obstacle in the way of filtered water…or (having grown up with a father who worked for the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department who was VERY PROUD of how Detroit water tastes) that it signified Moving Far From Home To Some Desperate Land of Subpar Waters.

        I need more sleep. It took me *way* longer than it ever should to figure out why a bumpy ride on a camel could be taken as a pun. Oof da.

  2. I’m 33, married for my entire adult life, have 5 kids (plus 1 awful miscarriage), serve at our church, homeschool, finished my bachelor’s by correspondence while raising kids, etc. And I still look around and wonder when the adults are going to come take over. I know what I’m doing. I’m competent. I don’t spend a lot of time second guessing my life but I’m not sure I’m ever going to “feel” like an adult.

    Maybe when I’m 50? ;)

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