Tuesday, January 31, 2012

25 Things to do While I am 25

I was recently inspired to make a list of 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year on this great planet.  Since I don't have much else going on, I figured it would be something positive and productive to focus on.  Granted, some of the things on the list are kind of bizarre and random, but I guess that is what you get with me.  I decided to share some of the things on my list (some, not all), and document the progress I am making.  This way, with the public watching, I will be more motivated.  (Feel free to get on me about not getting though enough of these things fast enough because I do procrastinate.)

1. Date someone- This means going on at least 3 dates with the same person with some sort of romantic intentions (Side note: if this goal was to eat 3 dates with someone in the general area, I would have had this one whipped only days after my birthday.  Unfortunately, actual progress on this goal is dismal, at best.)

2. Visit a new country- If all goes as planned, this will be happening in April with Kelley.

3. Learn to Dougie- This one was actually accomplished only days after my birthday by watching a YouTube video of Cali Swag District teaching me how to Dougie. 

4. Run a 10K- Although this is going to be harder than bricks (running on pavement every day is giong to kill my shins, and probably my whole body), I think I can do it.

5. Read a classic novel- Like I have never done this before or something.  I just needed some things that would be easier and more enjoyable to accomplish.

6. Go golfing- The real reason I want to do this is due to the reason the Scots put 18 holes in a round of golf: There are 18 shots in a fifth of scotch.

7. Work on my memoir- It's not even February, and I already have at least starts on three chapters.  Now I just need help with revisions to (hopefully) make it something I don't hate.  Not even something to publish (although, I am sure it will be published and sold along side Tropic of Cancer by the time I am 30).  Just something I don't hate.

8. Return to Chile- No explanation needed.

9. Learn the rest of the words to Ludacris's "Fantasy"- I have been trying to learn all of the words for about 5 years now, but I figure now that I am 25, I should focus and learn those last few lines.

10. Get a camera- Since I got robbed in Valpo, I haven't had a real camera.  I loved my film camera, and I always will love film.  But I think I am going to look for a digital SLR this time.  Now I just need to find a really good deal on one...

11. Do  this and this with said camera- And really, I would love for my friends to make lists of things for more photo challenges.  I love finding the beauty in simple and everyday things.

12. Lose at least five pounds- I have been trying to do this since summer 2010, but I will do it this year!  And ideally, the pounds will just keep falling off once I get on a roll.

13. Kiss someone at midnight on New Year's Eve- Let's be honest.  This isn't going to happen.

14. Hiking and camping adventure- My biggest obsticle with this one, is that I am going to have to do it by myself, and I think I would enjoy it significantly more if there was at least one other person to share the experience with.  But I suppose that is part of the challenge, eh?

This isn't everything on my list, but it is most of it.  My list is still lacking a few things, so if anybody has any ideas, I would love to hear them!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Simple Life

The evolution of a mindset from appreciation to overwhelmed by excess is an interesting one.  While I was hanging out in Africa, I started to think about how much I really appreciate the advantages I have here in the US and the standard of living we are afforded.  My appreciation for these things was not born in Africa, but it definitely came full circle and exploded while I was there.  Being and living in a place where electricity is scarce and safety is questionable gives an entirely different meaning to having unlimited hot showers after a long run outside and then staying up late reading.

Since being back, I have become less and less thankful for these things I have and more and more overwhelmed and fed up with the excess of it all.  I don't need 18 different options of butter and butter substitutes.  Nor do I need 29 varieties of pre-packaged spaghetti sauce.  I will surely survive without a constant connection to the internet via my phone, and in fact, I sometimes think I would survive better without a phone period.  When I look in the cupboards and see everything preserved and pre-packaged, I still get a little confused about what I am supposed to do. 

Everything you could possibly imagine (and even some things you would never imagine existing outside a Sci-Fi novel) are casually and easily consumed here.  I don't like it.  I miss my simple life of living out of a suitcase, and I miss the challenge of every day living.  (Remember when I had to figure out an alternative for brown sugar when I was trying to bake cookies in a questionable oven at an altitude that probably doesn't permit good cookie baking?)  The constant learning and simplicity of the developing world have captured me and aren't going to let me comfortably stay in the US.  I don't cry about it anymore, but I am still antsy with anticipation of when I can return to the simple life.