Now that I’m steadily creeping into my 20s, I’m getting nervous. You see, when I was in my teens, I thought a lot about my future. I didn’t have the smoothest ride through teenagerdom, so I was eager to be independent. An adult, emphasis on the first syllable. Little things like swinging my car keys around my index finger while making a run to the grocery store excited me. I imagined my future boyfriend sweeping me off my feet with his CD collection in his cozy New York City apartment. Yeah, this is back when people collected CDs. Fun fact about me: the only CD I ever purchased was Weezer’s Red Album. I don’t know where it went, but I still love me some Weezer.
Although I’m only 21, I feel like I’m so caught up in the responsibilities of being a near-adult that I’ve forgotten to focus on the goals I once had. The last time I made a list like this one, I was 18. I even know the exact date (Aug. 20, 2012), because it was posted on my last WordPress blog that is now private because it’s incredibly embarrassing. I just read through it now, and while I’m surprised by the things that haven’t changed, many things certainly have. So here’s take two of my goals for the second decade of my life.
30 Things I Want Before 30
- Some form of continued higher education. I’m not completely set on law school yet, but I know I’m not done with formal learning.
- Fluency in two more languages. I’m on my sixth now, Arabic. I like to think I have two more in me.
- Literacy in Mandarin. I can only read about half the common characters currently.
- A horse. Pretty self-explanatory if you know me. On another note, look at the pretty horse ring I picked up yesterday in St. Augustine!
- Two adopted dogs. Named Blitz and Quinn.
- Turtles, housed in giant outdoor pond. Must redeem myself for mistreating turtles in my younger life. I’ve already given up on my fish karma, so I’ll just feed those little swimmers to my turtles.
- A weekly exercise routine. Well, it doesn’t have to be routine, but I’d like to keep playing squash, riding horses, and taking walks.
- Ability to sleep on my back. This is probably the hardest one on the whole list.
- Ability to sleep less than 9 hours. This might be the second hardest.
- Ability to drink alcohol. Forget what I said before — this is the hardest.
- Ability to apologize. Oh wait, no, this one is.
- My three favorite piano pieces, memorized. That’d be Beethoven’s Pathétique, one of the Bach fugues, and…hmm, not sure about the third.
- A painting, finished. This is where I left off with my first.
- Mad cooking chops. I think my chops are pretty good right now, but certainly not mad.
- A budget. Well, I sort of have one now, which consists of spending all my money. 😦
- Environmental consciousness. Which is why my dream car is the BMW X1, one of the most fuel efficient SUVs.
- General geographical knowledge. Why don’t they teach this in American schools?!
- A fabulous collection of lingerie. I’m stealing this one from my last list. Why? Because you know your life is going pretty well if you can spend time and money on lingerie.
- Community involvement. Whether exercising my voting rights or working in the government, I’d like to perform my civic duty.
- My novel, published. Hopefully I’ll get here before 30, but you never know.
- A year working abroad. I’m planning for Morocco in 2013-14.
- A year in Asia. I want to know my parents’ native countries better.
- A year in New York City. Probably more, but not too many.
- A job that I enjoy and serves a greater purpose. To me, that means nonprofit work that benefits lives around the world.
- A salary that gives me a comfortable life. Money isn’t everything, but it is important.
- A nice home somewhere that snows. That includes: a chalkboard-paint wall, a fireplace, a record player, a furnished basement, a fenced backyard, and a four-poster bed. Porch swing preferred.
- A kid. Alexander Sebastian or Clementine Astrid. I believe in syllables.
- A best friend. Sometimes, I feel like these are harder to find than husbands.
- A wedding. Just one, please. I’d like it in the fall because my favorite season is winter, but I want an outdoor wedding, and my sensitive skin wouldn’t last a lick in subzero temperatures.
- A marriage. I’m not in a huge rush to be married, and I may have some commitment issues, but it’d be nice to have a husband before I have an Alexander.
I’m probably missing a lot of other important things, but oh well. If you are over 30, what advice would you give us 20-year-olds? If you are under 30, what are some of your goals?