thirty before thirty

I'm pretty bad at making and keeping resolutions. I tend to make the same resolutions every year - lose weight, go to church, call home more often - and I never really stick to them. Maybe because they're cliched, or maybe because I believe that I'll always have more time next year. So this year, I've decided not to make any resolutions at all. In 2010, I did pretty well without having much of a game plan; life sorted itself out and sent me on a grand adventure. I'm hoping this year will do the same.

Instead of making a list of things I hope to achieve by the end of 2011, I've decided to get started on my "30 Before 30" list. This list is composed of ambitions and desires I've had for a long time but never really set out to accomplish. Furthermore, they are not specifically things I should do, but rather, things I want to do. Each item on the list has a measurable outcome and can easily be completed by my thirtieth birthday in 2014. They are adventures and experiences that I hope to learn from, thereby making me a more well-rounded person.

Ultimately, this list is about letting go of regret. I believe the reason why I found so much happiness last year was because I cast off the expectations and pursued the things that really mattered to me. And it lead me to incredible places and people that I had never previously dreamed of visiting and meeting. That's what I want my life to be like. Full of joy.

So here we go! Oh, and companions are certainly welcome for these wondrous adventures. :)

30 BEFORE 30

1. Drive cross-country. I've dreamed of doing this since the day I got my driver's license. So why haven't I done it already? I really don't know.
2. Visit Chicago. Chicago is one of those places that countless people have told me I would love. I want to find out if it's true.
3. Visit New Orleans. It seems like the cool thing to do.
4. Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I LOVE HARRY POTTER. Enough said.
5. Travel to Mexico. How is it possible that I grew up in California and yet never crossed the southern border?
6. Travel to Asia (ideally Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines). I think it's about time to make the pilgrimage.

7. Skydiving. Honestly, this terrifies me. That's why it's on the list.
8. Participate in an urban race/scavenger hunt. This is my kind of fun.
9. Go to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Now that it's reopened, I want to see the view from the top.
10. Spend a night in the Grand Californian Hotel. That would be the ultimate Disneyland experience.
11. Take a surfing class. I'm a California girl. It feels right.
12. Ride on a jet ski. Some folks and I are contemplating a jet ski ride on a Bahamaian beach. This could quite possibly be the first thing I cross off the list.
13. Go white water rafting. I'm a thrill seeker. Clearly.
14. Watch a concert from the front row. I've watched a handful of Broadway shows from the front row. I suppose seeing a concert from the front row would be just as cool.

15. Learn how to play the guitar. I've got a few chords and songs under my belt, but I want to get to the point that I wouldn't be totally embarrassed jamming at a party.
16. Study vocal pedagogy. I know how to use my voice, but I don't know how it works. If that makes any sense.
17. Drive a stick shift. I tried this once in high school. Epic fail. But if at first you don't succeed, try try again.

18. Audition for Wicked. I was once the first in line for an Equity Principal Audition in New York City, but I was turned away because I was non-Equity. Listen, Telsey + Company. You WILL see me for this show one day. And it WILL be before my thirtieth birthday. So there.
19. Perform in a straight play, classical or contemporary. I'll admit that I'm a musical theatre nut, but after doing a scene from The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow for my drama showcase at AMDA, I'm curious to see how I'd fare in a straight play.
20. Watch every film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture (through 2013). The best way to learn your craft is to observe those that do it best.

21. Participate in Bay to Breakers. I'm probably the only Bay Area native who hasn't participated in this rite of passage. I'll be joining the crowds at the 100th annual Bay to Breakers this May. See you there?
22. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Home is where the heart is. And everyone deserves that.
23. Donate to Locks of Love. I don't plan on auditioning for the next year (as I hope to be cruising for the next several months), which makes this a good time to grow out my hair for the first time in three years. I do prefer it short, but I thought I'd give long hair another try while I can. At the end of it all, I plan on chopping off 10+ inches to donate to Locks of Love, returning me to the look that's on my current headshot.
24. Become CPR/First Aid certified. Safety first, right?

25. Reach my personal weight goal. This one feels like it's taken me a lifetime to achieve. But I'm closer than I've ever been, and I'm not going to give up for anything.
26. Do the splits on both sides, a yoga headstand, and crane. I'm currently a few inches from the splits on both sides, I've done a yoga headstand once, and I can balance in crane for about five seconds. I'm gonna get there, I swear.
27. Attend a bikram yoga class. Everyone says it's amazing. I want to find out what the fuss is all about.
23. Buy a DSLR. The used model I bought last summer was such a tease. I want more. MORE.
29. Build up a proper savings account. I obliterated my savings account after I left New York and went home unemployed last year. I need to start saving up again, for those just-in-case moments.
30. Learn Tagalog. Growing up, I didn't mind that my parents opted not to teach me Tagalog because I didn't see much of a need for it. But now that I'm an adult, I'm beginning to realize that language isn't so much about utility as it is about identity. And though I am American, I am also Filipino, and I want to learn more about that part of me. I don't expect to ever be fluent in the language; I suppose it's too late for that. But if, by the time I'm 30, I can hold a 15-minute conversation in Tagalog with my Lola - or Taglish, even - I'd consider that success.