My 30-by-30

I’ve decided to complete a 30-by-30, which means writing a Bucket List of exactly 30 goals and completing them by the time I turn 30-years-old (in two years).

And why am I doing this?

Sure, 30-years-old is a milestone, but a milestone of what? I admit I spend a lot of time thinking about where I should be by now. What my culture and society expects me to have achieved already.

The pressure of living up to the idea of who I should be. Questioning if I’m giving back enough, if my bank account is healthy enough, if I’ve reached a high enough education. Have I done everything I should? The pressure just builds and builds until I can’t breathe anymore. I can’t think anymore with the mountain of expectation crushing me.

And then I force myself to step back.

Kitty hogging all the pillows

To step away from it all and ask myself to look at my life exactly the way it is:

My body is healthy and strong – – I have food in my fridge – – The work I choose to do is meaningful to me – – I own my house – – I sleep in a warm bed – – My family supports me following my dreams – – A happy kitty lives in my house – – I have friends who make me smile

I’m not doing this 30-by-30 list to check off what society believes I should be doing. These are things I want to experience, because I want to. I thought I needed a reason, something to explain why I wanted to try new things, make goals for myself that may seem random to others. But the truth is I don’t. I don’t need any other reason than I want to. My milestone is what I decide it is.

So, I can’t give an easy or direct answer to why I’m attempting to do this Bucket List. But I can offer to share the journey with you and that’s what I’m doing. In the following two years I hope to complete every item listed on this page. As I do so, I’ll write posts letting you know how they go.

I hope you’ll stick around for the journey.

  1. Do a hike with an altitude change of 3,000 ft.
  2. Run a 5K
  3. Take a martial arts class
  4. Go skydiving
  5. Take a driving class on a racetrack
  6. Ride on a motorcycle
  7. Go sledding


Learning & Exploring
  1. Do a Tarot reading without consulting a book once
  2. Do a full Tarot reading for a stranger
  3. Learn to crack an egg open with one hand
  4. Take a knife skills class
  5. Re-learn the Piano
  6. Learn how to make a Creme Brulee crust
  7. Take a 2D art class
  8. Watch the full Ken Burns Vietnam documentary
  9. Learn how to drive a stick shift
  10. Meet my Godmother
  11. Volunteer 50 hours of work to an organization I believe in
  1. Submit a “finished” manuscript & quarry letter to an agent
  2. Complete the sequel’s manuscript to the novel I’m working on now
  3. Legally change my name to Jennifer Ann Ogden
Expanding Media Experience
  1. Watch ten Classic Movies
    1. The Godfather Part I
    2. Gone with the Wind
    3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
    4. The Odd Couple
    5. The Good Bad and the Ugly
    6. Schindler’s list
    7. A Hitchcock Film
    8. It’s a Wonderful Life
    9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    10. Casa Blanca
  2. Read five Genre-Changing Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy books
    1. The Eye of the World: First in The Wheel of Time series by James OliverRigney Jr.
    2. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
    3. A Game of Thrones: First in A Song of Ice and Fire series by G. R. R. Martin
    4. Kindred by Octavia Butler
    5. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  3. Read these “Classics” I’ve always been interested in, but was never assigned in school
    1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    2. 1984 by George Orwell
    3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    4. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner – “My Mother is a Fish”
  4. Read five Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy books not shelved in YA and published in the last five years

To Celebrate
  1. Throw an amazing 30th birthday party to celebrate with my friends
  2. Create a collage of my 30 years
  3. See a show at the Globe Theater
  4. Travel up  the Eiffel Tower
  5. Explore the Colosseum

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