In all honesty, I never cared for the term “Bucket List.” Maybe it’s the whole “hurry up and do this before you die”/morbidity feel to the actual term, but the meaning and idea behind it holds a lot of importance. (I’ve yet to come up with a different name for it, and “Life Goals” or “My Life’s To-Do List” both sound too proper and pretty boring, so the search continues.) I really do love the idea though, how it encourages the heart to dream, reminds you that you’re alive, and convinces the mind that anything is possible if you work really hard and just believe. (Insert Mariah & Whitney’s ‘When You Believe‘ here.) (I mean, right?! When I sing along to that song, I sound exactly like Whitney Houston, it’s the craziest thing.)
When I was in middle school, I was gifted a book that was titled, “2001 Things to Do Before You Die.” Dude, talk about pressure, especially for an 8th grader whose daily goal was to just make it out alive from Mr. Hunter’s horrifying Health class (that’s a whole other post), but seriously- this book was really the first time I allowed myself to dream, write down those dreams, and start to believe that maybe, just maybe I could check them off one day. This book, this list, became so treasured and I kept it just for myself. It was my place to dream these “crazy” dreams and believe that just maybe they could one day come true.
But the older I got, the less I wrote down (or checked off) in the book. Maybe it’s because I got busy, but truly I think it’s because maybe I started to believe more in these supposed “rules” I’d been learning about and the adult instruction of “this is what grown ups do now,” and less in the dreams my heart still held onto. Why do we let ourselves do that? Why do we often times dream less the older we get? (We need to knock it off.)
Fast forward, years later, when I sat on the front porch of my college house. It was senior year and I was getting ready to move to Chicago. As I packed away some of my things into boxes, I came across the book – the book that held all of my dreams and goals and hopes for my life… my adolescent “bucket list.” So I opened it… and couldn’t help but smile as I read through the list. There they were, one by one – the dreams I’d had as a young girl… many that had already come true.
- Go to college
- Sing The National Anthem at a football game
- Get a dog and name him Oooju Booju
- Have a dance party on a weekday with as many people you can fit into your house
- Remain best friends with “the crew”
- Sign with Elite or Ford modeling agency
- Be on a billboard
- Be in a commercial
- Walk in a runway show
- Live in a big city
I sat there, shaking my head and smiling as I realized that these “crazy” dreams I’d once written down when I was only 14 – had actually come true. And you know what it did? Well, aside from it making me want to give praise (which I did, right there on the porch), it made me want to keep going. It made me want to keep dreaming, keep writing them down, keep working hard. And so, I did. Right then and there, I wrote down more dreams for my Bucket List. What’s funny is that the older I get, the more that list has way less to do with me and a lot more to do with others. And that makes me feel really happy 🙂
I don’t know why it’s so much easier to share some of the things written down only after they’ve happened… perhaps because they don’t seem as “crazy” since you can actually say, “That really happened!” but there is a part of me that likes to keep my list to myself. Are any of you guys that way? Sometimes I like to dream about the future and to just let it stay in my heart and privately written down in my journal. There is something to the written word, for sure, and so I will keep writing in this list. Maybe someday I’ll share what’s on my updated Bucket List (maybe when I come up with a better name for it), but the point of this post today wasn’t to say, HERE IS WHAT’S ON MY LIST (because you already know “eating chips and salsa with Michael Bolton” is on there – UM, IT IS.), but rather to remind myself and to encourage you to keep dreaming, keep writing it down, keep believing.
I’m linking up today with one of my favorite bloggers, Anne from Love the Here and Now, for Wednesday Wishes (which I have renamed Thursday Wishes, since I’m late to the party). My wish today is that we don’t stop dreaming, that we don’t stop writing down our hearts desires. If you asked a 5 year old what things they wish to conquer in their life, they’re not going to give you some “realistic” or “real world” adult answer. They’re going to give you the answers that come straight from their heart. I want you to remember that as you start or add to your Bucket List today, okay? And I’ll do it too. Readyyyyy… GO.
*Also linking up w/ Momfessionals for the Bucket List linkup!