A Bucket of Lists

A wise man recently told me not to overthink the change I’m going through—to relax and reflect, but not to get caught up in thinking that this change needs to be radical. It got me to thinking about the fact that yes, I am being pushed in new directions, but that does not necessarily mean I should completely change who I am. Perhaps it’s only that I should reconsider my attitude and adjust the ways I approach everything the world has to offer.

I’ve led a full, rich life thus far, and the beautiful part is that I’m only 21 years old—if I’m lucky, I still have time to experience more. But I’ve neglected to see it that way for the majority of my time, convincing myself that I must shine brighter and reach farther, if only to prove something to somebody somewhere.

Not everything I do has to grab others’ attention. Sometimes it can all be simple, and that’s just enough.

So, I created two bucket lists, in an effort to challenge myself in ways I might have avoided in the past.

On one, I can cross my accomplishments off easily. When the task is complete, it will be eliminated. There is no grey area—what’s done is done. The other is a bit more complex, more abstract. I’ll know each item has been achieved when I feel it and experience it.

In either case, I will use them simply for reference, as a means of reflection as I continue my journey.

Tangible Bucket List:

  • Stand on a surf board.
  • Race in the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
  • Report an issue that has not received the media it deserves.
  • Swim in the Amazon River.
  • Run a full marathon.
  • Participate in Bike The Drive in Chicago.
  • Go horseback riding along the beach.
  • Get two tattoos.
  • Go to a Patriots’ game in Massachusetts.
  • Visit Hawaii with my family.
  • See a volcano.
  • Get a husky.
  • Experience Machu Picchu.
  • Go to Oma’s hometown in Germany.
  • Backpack through Europe.

Intangible Bucket List:

  • Start from scratch and get to know a person from the inside out.
  • Follow my passion directly.
  • Have my heart broken. Completely and terribly broken.
  • Accept who and what I have, without craving more.
  • Let go of what others might expect to be right, or what I might have even expected to be right at one point, and just do what my heart tells me to do in the moment.
  • Remain open to others’ opinions. Consider them and place value on them.
  • Be myself the instant I meet someone, without putting up a front of any kind.
  • Love deeply and fully.
  • Embrace my weaknesses and challenge my strengths.
  • Allow myself to be free—no restraints, no second thoughts—for a moment, for an hour, for a day or for a year.
  • Revel in the shame and embarrassment certain situations present.
  • Make the effort to learn.
  • Listen.

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Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions.”