The 30 Before 30 List

A friend of mine was the one who introduced me to this interesting project. Of course we were about to turn 29 and he was just beginning to create his list of 30 things he wanted to accomplish within a year. Crazy, since we already had about twenty-plus years to achieve whatever we were marking down. But it created this fun “achievement” game. It’s basically a year-long challenge where you can invite participants to join in on the fun. (And in some cases, the participants are the main part of the activity.)

I had heard of this “list” before… somewhere, couldn’t remember where… and when I asked him where he got the idea of this cool, new thing he sheepishly admitted that he got it from a women’s magazine. It was in Cosmo, or Allure, or some other super-vagina mag.

Aside from its girly origination, he thought it was a great idea since he recently got canned, and guess what? His schedule had really opened up. I agreed with this endeavor and already found myself mentally creating a 30 by 30 list. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s pretty self explanatory. The year before you turn 30, you create a list of 30 things you would like to accomplish. Be it: finish reading a particular book, go skydiving, make play-doh sculptures, learn how to be a taxidermist… whatever floats your proverbial boat. So for me, I took it upon myself to put some things down on this list that would make me better, things I had always wanted to do but was too afraid, things I had never done before but really should have, or just simply things I had been meaning to do. My friend, being a guy, had things on his list such as having a three-some or touch fake boobs. And I seriously don’t understand the whole “achieve lucid dreaming thing” but if he wanted a list-filler, go right ahead.

Well… now I’m 30. Did I achieve everything on my list? Nope. Definitely didn’t. After losing a job, being able to afford a flight to another state (two things on my list) became less feasible. I still haven’t been able to find anyone to get me to ride a bike down a street (no, I don’t know how to ride a bike- ridiculous I know), and I’m still too chicken-shit to actually engage in an amateur stand-up improv night. (Don’t judge me! It’s something I want to do, damn it!) So, I had been feeling like a 30 Before 30 List failure; a black sheep amongst my can-do “Look at me I’m eating foie-gras and going skydiving!” friends. And there I sat, staring at my list, sadly shaking my head two days before my birthday.

Then I received my best friend’s birthday gift to me. She bought me a round-trip flight to her family’s second house in Breckinridge, Colorado! Awesome! And then it hit me. Why the hell do I have to limit myself? Just because I’ve already turned 30, do I really have to give up on my list? Hell no!

So, after going on a work coffee run one day, I looked up at one of the many telephone poles and saw the annual 10k Los Angeles AIDS Walk banner. I remembered two things on my 30 List: Volunteer for something and participate in some kind of walk. (Zombies, Vampire, 5k Color-Run, Mud-run, anything!) This was my opportunity! That banner hit me as if I was in a movie and the sopranos “ahh”ed, harpists (harped?), and a bright halo of light surrounded the AIDS Walk Ad.

Guess what I did next? Yep, I registered to raise funds and walk in the 10K. I have to say that I feel good about this. This is definitely a step in a very positive direction and I can use my social skills for a good cause. I mean, I love throwing parties. But throwing a party to raise funds for a good cause? I’m all in! Booze, “Help me raise money” pleas, and all.

I have to say that there is no reason to abandon goals just because you didn’t achieve them in a set amount of time. It’s such a limiting and counterproductive thing to do to yourself. Set positive goals without adding an unrealistic deadline to them. Therefore, I’m sticking to my list and I look forward to helping a cause. Plus, my team will be the most kick-ass walking team out there! Los Angeles AIDS Walk, look out for “The Walking Debs”!

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