Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Perhaps it is easier for those who are close to the end of their lives, rather than a young person like me who still sees the world as an oyster of opportunities.
Most of the time when I contemplate writing a bucket list, it sounds more like a Yahoo flash story of "top ten places to see before you die" rather than something sincere and meaningful. But perhaps this just points to the fact that I am a traveler by nature. Ever since I was a small child I have loved the open road, checking into new hotels and seeing new places. When I was about 8 years old I invented a
"hotel survivor kit" filled with little sample shampoos, soaps, and samples that you get at hotels. Even back then a traveler was born.
I definitely want to see India, China, Jamaica, Japan, South Africa, Argentina and a variety of other countries before I die. But since I have already traveled to more places in my 29 years than many have been to in their whole lives, it feels almost selfish to write a longer list of things that I want to see and most likely will at some point.
But again, I dance around the deeper issue of the bucket list without really getting at what my actual problem is. I think that anyone could draw a list of places they would like to go. But my problem is that I have no idea what I want to do when I am at home. When I am not running off on constant adventures and pursuing my wanderlust to the absolute fullest.
Could it be that I have done pretty much everything that I wanted to do and that I have no idea what I want next? I don't know if I am the kind of woman who wants a family, husband, children, etc. But I also don't want to get to the point that it is too late to make that kind of decision and feel like I missed out on experiences that are essential to the human condition. And so the conflict stands...
Without tooting my own proverbial horn, I have lived a pretty unusual and interesting life. I have been very blessed to be able to meet wonderful people, travel extensively, attend some of the best universities in the country and maintain my freedom. I have lived in 4 major US cities and spent long periods in others. I have traveled with work, been on numerous adventures on my own time, and gotten to know people from all social stratas. But somehow, the domestic type of life seems as though it would mean trading what has made my life interesting to begin with. I have escaped the grind that most people my age experience on a daily basis. Now that I am out of school I am freelancing and am fortunate enough to not have to punch a time clock everyday and be chained to a desk 40 hours a week. Although I spend plenty of hours working, I do it on my own terms and schedule.
So that brings me back to the bucket list again. Could it be that I really have no idea what I want to do before I die other than continue what I have already been doing since my late teens? Does that make me some kind of indecisive Peter Pan type with two MA degrees a set of belongings so scant that it can all fit in the back of my little Ford Escape? These are the kinds of questions that I frequently battle with as I face the 30 year mark a little less than a month from now.
Posted by Jenny K. at 4:57 AM