(This piece was originally published on my personal blog, Mouthless Mutters, in 2014)
I’m one of those people who is always dreaming about the future, about some other time and some other place. When I turned 20 I had ideas and dreams for where I would be when I turned 30, I wrote them down in a “bucket list” type document, and unsurprisingly I haven’t achieved any of the things on that list – sadly I didn’t win an Oscar at 25. As tomorrow is my 30th birthday, I’ve been reflecting on my dreams that didn’t come to fruition and why. The simple answer is, in my ignorant fog of youth, I dreamt too high. Now I hear a life-coach saying “dream big” “reach for the stars” etc – but the simple truth is, I am lazy and I am not an ambitious or competitive person. I am happy to just kind of go with the flow. This year I have made some changes to try and make myself a happier person, I’ve applied to do a course in an area I am passionate about (screenwriting) and I’ve made some changes for my health (my gastric sleeve). This year I realised that attainable goals are just as satisfying as the big ones. With that in mind, I present to you (and for my own record and accountability): my 30th “to do” list – because a “bucket list” is morbid as shit. This list is more reflective of where I am at in my life and what I would like to achieve over the next 10 or so years.
- Be happier – take steps to remove negativity from my life, because I am easily susceptible and became moody and angry when I am surrounded by pessimism.
- Have people’s backs – this stems from the #illridewithyou campaign. I pledge that if you are ever afraid for any reason – religious, sexual, or gender persecution – I’ll be there for you. I’ll try to stand up for myself and for others.
- Call people out on their shit – as someone terrified of confrontation, I tend to be civil and nice to people’s faces, and then bitch about them to others. Yes, I am one of those people – but I don’t want to be. I am going to work on my ability to call bullshit.
- Make more friends – as I am getting older I am realising that I have less and less in common with the friends I’ve had for a long time. Although I love them like family, and they will forever be my best friends, my place in life is very different from theirs – I am single, I have a disposable income, I like to socialise and I like going out and doing things (aka my husband and my kids aren’t my whole life). I want to put myself out there and meet new people who I can spend time with doing the things I like to do. I want to meet people who I can have deeper conversation about life and shared interests with. Where I will find these people, I know not.
- Follow my passion – I’ve already started steps towards this one, by applying for (and being accepted in to) an Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting. I am hoping that this will lead me to better things in an industry I love, but even if I do it part time while still working I’ll have a hobby that I enjoy. I can follow my passion and still get the bills paid.
- Stay focused – As someone with minor ADD, it’s hard for me to focus on anything really. I am particularly bad at studying, so I am going to work on technics to keep myself focused – meditation, yoga, mind exercises etc – while doing my diploma. As a freelancer writer, focus is also something I am keen to grasp to gain structure in my writing process.
- Spend an extended period of time overseas – as someone with an interest in the film industry, I’ve come to realise that it would be beneficial to spend some time surrounded by the “life” to learn the trade. I’ve decided to either do a working holiday in Canada, basing myself in Vancouver or Toronto (both with a strong film industry) or to take three months off and live in Los Angeles. Time and money will tell which option I chose.
And that’s it. Simple, but attainable I think. I want my thirties to be the decade that I am happy and content – even if I have to force myself to be so.