I turn twenty five this week. Twenty five.
A couple months ago J & I were talking about my upcoming birthday, and he warned me about the life-questioning that would soon settle in. He was very sincere, but it all just sounded a little too cliche; you know, all that "what am I doing with my life?" and "who am I?" business. C'mon.
Well folks, here I am: wondering who I am and what I'm doing with my life and where this is all going. My quarter-life crisis, if you will.
The first half of my twenties was fantastic: I lived in Atlanta, had an awesome job as a youth pastor, was in several of my closest friends' weddings. I met a guy, fell in love, had the perfect wedding, had a beautiful baby. I finished my associates degree, I sang at some pretty big worship events, I visited my first national park.
Now that I'm staring down the barrel at the last half of my twenties, I decided I wanted to make a list of things to accomplish by the big 3-0. I debated whether or not to share it, then I thought...oh, what the heck. Some of them are silly, some are a little personal, some are admittedly challenging, but this is The List. I know that checking these items off in no way assures that I will magically be transformed into the person I want to be or that my existence will somehow be more meaningful. I just know that life is getting crazier by the day, and if I don't write things down, they just might get lost in the shuffle.
So ladies and gentlemen, I present you with my list (in no particular order).
1. Read Lord of the Rings. I just need to.
2. Run a marathon. I know. So does everybody.
3. Learn how to change a tire.
4. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Mainly because I just want to drive my brother's MG.
5. Go to the Johnny Appleseed Festival. As unbelievable as this may sound, I grew up in Fort Wayne and managed to never go. It's one of the biggest things Fort Wayne has, and I have never been. Time to change that.
6. Make a quilt. A real one. I've made blankets, but I want to make a real-deal quilt. I think I'll make one for Avram's bed as he graduates to a bigger bed.
7. Plant a vegetable garden. One of my favorite childhood memories is helping my dad with the garden, and I can't wait for our little family to have one of our own.
8. Learn how to can veggies. Obviously closely related to item #7. With produce prices on the the rise, I want to help our family make as much of our own food as possible. I really want to teach our kids where food comes from and how precious of a gift it really is.
9.Get a bicycle. Ok, so I had one. How it ceased to exist is a funny story for another time. We're really looking forward to family bike rides in the next few years, so having my own bicycle is pretty essential.
10. Get paid to do something. As in, you know, a job. I've never been more clueless as to what I want to "do," but I am understanding more and more that I will never be defined by my occupation. Regardless, I want to bring home some bacon. No idea what that means yet, but I want to at least have an idea in the next five years.
11. Get my bachelor's degree. This is probably the most challenging one of all, considering Avram won't be in school all day until I'm 30. Also because I have no idea what I will major in. Regardless, it's on the list.
12. Learn how to crochet. I'm a knitting machine. Apparently crocheting is easier than knitting. I'd like to see for myself.
13. Take a photography class/learn how to use a real camera. This one also includes purchasing a nicer camera. I love our little Canon Powershot, but as Avram gets older and we have more tiny people running around, I really want to be able to capture as much as I can. I have no idea what I'm doing right now; I just push buttons and keep taking pictures until it looks, um, alright.
14. Read the Bible. A lot of people make it their goal to read the entire Bible in a year. I think that's great and all, but that's a lot of serious reading for one year. I read the whole Bible in a summer once, and I remembered zilch. If you're flying through the Bible that fast, how much are you really absorbing? Maybe it works for some people. I want to take the next five years and read the whole sucker; I want to take my time and eat up every word.
15. Go kayaking. I've been canoeing, whitewater rafting, paddle-boating...time to give kayaking a shot.
16. Go cross-country skiing. ...why not?
17. Buy my own power tools. I just need to own a drill. And a really sweet staple gun. And a saw. And a nail gun. And...
18. Finish the American Film Institute Top 100 Movies. J & I started the list about three years ago, and we're more than halfway done. It will probably take us another two years to finish. Then, we'll probably start all over again. They're that good.
19. Start assembling a real wardrobe. I need to start putting together a grown-up's closet. Preferrably one that does not include sweatpants purchased in the kids' section. Or any items that I wore in high school. Or anything from Forever 21. I honestly think this will be the second hardest item on the list, because I'm tiny. And not a whole lot of adult stores carrying clothes for tiny people. But I shall not yield.
20. Take a trip with just my husband. Our five year anniversary will be in 2013, and I'm hoping we can take a real trip together. Not just somewhere for the weekend (which we will undoubtably do), but a real trip together.
21. Use my passport. Between the ages of 10 and 20, I traveled to more foreign countries than many people do in their entire lifetime. Israel, Northern Ireland, Haiti, Scotland, Germany, France, Switzerland. Want to know how many times I've left the country since I turned 20? ZERO. This could also go with item #20, because Jason has never been out of the country, and I'm excited to take him somewhere. Even if it's Canada.
22. Record my dad telling stories. Being a good storyteller is very important in our family, and my dad is a real show off. He can tell a story like no one else. Jason has pointed out that Paul & I will let my dad tell a story we've all heard at least a dozen times just to hear him tell it. I wish we had recordings of my grandpa telling stories, because sometimes I would love to hear his voice again. I really want to start a project of recording my dad telling stories about my grandpa, his childhood, my brother & me as kids...so someday, maybe our grandkids or great-grandkids can hear what a great storyteller he was.
23. Take a trip with my mom. My mom is one of my favorite people to hang out with. And no one deserves a vacation more than she does. One of my favorite childhood vacations was when my mom and I went to Florida together, and I hope we can travel somewhere together in the next five years.
24. Have an article published in a magazine. Dreaming big here, people.
25. Have another baby (or two). Yep.
26. Brown County
27. Sleeping Bear Dunes
28. Glacier National Park
29. Jenn in Nebraska. Jenn, one of my BFFs, moved to Lincoln, Nebraska this year. I visited her when she lived in Detroit, in New Hampshire, and in Pennsylvannia, so it just makes sense!
30. Move back to Fort Wayne. Hopefully this will be the first item checked off. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I wanted to live in Fort Wayne, I probably would have laughed. And rolled my eyes. Now, there's nowhere else we would rather live, and I'm willing to do just about anything to make sure it happens.
There are a lot of things I want to do in the next five years that are not on this list, but these are things I really want to see happen. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.
What matters the most is that I have my little family, that we're all healthy, that we're happy: and so far we've got those things, so my road to 30 is off to a pretty good start.