The internet is full with bucket lists - most redundant, some cutesy, others downright ludicrous - and while I was studying them I found myself losing interest in counting how much of these things I've already done: plant a tree, swim with dolphins, dance all night and go straight to work, skinny dipping, make fire, eat something you've grown, give more that you can afford for charity/shoes, sleep under the stars, send message in a bottle, go on a trip with no luggage, live without a cellphone for a month, cut your own hair, watch a sunrise/sunset, make love on a plane, pretend to be invisible/pregnant/foreign, etc., etc. The truth is that if you live long enough and love life even half as much as I do, you will inevitably end up with such experiences in your book. In fact, you might end up doing things you don't even want mentioned. I pierced my own belly button when I was 16, was fired 2 times from jobs I openly disliked, and made a complete and utter fool of myself on more occasions this blog has room for. Lists like that are funny, but strangely unsettling too because they make it sound like a matter of statistics.
I may count on luck a little more than I should, yet I am a firm believer in empirical intuition when it comes to dreams. I go along with what's already there - usually it's the the want for something better. If the opportunity for change presents itself I take it, but I rarely go out of my way to stir my fate. As much as I want to save the world single-handedly, I understand that I only have a very small role in this venture so I just try to be the best I am, preserver, enjoy myself, do my part, and see what happens.
This is a rather safe approach, but it suited me well so far. I went to university and got a degree 9 long years after high-school, married the man I love and saw live the rock stars I idolized as a teenager. Moreover, I quit smoking, learned to drive and I am hard at work to be witty instead of sarcastic, and to be kind rather than self-important. Besides, I sometimes struggle to get through the day, let alone a life of achievement and adventure. One never truly knows if what he dreams about is what he actually needs. Hence the intuitive part of empiricism. I just live a life and when big moments come my way, I am ready to appreciate them. The rest is putting one foot in front of the other, writing one word at a time. I like it.
Still, I will be lying if I say that I don't have a dream list. It's a short one - with the exception of time travel (hey, dreams are still for free) I keep it pretty manageable. I've added some explanations to why those things are important to me and how/when I would like to make them happen. Here it is, in no particular order:
1. I want to take a flight on a hot-air balloon. I am terrified by heights, and sky-diving or bungee-jumping are not options. I want to be able to look down from above, however, so I decided that a balloon is a great substitute. Also, they look most definitely awesome and the idea of flying in a huge basket is quite funny.
I have no idea how I am going to do that but I happen to know that there are rides being organized in Napa all the time.
2. I want to pet a tiger. Pet it real good! No mystery here - I love cats. The bigger, the better. I am scared by the possibility to be eaten by said tiger, yet I somehow think we won't come to that.
This will be a tough one, especially after the Tiger Temple controversy...
3. I want to meet Stephen King and have a casual conversation with him. He is my most favorite author on Earth and I squirm with pleasure at the prospect of spending time with him.
John and I will visit Maine sometime in the next couple of years, so we shall see!
4. I want to witness a rocket launch. A big astronomy fan! It will make a spectacular picture, and a lot to talk about with my Dad.
When: next time we are in Florida.
5. I want to see the Aurora Borealis and whales! I figure that I could do both at the same time since I don't like the cold and going so far north once will be enough.
Of course, I can always take one of those tours and see whales right here in Monterey Bay.
6. I want to visit Japan, Peru, and the African Serengeti.
Japan because of the specific urban tech and pop atmosphere, Peru for the Mayan culture, and Serengeti for the wilderness.
I don't know when and how, but I hope that I would manage 2 of these locations in the next 5 years.
7. I want to run into the surf on a horseback. Slightly cheesy, but still fascinating. I love horses (every girl does, at least according to Tom Petty) and I love the sea, and I think it would be a magical thing.
First, however, I need to learn to ride independently, and to find someone that lives near the beach and who's willing to lend me their horse :) Chances are I could do that pretty easily, considering that California has both plenty of horses and beaches.
8. I want to go blonde at least for awhile. Just for fun!
Easy and cheap - most salons would do properly it for less that $200.
I need more guts - I don't want to ruin my hair, which will inevitably happen as my hair is very dark and very thick and it will take loads of chemical treatment. Also I need to do it at the right moment, when I am ready to cut it short after it gets ruined.
9. I want to experience weightlessness. Maybe fly in Space, or maybe just on one of those special airplane flights that mimic the conditions.
That I'll do when I turn 50. I will hopefully be rich enough then!
10. I want to go back in time to the 90's in Seattle and meet with Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley while they were still alive. I am such a sucker for everything 90's - things were confused then, yet so much simpler. And Layne Staley is my all time favorite singer in the whole wide world.
Since I am time travelling, I would also like to go to a pre-electricity/technology era, in the 1700's Europe for instance. I want to wear a big dress, a wig, and to live in a castle for a day with nothing else to do but read books, listen to music played on a harpsichord, eat grapes and have elaborate conversations about art and philosophy.