29 June 2011

my want to-do list

Recently, I was cleaning out the files on my computer from college, and I bumbled my way into this document called "want to do lists."

As soon as I opened it, I laughed. Out loud. My sophomore year, two of my roommates and I sat down late one night and made these lists, our own versions of bucket lists.

I can't remember what brought this on, but does anyone remember why you did something in college? It was late, you were tired of reading Wordsworth or doing differential calculus, and you started to talk about your life post-college.

In my experience, people in college think they have figured out post-college life. They dream of a time when they won't have homework every night, conveniently forgetting that they also won't have a meal plan.

Post-college, you will be a bona fide grown-up. You will grab life by the horns, and you will have the most amazing ride.

And that's true, of course—being a grown-up is full of perks, such as being able to have ice cream whenever you want it.

But being a grown-up isn't one exciting bull ride after another.

Sometimes the bull is asleep, and sometimes the bull is running right for you, as if you were in Pamplona, sprinting down a narrow cobblestone street in a little red scarf.

And sometimes you have to eat the bull. I don't really know if this fits into my metaphor, but it's a convenient segue to telling a story:

My junior year, I studied in Aix-en-Provence, France. {Thanks to that time, I'm able to check numbers 12, 19, 28, and 30 off the list.} My mama came over for a visit, and we had a mommy-daughter trip of a lifetime, except I was only 21, so I'm demanding that she and I have more mommy-daughter trips in our lifetimes.

We toured vineyards in Burgundy, even though neither of us knew much about wine at that point. But we did this tour on bicycles, which we both know a lot about.

However, I don't know if you know this, but vineyards are hilly. Extremely hilly. We ended up lost on a back country road pushing our bikes up a hill {she got off first, I'd like to point out}, but we were together and that was good.

We went to Arles to see the Van Gogh sites but ended up being there during a bullfighting festival. Arles has a bullfighting arena leftover from the Roman times, so we wondered past it one night, listening to the cheers and generally agreeing that we didn't want to go in. We may have been to rodeos before, but we weren't about to see a bull—or a person for that matter—get gored.

Outside the arena, we found a street vendor selling sandwiches and so we sat down on the curb outside the arena for dinner.

"Mom, is your sandwich kind of tough?" My jaw was popping from trying to chew.

"Yes. I think we're eating the bull who was killed yesterday. Try not to think about that and just keep chewing."

I did. It was not the best dinner I've ever had, but I was with my mama, and that was good.

And now, back to my want to-do list. I made this list when I was 20, and now that I'm 29, it was somewhat gratifying to check things off here.

Of course it was. I love to-do lists, and I get a sense of accomplishment from checking off "do laundry" or "plan meals for next week."

But there's a bigger sense of accomplishment here. My 20-year-old self was trying very hard to dream big about life after college, life after Wordsworth—and so what a surprise to discover that I've actually done some of these things, even though I completely forgot about this list.

And come next week, I'll be able to cross number 29 off the list. And that will be good.

Kamiah's Want To-do List

  1. visit every continent
  2. spend 21st birthday in Europe
  3. live on the East Coast (Maine, maybe)
  4. learn to sail
  5. hike part of the Appalachian Trail
  6. live in Chicago {Well, if the Chicago suburbs count, although I'm the one judging this list, so I say the suburbs count.}
  7. be an extra in a movie
  8. own a bookstore
  9. take a shower in a waterfall in Fiji
  10. have a song written for me
  11. learn to water ski
  12. drink chocolat in Les Deux Magots
  13. see Tintern Abbey
  14. go to an Olympic gymnastic meet
  15. go parasailing
  16. have kids
  17. take kids on vacations like I used to have
  18. go to a play on Broadway
  19. see the Studio of the South
  20. have a library with walls of books
  21. see the Holy Land
  22. read to my kids
  23. teach my kids French
  24. hear an opera in Vienna
  25. learn to ballroom dance
  26. own a pug
  27. see the Pyramids
  28. see the Pont du Gard
  29. see the lavender fields in Provence in bloom
  30. go to Van Gogh’s café
  31. work in a library
  32. see a big tennis tournament

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails