Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life Lived List

A couple things to be added to the Life List:
  • go blond
  • go auburn
  • stay on Necker Island
  • see a space shuttle launch
  • take a flying lesson
  • anonymously slip a $100 bill in a stranger's pocket/purse (preferably someone who genuinely seems like they could use some anonymous kindness)
  • plan a surprise party
There are a lot of things that would be on my list but aren't because I've already done them. I was talking to roomie Lauren tonight about travel because she's leaving next month to do a law school semester abroad in Rome for the summer.  We were swapping stories and I found myself saying things like "when I was on a flight to South Africa..." or "when I had chicken pox, I was on safari with my mom in Kenya..." and "one time, I was at this camel farm in the desert in Saudi Arabia..."  I've had some pretty incredible experiences. 

Like what 6-year old gets to be in Kenya with her mom and see wild animals in their natural habitat from the vantage point of a hot air balloon ride?  That's just nutty.  Or what 21-year-old knows what it's like to bathe in a basin by candlelight with water she pumped from a well and carried herself because she's in a village in Lesotho with no running water or electricity for six weeks? 

I find myself not talking about these experiences very often.  If it comes up or is relevant to a conversation, I'll talk about it, but otherwise I don't really.  I think it's because it seems bigger than me.  Bigger than my real life where I just go to school and struggle to make ends meet and plan for the future and hope it lives up to my expectations.  It seems like these things happened to me, rather than that I really was there, living it, breathing it, feeling it. 

I think that's why I love the Life List concept so much.  Because by writing things down and actively crossing them off a list, you kind of have to feel it.  Feel that you did that.  You were there.  It was purposeful, it was intentional, you lived

I can't wait to cross the first thing off.  But because everything to this point counts too, because I have lived to this point, and because I need to recognize that while I've been waiting for life to start I've already lived a pretty great one, there are some things I need to go ahead and cross off the list:
  • hot air balloon ride
  • travel to:
    • South Africa
    • Kenya
    • Costa Rica
    • Switzerland
    • France
    • Austria
    • Italy
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Spain
    • Lesotho
    • Mexico
  • ride an elephant
  • meet two U.S. presidents
  • live without electricity
  • step foot in the Pacific Ocean
  • see a baseball game in Yankee Stadium
  • ride a horse
  • get thrown from a horse and get back on
  • see the Vatican
  • see the Sistine Chapel
  • visit the Roman Coliseum
  • see Versailles
  • go to the Louvre
  • fall in love
  • dye my hair a crazy color (cotton candy pink)
  • go to a rodeo
  • go on a wine tour in South Africa
  • live by myself for at least a year
  • be given a tour of Jimmy Carter's boyhood home by Jimmy Carter
  • go deep sea fishing
  • eat Mexican food in Mexico
  • eat ice cream under the Eiffel Tower
  • go skinny dipping
  • pump water from a well
  • navigate a foreign country on my own
  • treat my mom to a pedicure for a change
  • meet Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and hear him talk about the environment
  • go on 5-day hiking trip (though this was hugely against my will)
  • go mountain biking (it was more like mountain-bike-walking-because-these-hills-are-scary)
A pretty good life so far.  A pretty good life to come.

So I want to hear it.  What's on your list?  And what are you super proud you've already crossed off?


SG said...

Umm...the list of things you've done makes me really jealous. Obviously I have led a very sheltered life.