I am 27 years old.
Sometimes, 27 makes me feel very old. I live in a fancy-ish apartment, have a completely stocked kitchen, cook real "family" meals at least three times a week, and go on fun and frivolous vacations a few times a year. I drive and insure my own vehicle, completely support myself financially, and have lived outside of my parents' home for over four years. I have a master's degree, an established "career", and family obligations. I have my own color scheme for my living room, and the thing that makes me feel most like an adult -- I have my own Holiday decorations that could not be more different than my mother's.
While 27 isn't old, I spent most of my time with younger people. One of the weirdest things about teaching is that the kids stay the same age (tenth graders are always about 15!), but you keep getting older. When I started teaching, I was about five years older than my students. Now I'm about ten years older than my students. (It's a wee bit disorienting!) My friends tend to be younger, even if only by a year. And while I understand that there is very little difference between 26 and 27, being just that much older (and being reminded of it CONSTANTLY) is enough to freak me out.
I have gray hairs and use wrinkle creams nightly. I put an absurd amount of money into my 403(b) so I will have enough to retire (only 28 years of teaching left!). I am now much closer to 30 than I am to 20, and all of my friends can legally drink.
I like being 27. It means that I have money and can do what I want, and I don't have to worry about the anxiety that comes with being a new college graduate. I do legitimately feel like a real grown up (most of the time. Kind of.)
But, as 27 eeks closer to 30, I've realized that I have some things I'd like to do. I'm not really scared of 30, so much as it's a nice artificial measuring tool.
So, without further ado, (half of) my 30 before 30
1. Go to South America
I had the great pleasure of getting to live in England with one of my best friends for four months. We had what we call our "great European Honeymoon" and traveled all over Europe. While I'd like to go back to Europe, I'd also like to go to South America. From everything I've heard and seen, it's wonderful. Easily doable
2. Go ziplining.
This just seems like fun. Potentially something to do in South America?
3. Go Sky Diving.
Yes, I have a fear of heights. Yes, I realize that I will be throwing myself out of a plane and toward the ground. Which is hard. And I have a poor sense of direction. Still, seems like fun. Tentative date: This Spring!
4. Finish a marathon in under five hours.
I've run three marathons. I finished them all in OVER five hours. I'm fine with my finishing times, especially for the last two, where I REALLY didn't train. I think that if I did train, I would actually have a decent finishing time. So, despite the fact that I said after I ran the NYC marathon this year that I would NEVER do it again, I'm going to do it again. Preferably in New York.
5. Learn how to apply eye make up.
I don't wear a lot of make up. In fact, I don't really wear make up ever. I never got into putting it on in high school where it seems like everyone else is. Then I started dating a boy who despised make up, and thought I was much prettier without it. (maybe all the wrinkle creams helped?). Because of this, I never really learned how to apply it. I can put eye shadow and mascara on, but no matter what colors or what techniques I use, I always look the same. I'd like to learn how to put on eye liner, make a smoky eye, and make my eyes look bigger. Definitely doable.
6. Learn how to blow dry my hair
I have naturally curly hair. And, in the infinite wisdom that comes with being the ripe old age of 27, I've learned to accept the texture and color of my hair. I prefer my hair curly. I think it curly nicely and gives definition to my face. The men in my life prefer my hair curly. As a result of this, I've just rocked the curls for the last thirteen or so years. However, there is something to be said about the drama of the change up. When I had my hair blown out last year for the first time in about four years, people were speechless. It's nice to change things up. But paying $80 for a blow out just isn't worth it. So, I'd like to learn how to blow dry my hair. It seems like a necessary life skill.
7. Learn American Sign Language.
Y'all, I'm the language learning slacker here. Two of my roommates are fluent in two different languages. I grew up in a neighborhood where a number of my peers were bilingual because their families were. The only language that every really stuck in my brain was American Sign Language. I started signing when I was ten because I read a book about Helen Keller, and all of that has stayed with me. ASL would be a super helpful to in the classroom and for my career, and honestly, I just find it interesting. So, before I'm 30, I'd like to become proficient at ASL.
8. Make a "Turducken".
Part of my feeling like a grown up comes from learning to cook. Despite the fact that my great-grandfather was a renowned chef and my great grandmother was an amazing cook, no one in my immediate family cooks. We had family dinners every night growing up, but it was largely really simple things or things out of boxes. In my mind, there's no "Mom's meatloaf" or "Grandma's pie." When I started living on my own, I started making things from scratch, and realized that it really wasn't all that difficult. I've added a lot of recipes to my repetoire, and I really like seeing what I can do. But a turducken is legit. That means I will have graduated from "Yeah, ok, this isn't that bad" to "OMG, there are THREE BIRDS in there!"
9. Make a "large" purchase.
I rent. And I bought my car outright for less than $6000 when I was in college. I've never made a "big purchase." It's one of the things that keeps me from feeling like a grown up. At some point in the next three years, I'd like to make a big purchase. Whether it's a car, a home, a horse, or a really fancy piece of jewelery, I'd like to make a "big purchase" of my own.
10. Take ballroom dancing classes.
I came of age in the time of Dawson's Creek. And any of y'all the watched Dawson's know that Pacey and Joey's first romantic inklings came from when they took ballroom dancing courses together so Joey could get a scholarship that didn't exist. And the night that episode aired, I asked my now ex boyfriend to take ballroom classes with me. And as a thirteen year old boy, he agreed! When we start dating about four years later, we joked about going for these lessons. In the ten years we dated, we never took those lessons. I did take lessons at my women's college with one of my friends, and we had a grand old time, but I learned how to lead. I'd like to take them. Where I could learn how to dance the girl parts. You never know when you're going to need to waltz!
So, here you have a third of my 30 before 30! Do any of you have goals like this?