According to my cousin, when I turned two she bent down and asked me, “Alyssa, how old are you today?” I scrunched up my face in anger and hollered back at her, “I’m not old!”
Apparently I’ve had an issue with aging ever since then. I’m just not a fan of birthdays. I don’t enjoy people asking me, “How does it feel to be another year older?”
Why do they have to remind me that I’m older?
Why do they have to say my age out loud?
In less than two months from now I’ll be turning twenty-six. I know, I know, I’m not old (allegedly) but as my birthday starts to creep closer I feel my yearly anxiety and panic starting to settle in.
I’m pushing thirty. How the hell did this happen? When did this happen? Why haven’t I been moisturizing properly and eating well?
The idea of turning thirty terrifies me. Where will I be by then? Will I have accomplished anything that I wanted to in my life? Will I be a note-worthy person?
I’m struggling with trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life–but the rest of my life is nearly here. I don’t have as many opportunities to reinvent myself. I don’t know what I want to ultimately do career wise. I’m wasting time.
I thought by the time I turned twenty-one I’d be living on my own, ready to get engaged to the love of my life and earning enough money to travel the world.
So my ideas weren’t necessarily realistic but I’m twenty-five and that hopeful optimism is gone. What the fuck am I doing with my life?
I feel like a zombie most days. I wake-up, roll out of bed and try to force myself to go to the gym. Most days I succeed (though lately I have not). Then I have a two hour commute to work, work ten to twelve hours, and then hop back on the bus to travel two hours back home. By the time I’m home it’s eight o’clock at night and I waste whatever hour or two I have left before heading to bed watching TV or scrolling through social media.
Where has my day gone?
Why haven’t I done anything for myself? Or done anything to get closer to achieving my dreams?
WHAT ARE MY DREAMS?
I’m in full on panic mode at this moment in time. I think by now you all know I love to make lists. In an effort to be more productive, proactive and inspire myself I decided to write a mini-bucket list of things I would like to accomplish before I’m the big 3-0.
I have a travel bucket list that I’ll share at some point so you won’t see a love of travel related things below.
This list is more about my hopes, dreams and conquering my fears and anxiety.
- Learn to Ride a Bike
At twenty-five-years-old I do not know how to ride a bike. While some people would find this embarrassing I do not. Kelly Ripa didn’t learn how to ride a bike until she was in her forties.
When I was a child I was terrified of removing the training wheels so I never did. I just stopped riding one day and never got on the bike again. I tried to learn when I was a teenager but I crashed and ended up walking my bike home.
I would love to learn but my fear over falling is big. I am terrified of breaking something and also looking like a loser as a little kid rolls by on their bike without any training wheels or fear.
Fear runs my life. I’d love to get over my fear so I could be like my mom and participate in the New York Bike Marathon or ride around Amsterdam and other countries when I visit.
2. See the Sites in New York City
I am a tourist in my own city. People pay thousands of dollars to visit New York each year and I spend thousands of dollars to leave it.
I’ve never been to Central Park or the Empire State building. I don’t know where Governor’s Island is or how to get there and I’ve never set foot in more than half of the museums.
Whenever I’m walking to work people ask me for directions to get to some of these places and I don’t know how to get there because all I ever do is go to work and then go back home. I don’t explore the city.
So before I’m thirty I would love to get to know New York more. I want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, visit the 9/11 memorial and find out where the hell Governor’s Island is.
3. Get a Tattoo for Myself
Funnily enough I never wanted a tattoo. I thought they were ridiculous and banned my boyfriends from ever getting any. Surprisingly they listened to me.
Then one day I decided I wanted a tattoo. Me friend and I got matching tattoos and then a few months later I got a second tattoo in memory of my godmother.
Now I want a tattoo that’s for myself. I haven’t figured out exactly what I want but I need it to be for me and me only. I want to get a penguin tattoo for my grandmother and a rose tattoo in memory of my friend. My body is going to be inked in honor of all of these people and I just want something to honor myself.
4. Go on a Solo Trip
I’ve never been anywhere by myself. I studied abroad in Greece and I might have taken the plane ride alone but when I got there I had a roommate and other students to rely on so I never had to be alone.
When I travel now I go with my friends or my mother because I’m afraid of being alone. I have social anxiety. It takes a lot of effort for me to reach out to someone and start up a conversation. So it’s just easier to have someone I know with me so they can ask for directions, order in another language or go up to strangers and ask them to take our photo.
If I try to go up to someone it feels like the world is starting to crumble around me. I get nervous and start shaking. I have to go over conversations in my head because I get tongue tied and start to mispronounce even the simplest words.
But as I get older I realize someone isn’t always going to be there. My mom isn’t interested in visiting every country. My friends have their own lives. They’re in serious relationships and want to start having kids.
I have to get over some of my anxieties and fears if I want to see the world because I have to do it solo.
5. Go on a Date
Since I haven’t been on a date in two years I feel anxious about dating. I want to be with someone one day. I don’t see myself meeting or attempting to meet anyone within the next year.
I need to push myself to get out more or else my next date won’t be until I’m thirty.
6. Learn to Finally Let Things Go
I hold grudges. I’m still not over the kid who threw a wooden block at my head in Kindergarten.
That shit hurt.
I clearly need to work on letting things go. It’s pointless holding on to the pain of the past because it just hinders the future.
I understand this.
….But I’m not exactly there yet.
7. Move Out and Live on My Own
I’m twenty-five and I haven’t lived on my own yet. I desperately want to move out but I can’t because I don’t make enough money. Or maybe I do but I’m too afraid of being on my own.
8. Overcome a Fear
Obviously anxiety runs my life. I’m afraid of almost everything. I’d love to overcome or face one of my fears.
I’m afraid of escalators, which is extremely inconvenient considering I live in New York. I have to walk to the next station or another block because I need to take the stairs or the elevator.
I’ve always wanted to go hike a mountain but I’m afraid of heights. I’m so afraid as much as I want to visit the Willis Tower in Chicago I fear what happens when I look down.
9. Run a Half-Marathon
Before I turn thirty I want to run a half-marathon. I’m not looking for a specific time or to be the first to cross the finish line. I just want to train hard, push my body and be able to say thirty years from now that I did.
10. Take a Class to Learn a New Skill
I’ve always wanted to take a cooking, pole dancing or cosmetology class.
11. Pay it Forward
I’ve always wanted to pay for someones drink or meal–just because.
12. Start a Side Hustle or Business
I’ve been on the search for the best ice cream in New York City (even though I’m lactose intolerant). I would love to open my own ice cream shop.
Or something else entirely.
13. Have a ‘YES’ Day
In order to get over my fears and let go of some of my anxiety I would love to have a day where I say yes to everything (as long as its legal).
14. Go to a Concert Alone
I’m afraid of being in large crowds by myself so I’ve missed out seeing some of my favorite bands perform. Whenever I go to a concert my mom is my plus-one but she isn’t a fan of all of my music.
15. Be Comfortable in My Own Skin
I’ve struggled with insecurities my entire life. I’ve never worn a bikini on the beach. I’ve never worn a mini skirt outside. Buying clothes isn’t a fun experience because I worry about how fat I look or what other people think about me. I love the color yellow but I don’t wear it because it’s a statement color and I don’t want people to look at me.
By the time I’m thirty I would love to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to wear a bikini once in my life without being worried about how I look.
16. Go on a Road Trip Across the USA
I’d love to do this with friends or by myself and just drive along and see some of the top sites in the United States.
17. Go on a Hot Air Ballon Ride
Again, the fear of heights and the fact that this is really expensive hinders me from experiencing this.
18. Volunteer My Time for a Cause I’m Passionate About
But first–figure out that cause.
19. Publish a Book
My dream has always been to publish a book even if that means self-publishing. I would still feel accomplished.
20. Learn to Listen Without Feeling the Need to Respond
A big reason why my relationships don’t work out: I can’t listen without responding.
It’s not about having the last word. It’s more about feeling like I need to defend myself or break down their feelings with explanation after explanation even when it isn’t necessary.
21. Travel to Rome
I want to go to Australia for my 30th birthday but I want to go to Rome before that. I think Rome is something I need to experience and appreciate before I’m thirty. When the hangovers aren’t that bad, the metabolism is still somewhat functioning and a family wouldn’t hinder the budget.
22. Be on TV
Most people who work in TV don’t actually want to be on TV. I’ve always wanted to be an extra on a show or be on a game show. Who doesn’t like to win money? Or a car!
23. Help Sponsor a Child’s Wish Through Make-a-Wish Foundation
24. Spend the Day at a Spa Resort
I’ve always wanted to get a message and a facial.
25. Go 21 Days In-a-Row Without Complaining
26. Completely Change My Personal Style
I’ve been wearing jeans and t-shirts since I was in middle school. My look hasn’t evolved since then. I don’t know where to start but by the time I’m thirty I want to dress from the job I want–not the one I have.
Even though I don’t really dress for the one I have at the moment either…
27. Start Taking My Health Seriously
28. Buy My First Car
29. Unplug for a Week
Social media consumes my life. I feel like I’ve started to live for Instagram and that’s not okay.
30. Find my Passion in Life
What do I want to do with my life? I still don’t know!
Am I missing something from my list? What is/was on your list before you turned 30?