My 30s list – before I am 30
This year, when I turned 25, I made a promise to myself – that I will treat 25 as the new 16. This promise emerged from a conversation I had with a girl friend when we both were rueing the perfectly "good-girl" life that we have led till date. "Its time to have more fun," we told each other.
Now I was really wondering how to keep that promise to myself. How do I treat my life with the innocent excitement of a 16 year old, despite being the experienced, matured 25 year old woman that I am? Here comes the usefulness of a bucket list. So, to facilitate my birthday gift, I pen down 30 things to do before I turn 30, which will constantly remind me to take the necessary break from my mundane life every now and then.
1. Experiment with my looks
I have a secret wish to do something radical with my looks and the easiest way to achieve it would be to go for an extreme hair styling. I am still deciding between a pixie cut and a slight perm. Or may be, I should just get some red streaks at the next available opportunity. [mental note: try that pixie cut some time in life; think Halle Berry!]
2. Get a tattoo
Ever since I got my nose pierced, I have been eyeing the tattoo parlours. I also have had the usual inhibitions about getting a tattoo, but with each passing day, the idea of inking myself permanently excites me more. The design would most certainly not be feminine and sweet, but more devilish and stingy like a scorpion And it simply cannot be on a skin surface, easily spotted by my old-fashioned relatives.
3. Buy my own car
Now that I have my driving licence, I am itching to put it to good use. The idea of driving on the streets of Calcutta is not too appealing, but I simply love the sense of power I experience with the steering wheel in my hand. [mental note: buy that SUV or Audi.. O.K. not now, but sometime in life; or else get a husband who will present one ]
4. Go on a self-drive adventure
Once I am comfortable at the wheels, I plan to take it out on an expedition across long distances with just the map as my companion. My most favourite driving vacation idea is to go down the coast line of India.
5. Pledge my eye and other organs
This reminds me, I have to make that phone call to the eye bank, which I have planned for quite some time now. In addition, I have to contact a hospital for the organ donation. I love my body too much to allow it to go up in ashes when I am not here. It should be used for more meaningful purposes.
6. Learn scuba diving
I must attain that certificate for scuba diving – be it from PADI or SSI or NAUI. Its my always-there-at-the-back-of-my-mind dream. My aim presently is to go to one of the diving sites at Andamans (because they are the most affordable ones) and combine a vacation with one of the basic-intermediate level courses.
7. Learn how to play a sport
I always make plans for it and always scrap it for one reason or the other. Now before its too late, I have to train myself in any one outdoor sport. Which sport is a good question – tennis? squash? golf?
I think I will try and fulfil my childhood dream of playing lawn tennis.
8. Go back to University
Student life was the best and I intend to re-live all of it once again at a foreign university.
9. Try as many water sports as I can
Ever since, I have learnt swimming, I have developed a love for all water sports. Parasailing, jet ski, rafting – I want to do all of them. I also want to try my hand at free-diving, water ballet and underwater photography.
10. Get featured in the media
As the upcoming lawyer/writer/blogger or whatever the media decides to portray me as. The bottom line is – get featured and become well-known [mental note: next step should be 'become famous']
11. Learn a dance form
Another childhood aspiration which was cut short. Now it would either be Manipuri among traditional dance forms and salsa/waltz/rumba/tango among western dance forms.
12. Go on a cruise
Vast expanse of sea, luxury cruise liner and lots of time at hand makes for a perfect luxury vacation.
13. Learn any one form of martial art
Options are Kickboxing, Kalarippayattu and Krav Maga. Oh God! I am turning into Ekta Kapoor!
14. Be actively involved with charity
15. Go on a back-packing trip
I have always been fascinated by the backpackers I meet through Couchsurfing. I also wonder how lucky Aparna Shekhar Roy is, who took a year off from corporate slavery to backpack solo through Latin America. This is one dream vacation for me.
16. Try as many different cuisines as possible
My aim is to try all sorts of food around the world. I wish I could be a travel show host/world food critic just to fulfil this dream of mine.
17. Write a book
Its time I take writing more seriously and take it beyond the confines of my blog. With one academic book as co-author and co-editor already published and one story in one of the Chicken Soup series to be published shortly, I am planning to finally start writing that novel I have been thinking of. Whether it will get published or not is not in my hands, but writing it surely is. I also promise that it will not be on campus-romance/office-politics but a fiction with a strong woman character as the protagonist.
18. Travel solo
Travelling solo helps one to rediscover oneself and offers unique life lessons. My ambitious idea of a solo trip to the north-east was turned down by concerned parents; but I seriously intend to go on a vacation all by myself at some point of time.
19. Buy those items I have always wanted
Digital SLR; select branded clothing; select branded shoes and handbag; platinum and diamond jewellery. In one word – indulge myself.
20. Visit at least one country from each continent
A friend once said, "I will not marry until I have visa stamps of 10 countries in my passport." To her credit, she has already managed to gather quite a few. My motto is to set my foot in at least one country from each continent before I hit the 30s. Wish No 8 will help in achieving this one. [mental note: Be realistic about Antarctica!]
21. Learn glass painting
Again something I always wanted to do but have not, till date. This reminds me, I should start drawing/painting once again.
22. Have a fling
I have that bit of "Geet" (of Jab We Met) in me – I am the old-fashioned one-man woman. I have been unable to casually date anyone or have a fling. But surprisingly, people do not believe me, if I say so. They perceive me to be the "playful girl" for reasons best known to them! So, I think I should try to prove them right by having at least one (and depending on availability of interesting men, more than one) fling(s). .
23. Learn how to ride a bike and drive to Ladakh
The ultimate thrill is to have the wind sweeping my hair as I speed across picturesque highways to Ladakh. I think I should try and nail a biker boyfriend as part of fulfilling both this one and the previous wish.
24. Have my own house
I invested in real estate last year, but cancelled it due to varied reasons. I want to cross over to the 30s with a home to call my own – not my parent’s or husband’s but my own.
25. Get completely drunk
I can’t believe I have this in the list! Till 22, I was a complete teetotaller. I finished tasting almost all types of spirits within the next one year, but found nothing to my liking. But I wonder how it would be to go completely berserk while drinking? I wonder how would I behave when I am high – happy? pissed? crazy? Its time to find out, but of course, in trusted company. [mental note: I hope I am not sick; I would hate that]
26. Read all the must-read books in all the available lists
Every now and then, I come across "100/500/1000 books to read before you die" and I embarrass myself by counting the ones I have completed. Let finishing all of them be my motto. [mental note: go slow and savour each one you read; you have a lifetime to finish the whole list]
27. Start a business of my own
I know its a tall order may be, but I have to start some time some where some how. As to what it would be, let it remain a favourite secret.
28. Learn how to cook (exotic dishes)
The foodie me simply has to learn how to make those exotic food, desserts, cookies etc etc. [mental note: make sure mom doesn't see this; she will lock you up in the kitchen and teach you everyday recipes]
29. Learn a Foreign Language
It would most probably be either French or Spanish. Now this gives me ideas – I can fulfil wish no 22 by having a fling with a person who speaks that foreign language. [mental note: biker or a foreigner???]
30. Get Married
Find that man with whom I want to share my life and settle down with him.
Such a long list and just 5 years left! I will try and achieve at least 50% of this list and the rest will then be carried over to my 40s list.
If you have such a list, do share it, either in the comments or in your blog and let me know. I would love to compare notes. I shall also write another blog post detailing what all I achieved from the list when I will turn 30. Till then, wish me luck!