Truth be told–my bucket list scares the shit out of me.
And that’s exactly why I made it. One day I was sitting with my mind racing uncontrollably, obsessing about my age, career, big life decisions, unmet goals, desire to travel…you get the picture. The stuff we all worry about, but for someone with OCD: I obsess over the worry itself.
Normally I’d just give in to my mind and spiral into a full blown panic attack, but for some reason that day was different. I caught myself entering into this vicious cycle and to be honest– I think I was just tired. Exhausted of mentally giving myself no space or downtime. I experienced a few seconds of mental stillness.
It allowed me to stop and just ask myself:
“what the hell do I want to get out of this time in my life? Where do I want to go? What do I want to do? What makes me happy? What will help me become a better person?”
The aha moment suddenly came: I was directionless.
My mind was working overtime trying to piece together all these fragments of opportunities and expectations I had for my life. But, like trying to do a puzzle without the finished picture in front of you as a guide, it feels like an impossible challenge. What I needed to do was give myself some structure. As a self-proclaimed rebel and having always possessed a unique ability to resist against ‘structure’ of any kind growing up, I suddenly found myself craving it. This was the time: what I needed was a plan. I needed to stop thinking and start doing.
As a former athlete, I’ve always loved a good challenge and a bucket list was the perfect way to compete against no one, but myself. And I love to win. But I hate rules and luckily for me bucket lists don’t have rules. Which is why everyone should have one.
My bucket list is for no one. It’s the most beautifully selfish thing I have done for myself. To sit and write it, (yes–pen to paper) was good therapy in itself, but as the list grew–so did my fear. There are some lofty, kind of crazy things on this list. It originally started as things I wanted to accomplish while I’m navigating the single life, but quickly grew into just a list for my life.
There are no due dates and like I said: no rules. A bucket list allows you to begin leaning into your fears, overcoming personal hangups and taking ownership of your life. The challenge to face them head on and actively work towards checking these boxes, to figure out who you really are, what you are capable of and what things you can do to fulfill your soul–that’s brave.
So what’s on my list? I thought you’d never ask.
In no particular order:
- Get dressed up and go eat dinner somewhere fancy, alone.
- Volunteer at least 3 hours a month.
- Host a themed house party for no particular reason.
- Buy myself a piece of jewelry that I’ll have forever.
- Do something once a month that scares me. (this year, I’ve already conquered my fear of fish when snorkeling)
- Spend a whole day being lazy.
- Master a new skill.
- Sign up for an improv/comedy class.
- Go on a Christmas vacation–alone. (open to suggestions!)
- Try living in a new city for a year or two.
- Be selfish & consistently take care of myself.
- Be comfortable with the present.
- Say yes to random adventures.
- Invest in my mental & physical health.
- Take a cheese-making class in France.
- Get boudoir photos taken.
- Learn to listen & respect my intuition–consistently.
- Speak professionally at a conference, panel or seminar in front of a large group of people.
- Spend a week without a smartphone.
- Get my art into an art gallery or host an art show.
- Write a book and tell stories that make people laugh.
- Host and perform a stand-up comedy show for my 30th birthday.
What’s on your bucket list? Don’t have one– I’ll challenge you to think about and get one started.