A few days later I was waiting for some video to render out, which if you know anything about editing high end video, rendering can take some time. Off to the side of the computer was a yellow tablet and a pen. Bill's question, Anne what is your 30 before 30, popped into my head so I began to write down the numerals. What do I want to do before 30? How much can really be accomplished in five years?
Recently I was given news that a classmate of mine from high school had suddenly passed away. I hadn't talked to him since we graduated, and I began to wonder how much of life he really got to experience. Did he get to travel? Did he find love? Did he pursue the things that made him feel alive? Did he have peace? Did he accomplish any of his goals? I thought about his death a lot and how fast it came.
I think often times about the pace of life, or the stages. First you're a child and you get to experience whatever your parents decide you need and should experience. Then you go through 12 years of education which doesn't lend much time to gain a worldly education. Then its either off to higher ed or work. By this time, 18 or so years of life has already come and gone. That's a lot of years that just flew by. So what made them worth it?
During college I worked very hard and experience a life time of stress. The only thing I regret is not letting go of work and grabbing ahold of my own passions outside of production. I remember a classmate commenting on another classmate's commitment to our department. "Why would you come to college to play football.. where is that going to get you?!" was his comment. Well.. I replied.. maybe that's what truly makes him happy so that's what college is worth to him. I think that's great.
What I have learned most since I moved to Colorado a few years back is that you have to have time for your passions. Work can be a passion, I know it is for me, but there are also a lot of other passions outside of career worth pursuing. So when Bill asked me what my 30 before 30 was, I became anxious to see what my pen would put on the paper. I ended up surprising myself with what my mind brought to the forefront. Seeing what I love and value and want in life on paper was a moment of growth and excitement for me.
It has been seven years since I graduated high school and I wondered, after hearing of my classmate's death, what has happened in the past seven years for him that made life worth it? I hope a lot. What the news of his passing taught me is that we really don't know how many years we will individually have in our own life. How did we know sitting in English class at the age of 15 that he'd only have ten more years left to do all he was dreaming of getting done. It's amazing. I think for me this news just gave me a kick of motivation to not be so worried about the uncertainties because after all life is uncertain and there is nothing we can do to change that.
So I thought I'd share my list with you..
1. Go to grad school - pursue leadership development and international/intercultural studies
2. Get a dog
3. Go to Egypt.. Egyptian history fascinates me
4. Climb some of the world's biggest mountain peaks (of course)
5. Travel through Europe and eat
6. Trek the Continental Divide with friends
7. Learn to play the violin.. it has to be one of the most beautiful sounds in the world when played right
8. Start putting together my own artwork. I love crafts, to paint, scrapbook, why not share it with more people?
9. Produce films.. Tell more stories..
10. See the Northern Lights
11. Teach English in another country
12. Visit more museums with my Dad. I love history, art, science and most of all I love my Dad and learning about life from him and with him
13. Scuba Dive.. hang out with sea turtles
14. Meet my penpal in Zimbabwe. Duma and I have been writing to each other for over ten years now.. and its about time we actually hang out
15. Start my own company, consulting with non-profits and organizations on how to effectively reach out to an audience and tell their stories
16. Keep on improving my cooking skills.. I just love making & baking
17. Become a life coach
18. Volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival (or have one of my films shown there..)
19. Sing at an open mic night.. maybe show off my harmonica skills too
20. Lead on trad and climb more places
21. See the Beatles "LOVE" Cirque Du Soleil show
22. Shoot a production with a RED camera.. I'm a nerd!
23. Attend a Star Wars convention.. dressed up as a Jedi Master
24. Be a guest eater on Epic Meal Time.. I would die.. seriously they use more bacon and grease in one meal the I've consumed in my whole life
25. Direct another live concert .. energy at concerts is such a great high! especially when you're orchestrating it on film!
26. Attend a NBA game.. I know I live in Denver and we have the Nuggets.. so let
me know if you want to go to a game with me
27. Jump off a cliff wearing a go-pro and a squirrel suit
28. Learn to ice climb
29. Learn to drive a manual car.. its probably about time, I do live in Colorado afterall
30. Start my own garden
Five years isn't a whole lot of time.. but again it's plenty to do what you've always wanted to do. All too often I think we get wrapped up in "what stage is it for me.." and think there are regulations or guidelines on what you can and cannot do depending on your age. Well that to me is just plain SILLY. I hardly believe I will accomplish all of those things in five years, and maybe my list will change as time goes on, but it does give me a foundation of where I want to go. I'm a visual person, I like to put things in front of me. Who knows what the next five years will bring.. but if I'm lucky I will have the chance at 30 to reflect, celebrate, and make a whole new list of 40 before 40.. then 50 before 50.. and so on. You should never come to a point in your life where you think you're too old to make new plans. Actually what the truth is that you've been given this incredible gift of life and you should accept it, embrace it, and live it.
Some things we want in life are so simple.. to go to a basketball game.. and yet other things are much more complex, but when it comes down to it all we have is time so we might as well use what we're given and make the most of it. I do hope my friend's life was a solid 25 years. Looking back on the past 7 years since I've seen him, I realized that I may not have accomplished all that I wanted to yet but I have tried my best to find joy, peace, friendship, and faith for the majority of it. So that's all. My prayers go out to his family and friends who are mourning their loss and celebrating his life. Maybe you can't come up with 30 or maybe you can come up with 100 things.. but it's a great activity to collect your thoughts, recognize your own goals, and press on and up into the future.
That little spec is me at the top of Huron Peak. I reached my
goal at the top.. climbing 25 peaks for my 25 year of life.