I’ve done it. I’ve managed to reach the grand old age of thirty by failing at every societal standard laid before me – my index finger is ringless, my hair is fashionably grey, my uterus is rotting to the sound of my spinsterhood and I have dared to have a good time nonetheless. Who would’ve thought that being a disgrace would be such an adventure? They should’ve made it less exciting, and catered it to my attraction to procrastination.
5. I got to hug my baby niece and spend 2 whole weeks being bullied by her (it was the best feeling in the world!)
5. I got to see 15 new places in Thailand. Not to mention the great towns we got to explore in Kerala, India, over Christmas.
2017 is my 30th year and I intend to go after adventure and happiness with the same (if not slightly more exaggerated) vigour! After all, I read some potty graffiti recently that said “Do more of what you love!”. If that’s not a sign, then I don’t know what is.
I spent the most part of my Sunday looking at flight tickets to Japan. No particular reason really. I was on the site to try and book tickets for England but then wondered what it would be like to visit the other side of the globe. That’s the thing with wanderlust. It just hits you at the most random times.
Before I knew it, it was well past my bedtime and I will still staring at the computer, unable to shut it down and go to bed. If it wasn’t for Monday, I might have stayed with the travel site all night. It would have been so romantic to catch a sunrise together.
Damn you, Monday!
I spent the most part of my Monday staring wistfully at this map and hoping that one day, my real life map will look somewhat like my WordPress reader map.
I have a pretty solid job. I have done so many random things in my career but I’ve always been lucky enough to work at places that I feel passionately about. I have worked in clinics and tribes and orphanages in Tanzania. I have been a life skills facilitator for children from vulnerable backgrounds. I took a year off to write from home and built a good client base with regular income and now I write for a group that designs educational games, on a Dreamworks Animation project.
They’ve all been great jobs but the one that was the closest to perfect was when for a few months, Michael hired me to work with him on the Day Zero Project. If you haven’t heard of it yet, go to his website or to my bucketlist tab and sign up. Seriously, it will change your life. I joined it because I was so caught up with work (I was working 7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day) that I ignored the little things. When I heard of the project, I knew I had to sign up and so far, I’ve crossed off so many things, I’m happier than I ever was. There is a sort of unadulterated joy that comes from doing something instead of waiting for things to happen to you.
I always seem to be helping people plan their travels or help them research, give them a customized bucket list for a destination. It struck me again when I was helping WL (aka, boyfriend) the other day with research for a trip that what I really, REALLY want to do is travel and write about it and not to touristy, well researched places. But places that people haven’t hear of, secret sanctuaries, festivals, private nooks etc. It would be even more ideal if I got a small island I had to take care of in “off season” so that I can do my other writing then. Wouldn’t that be the life? If the universe is listening, please make this happen?
The thing that will pop out to you on my blog like I’m an SEO freak are the keywords – Bucket List. I have so many lists on so many platforms, it will make your head reel. I figured I’d make a different sort of list today, an anti-bucket list. I can’t claim to be an advice guru. Think of this like a letter of motivation to myself. Here is my rather randomly put together list of things to you do NOT have to before you’re 30.
Settle Down – There’s a lot of talk in society about how you need to find someone or have someone found for you, marry, buy a house, pop babies – there’s a standard list of things to do with a simple google search. By all means, do those things. But do it when you’re well and ready. In your 20s, you are young, your body can take a beating, you have an unbelievable ability to push yourself. Go out and discover yourself. Have an adventure – alone, with friends or with a partner.
Get a Dream Job – In your mid-late 20s, you will start to feel like a loser because Goddamnit! Where is that dream job you were promised? There are the lucky ones who know very early on what their passion is and go after it. A lot of us, though, have to figure this out through trial and error. Work in a place that sucks your soul because it will teach you what you don’t want. Work in jobs you always wanted to, even if it pays peanuts because it’s okay. You’ll be okay.
Own a House – Discovering yourself and what makes you truly happy is more important than owning a concrete structure or having enough of a bank balance for a down payment. Invest instead in travel.
Children? – Mother nature will probably kick you in the ovaries for this one but discover who you are as a couple, build a strong foundation as a single team, be prepared (financially and mentally) to be parents before you get down to it
Non Plastic Furniture – People at work were discussing home furnishing and things that they will own forever. Do you really need to make that sort of investment before you settle down? Here’s an easy way to know if you’re ready – if you can’t pick between two appealing pairs of shoes, don’t do it
Own a Car – Before you start typing up comments about how this is an impossible ask, what I mean is – you don’t have to own a car from the same century as you. You don’t need to be the owner of the most modern sedan ever invented. There’s plenty of time for that.
Have a Doctorate – This probably counts more in Asian countries and more in South India where we pile on degrees because that is how our worth is calculated – by our academic qualifications. My mum has 2 masters, my dad has a PhD and I could be well on my way to both of those milestones. People here say study, finish it all off before you are married. But it is important to keep learning. There is no
deadline and don’t collect degrees just because. Learn about something you have a deep desire to learn.
A Full Passport – Some would call me a hypocrite because I’m on my second passport and I’m still 3 years away from 30. Still, don’t assume that you have to cram all travel into a decade because “OMG, there is no life after marriage. Everything must be done now, now, NOW” Make travel your priority but don’t break your back and your heart about how much you have been doing. Focus also on making little trips to restaurants, cafes, cities within your own country that you’ve never been to. Memories are more important than stamps.
An Answer to Deep Philosophical Questions – Why are we here? Where do we see ourselves 5 years from now? Has your life been worthwhile? Sure, Douglas Adams came pretty close to answering these questions but could you seriously say that 5 years ago you imagined yourself where you are right now?
Guilt for Eating What You Love – Your body will need you to pamper it eventually. You’ll have to be it’s crutches and do it a diet and exercise favour but before you get to that stage – eat what you want to eat. Savour each bite of pizza and ice-cream. And mmmmm, cheesecake!
Stay tuned for part 2 and 3. Also, I’d love to hear what’d be on your lists. I may or may not steal your ideas. Promise! 😀
See how I keep my word? For the next 30 days, I’m going to aim to write a post every day. I’ll probably fail, but I’m going to give it my all. I have created my own set of writing challenges so if any of you want to participate along with me, comment and I will give you my list. For now, DAY ONE!
I started doodling to keep my thoughts in check during lectures. Since my mind races with a million thoughts per second, it was hard to concentrate on what the teacher was saying, so I shut everything out by scribbling on my note or text books. I later realised it’s great ability to calm me down so whenever it’s too loud in my head, I draw. This is one of them.