Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life List

There's a little movie I was particularly fond of as a young teenager, and its called A Walk to Remember. In it, Mandy Moore's character has a list of things she wants to do before she dies. More recently, there is something of a blog meme going around where people make life lists. I have thought absent-mindedly about making such a list for myself before, and I've had some semblance of the list in my brain, but then I read this Cary Tennis column about a man unhappy with his life even though he seemed to have everything. Maybe, I thought, this man never thought about what he actually wanted out of life. It is hard to get what you want if you don't know what it is. I do not want the same fate as that man. So I opened a new Word document. And here's what we got:

  1. Take a Eurorail Trip. Bonus points if its before I turn 25, so I get that sweet discount.
  2. Have more than one child. In so doing, parent with long-term love in mind, keep me being me, and enable them to confidently be who they are.
  3. Be an extra on a movie or TV set.
  4. Own a dog.
  5. Make a habit of homemade, simple Christmas gifts for neighbors and friends. Homemade jam or something.
  6. Dance around a fire in a faraway place.
  7. Go on a cruise.
  8. Become strong enough to dance en pointe again.
  9. Watch all the Best Picture movies.
  10. Go back to Varanasi.
  11. Go back to Biolley.
  12. Have a garden.
  13. Have a tree house with a pulley.
  14. Stop being afraid of fish and other animals with unpredictable movements.
  15. Have a home where all comers feel welcome and people just stop by.
  16. Floss.
  17. Take a hot air balloon ride.
  18. Become good at wine pairings.
  19. Have a job that requires power suits and heels, but don’t stay there too long.
  20. Take my parents on a vacation.
  21. Go on a hard cider tour of Europe.
  22. Never make a pie with pre-made crust.
  23. Open a pie shop in Austin, Texas
There are 23 things on this list. I got to around 20 and decided that 23 would be nice, since I have that many years of life behind me, and maybe I can add one new thing each year. I realized a few things after making this list:
- Making this list made me very happy. I felt an overwhelming sense of possibility as I wrote it, so much so that it made me feel almost teary. Like anything could happen.
-This is the list of someone who has already been very, very blessed. The list has two items about going back to beautiful, distant places. I have already done and seen and experienced so much. If never do any of the things on the list, I'll still have lived plenty.
- My career is nowhere to be found on this list. I tried to work it in, honestly. But the things on this list are mostly things that reach for something beyond what I already know and feel capable of. Work, school? That I can do. Having a home where people just drop by? For me, that is the greater challenge. That's why I had to put it on the list.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this, Natalie. A tree house with a pulley sounds like bliss.