In 2007 I was just graduating high school. The emotions were of typical high schoolers as were the hormones, so please forgive this list of incredibly embarrassing wants, wishes, and goals.
Like many high schoolers there were hardships to deal with, lessons I would not learn from until long after, and friends I did not stay in touch with---some I wish I had and others I know it was wise to let go.
Anyways, here we go. My list of “things I want to do before I die”:
Make a 3 course meal. Done almost 1000x over. My latest? Eggplant au poirve, salad, and cheese plate. Simple yet comforting.
Go to a European football game. I’m going to Europe this fall. Maybe I can swing it?
Read a majority of the Bible. I was trying to understand a lot of hatred and love being spread by the same people. I have not succeeded in this.
Try to understand what I read in the Bible. It’s a gray area.
Buy an expensive outfit….on a splurge. I have definitely bought pieces on splurges, but never an outfit. I hate shopping, have little interest in fashion, and secretly want to be rich enough to have someone pick out my clothes every morning.
Learn how to navigate without a compass. A usable skill I still hope to one day attain.
Impact the world. Well, I’m living. And I’m apart of this world. So I’ll take it.
Be an extra in a movie or TV-show. This was obviously before I learned how truly terrible it is to be an extra.
Trust someone. Done, although she is still quite clumsy around the house. I use a lot of super glue on things.
Own a boat over 30 feet. Again, this was before I realized what true “responsibility” or “money” was. Do any of my friends have boats like this? Let’s talk.
Live outside the U.S. for more than 6 months. I’ve only accomplished 6 weeks. I’m working on this for 2016 though. Does anyone have suggestions?
Inspire someone. Only they will probably ever truly know that feeling.
Part-own a business. I own my own! Who knows how easy (hard, soul crushing, maniacal, fulfilling) that would be.
Go a week with NO regrets...or maybe a night. I don’t know who I thought I was back then. I was no party animal at the time. I think it was the 18 year-old hormones.
Make someone proud. I’ve been told, but again, only the other parties will probably ever truly know that feeling.
Play one tournament on the LPGA. I’m no Stacy Lewis. Last time I played I probably broke 90 because the beers told me so.
Run with the bulls. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans, yes! San Fermin in Pamplona, No :(.
Go a whole week without using electronics. Yes, but not as much as I would like.
Never leave anything that leave me wondering “what if…”. Such silly high school ways of thinking. I have, however, taken this to heart.
Go to the Olympics. Who the FUCK did I think I was? It might have had to do with the fact I had a 2-in vertical and played volleyball….
Play beach volleyball. I think I’m more into the after-game drinks than the tactical learning of the game.
Dive with the sharks. “The” sharks? Who are are “the” sharks? I don’t know, but I am becoming a volunteer diver at the Aquarium of the Americas. So, I’m counting it.
Climb Mt. Kilamangaroo. Still on my list of things to do.
Play with dolphins. My girlfriend loves dolphins. I hate theme parks with captive animals. We will have to work out a compromise on this one.
Inspire someone. What is up with these high school wishes?!
Skydive. Still on my list.
Throw a lavish party and invite ALL my friends. Because, you know, of all the lavish parties I throw in general and don’t invite ANY of my friends.
Forgive. I’ve done this for some things. Still working on it for other things.
Write a book. Nope! But I am writing, so I’m considering that a win.
Be able to use sign language. Was I just trying to put in something curteous? I don’t know any deaf people. But I feel like it would be useful to know somethings.
Run away and go where travel takes me. I haven’t technically “run away” because that is foolish, but I have done some wandering which makes me very happy.
Try a different food whenever you get the chance. Yes, and yes.
Ride Oriental Express-->sleep on the train. Still on my list.
Visit every continent except Antartica. I really hate the cold.
Be a role-model. Do I want that?
Go to Bonaroo. Or any other major music festival. Done, and I’m glad that phase of me is over.
Help anyone who needs it. That has been done when appropriate. I for one will not help those drunkenly throwing up on the streets of the French Quarter at 7:15 AM when I bike to work.
Ride on a private jet. It’s amazing how many materialistic things we dream about, and then when they happen, they truly are lackluster.
Watch a sunrise and sunset once a month. I do this everyday and enjoy it everyday.
Watch planes fly-over. Fly-over where? Like go to the airport? With or without earmuffs? Come on high school Leigh. God is in the details.
Visit a different location every year. Done, last year alone covering that 5 times.
Sing by myself in front of an audience. Unfortunately true. Thank you to my summer working for an opera maestro in Italy. I sang “Sweet Home Alabama” at the behest of the students.
Drive across America. Not yet accomplished. I’m borderline on this.
Don’t just think about things….do them. Boom! I’m writing.
Learn to juggle. What the fuck high school Leigh?
Read a novel for a whole day. I don’t think I can sit still that long nor would I ever want to.
Get a job I love so I won’t have to work ever. High school emotion as there ever was one. In some ways it’s true. In a lot of ways it’s not.
Spend a Christmas where there’s snow and then a warm one. Michigan for the cold! Now, who wants to go to Australia next year?
Give to charity and receive no recognition. Yep.
Accept who I am and that not everyone will like me because of that. Oh, the stories 26 year-old Leigh will want to tell you. It’s true, not everyone will like you. Even though who like you will still find reason to dislike you. Be kind to yourself, courteous to others, but never lose sight of what you want. There will be times where that is harder than most, but remember that everyone is fearful of something. They always have a “good reason” to hate you and then the “real reason”.
Learn to bartend. My service industry friends will laugh at this. I will never cut it behind the bar. My belly desires to saddle up and order loud, brown, and served down.
Mature, but never grow up. I’m still in debate over whether this is happening or not.
Go to Miami Boat Show. Still a yes. But only to oggle.
As I said, embarrassing, but relevant. Things change as my list has as I grow up. Some things remain the same, but it’s more fun to look back and see how far you’ve come. The most important thing is to not let the future become daunting.
Previously written for Thought Catalog.