These past couple of weeks I turned 28, I quit my job, and made a huge decision to leave the city where I have started to cultivate a life.
I am not known for making particularly spontaneous decisions. I’m probably one of the most un-spontaneous people ever. I worry so, so much about everything.
But, in the last few years, there has been a lot of ups and (mainly) downs in my life, that I decided I need a change. Since I finished university, I have made all the decisions I felt I needed so that I would get to a certain end point, but very few of those decisions have actually made me truly happy.
A lot of that is down to circumstances, but it is also about how I choose to live my life. I have, in the past, cut myself off from people so that I can focus on other people; other people who, ultimately, were exacerbating the negativity in my life. I have stuck it out in horrible jobs because “you just have to do one year doing this, which you might hate, so you can move on to something better”. Which, with hindsight, I know is ridiculous.
Moving to London was the best thing that has happened to me in the last however many years. Here, I learnt to spend time by myself, made new friends, made progress with my anxiety and depression, started a job where I was able to learn really valuable skills and expand my knowledge, won an award for my work – which was up against journalists at national papers and much larger publications, started running (!) and enjoying it, and worked to develop a healthier lifestyle.
But, I need a change.
And I currently have no commitments.
My job has one month’s notice. As does my flat. I have no significant other. I have no pets, no children, no mortgage. The only thing of any significance I own is a car. And I am selling that, after two years of being in denial about needing a car in London.
So, in a few weeks I will be moving to France. I will be going to live with my mum and step-dad for a couple of months and from there I don’t know what I am going to do; for the first time in a long time, there is no plan.
The only thing I have is the list below.
Thirty, to some extent, seems an arbitrary number to measure things by, but for whatever reason it still holds significance in society. Plus, it’s a nice round number, and I like numbers like that.
A few of my friends have already done these lists, and a few of their ideas have inspired some of mine. I appreciate some of the ideas below are not exactly original, but it’s what I feel I need to do.
I have just under two years to complete all of these.
In no particular order (and perhaps subject to slight amendments):
- Hold a BIG spider
- See the Northern Lights
- Get a tattoo
- Speak fluent French (again)
- Learn conversational Spanish
- Eat in a restaurant by myself
- Go to the cinema by myself
- Eat in 5 Michelin Star restaurants
- Go to 50 new places – cities, national parks, etc
- Visit 20 new countries
- Read another 30 books
- Travel solo (the longest I have spent by myself abroad is 2 days)
- Start writing that book I’ve always planned
- Skinny dip
- Run 10k
- Catch a fish
- Learn to crochet
- Climb a mountain (taller than 2,000m) or Three Peaks
- Be an extra in a TV show or film
- Grow a plant and not kill it
- Go to the Grand Canyon
- Visit Hobbiton and pretend to be a Hobbit
- Go to a tennis grand slam tournament
- Do a hot-air balloon ride
- Visit Auschwitz
- Spend at least a week without my phone (or any technology)
- Spend a week saying yes to everything
- Learn to play poker
- Learn not to worry so much