30 Before 30...
When I first saw the 30 before 30 trend, I thought that this looked like a good way to put pressure on myself and ensure that the future me felt like a failure and was sufficiently depressed.
Yes, perhaps this was a rather cynical view, but I couldn't help but feel that all these 22-year-olds saying that their goal was to be married and have kids before they turned 30 were going to end up bitterly disappointed. I mean, it's a very nice goal to have, don't get me wrong, but I don't think writing it in a list is going to be very helpful, especially not when you're 29 and sobbing into your ice-cream because your boyfriend of seven years cheated on you.
In spite of this, the allure of making a bucket list got the better of me. I mean, there's something just so satisfying about being blindly ambitious in a set number of bullet points. So I made one, vowing to only include things that were actually in my control (in case you haven't noticed, it takes two to make marriage and kids work). I wanted a list that wouldn't be a depressing read on my 30th birthday. I wanted a list where I could say, "OK, 20 down, 10 more to go." Things that were possible to do after 30. Things that didn't have a time limit really, but would certainly be nice to achieve before my 30s, which I was sure was going to be a busy enough decade if marriage and kids did happen.
I decided to view it as breaking down your full bucket list into easy, digestible decades. The more I achieve by my 30s, the more I'll have been able to do by my 40s, 50s, and so on. It's making sure that you don't waste your youth making excuses and saying "you have plenty of time for that later." Because sometimes you don't. I wanted a list that I could keep looking at and working on throughout my 20s, not one that lay forgotten in my desk drawer until the next clear out.
So without further ado, here's what I came up with:
1. Rescue a dog.
2. Visit Italy.
3. Write a fiction novel.
4. Publish a fiction novel.
5. Volunteer for a non-equine animal charity (I already work for an equine one).
6. Visit Auschwitz.
7. Back a rescued young horse.
8. See the Northern Lights.
9. Visit Switzerland.
10. Obtain additional equine diplomas and qualifications.
11. Get to grade 7 on the piano.
12. Publish blog posts and articles on a weekly basis.
13. Run a YouTube channel.
14. Be in a real relationship.
15. Visit my friend in Brazil.
16. Visit Tokyo.
17. See Hobbiton in New Zealand.
18. Go to a rodeo in proper cowboy country.
19. Own a western saddle.
20. Go on holiday alone.
21. Revisit Tuebingen, Germany.
22. Become a homeowner.
23. Visit my friend in Kurdistan.
24. Road trip my home country of Scotland and actually see Loch Ness.
25. Read and watch more classic books and movies.
26. Be an extra in a movie/TV show.
27. Visit Ireland.
28. Attend acting classes.
29. Have a romantic New Year's kiss at the bells.
30. Go on a ghost hunt.
A disclaimer to 30-year-old me: Yes, many of the things on this list take effort and money. But currently, at the age of 24, these are things I would very much like to do at some point. I don't know what your life is like. Maybe you have kids now. Maybe you got in an accident and can no longer walk. Wow, that would suck, but it could happen! Point is, you're good enough as you are and you don't need to achieve any of this to be happy. As long as you have a roof over your head and people in your life that care about you, you're going to be OK. However, if you could take a moment to revisit this list and remember what you cared about and what your values are and find a way to achieve as many as possible, I guarantee that you'll feel less lost and more hopeful. I hope this finds you happy and well, and I hope you have fun living these experiences. Because that's all this really is, a list of fun suggestions for your life written by a younger you! xox
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