TODAY IS MY 30TH BIRTHDAY!
That calls for at least 3 exclamation points and a fist bump.
And holy hell what a wild ride this last decade has been:
- dancing on tables, closing out bars, feeling invincible.
- graduating college a psych + comm major and having no f-ing clue who I really wanted to be or what I wanted to do.
- falling in love. falling out of love. falling in love again. falling in love in the states, across the ocean, and then eventually with Matt who I [fingers crossed] will spend forever with.
- wanderlusting my way across the globe to romantic cities, the poorest orphanages and seeing the world through its beautifully cracked lens.
- ending toxic friendships and holding on to the great ones with a steel grip.
- moving from Detroit to Hawaii then back to Detroit; finally landing perfectly in the Windy City 5 years ago.
- saying sudden goodbyes to my Dad, Grandparents and a dear friend and sudden hellos to new friends, new family, and a Border-Collie pup named Mokey.
- getting married and feeling instantly like ‘OMG, I’m so f*cking happy. and f*cking scared. and like a f*cking grownup’.
- ending a 6-year battle with bulimia and giving it the double middle finger on the way out.
- meandering through 25+ jobs before figuring out that I was NOT built to punch a time-clock, but instead for creating and coaching and loving fiercely.
Because you see, I’ve always been really great at doing. Great at making shit happen. Accomplishing. Planning. Going after what I want.
But horrible at being. Terrible at enjoying the present moment. And in a constant state of, ‘but what’s next?’
So at the tail end of my 28th year, and in the vein of ‘always doing’, I decided to create a wildly optimistic 30 Before 30 List. 30 Things I wanted to accomplish by the time I hit today [the big 3-0]
1. Have a real Christmas tree
2. Be in the middle of a giant confetti explosion
3. Get henna’d
4. Learn to drive a stick
5. Order a dirty martini
6. Travel entirely by myself
7. Read my Grandparents love letters
8. Have a picnic on a real checkered table cloth
9. Learn to sew
10. Plant a garden
11. Ride an elephant
12. Catch fireflies in a jar
13. Take ballet lessons
14. Teach a yoga class
15. Take a good ‘ol American Road Trip
16. See a psychic
18. Mediate somewhere marvelous
19. Run a 5K
20. Take another service trip overseas
21. Travel with my family through my Italian home-roots
22. See Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
23. Stand in a field and scream at the top of my lungs
24. Shoot a gun
25. Ride a horse bareback
26. Marvel at the Grand Canyon
27. Go dog sledding
28. Ride a motorcycle
29. Go to a drive-in movie
30. Ride a hot air balloon
I didn’t make it.
I could’ve frantically booked a hot air balloon ride or motorcycle lesson or bought a herd of huskies and mushed. I’ve got enough hours in a day to kill.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t because what I’m finally learning is that life isn’t about checking off items from an arbitrary list, it’s about turning every day into an accomplishment, a celebration, a bucket-list.
So I’ve decided that my only goal is to feel alive every single day.
And alive doesn’t happen from doing. It’s happens from being. Being present in every moment, with every person. From connecting, listening, appreciating, creating and laughing hysterically every. single. day.
So if I can impart any gift on you today, from my last 10 years of learning, it’s to:
be wild, f*ck up, stay out too late, love too hard, learn a lot, travel tons, skip the last shot [trust me], tell ‘em how you really feel, create passionately and be incredibly you.
But through all of it, stay present, awake and alive.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be celebrating with Ryan Gosling and leftover birthday cake.