Twenty-Five Dreams

Hello and guten-morgen. In January, the article “23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23” was published under Freshly Pressed. I read it, liked parts of it, disagreed with others. (A link to the original article is at the bottom of this page.) As I am past the 23 mark the blogger described, I began thinking of my own list of goals before I turn 25. Before I could formulate a blogpost, apparently half of the WordPress community decided to respond to the original article. Instead of add another reply post to the barrage, I’ve waited until now to post. After all, there’s only so many New Years resolution posts one can read and remain sane.

So, I have put together a mash-up of practical, ordinary things to do and a few of my own personal dreams. Here’s a recommended 25 Things to Do By Your 25th Birthday

1. Get a passport (Yes, this is a repeat from the original post; and a very good suggestion. As someone who has moved over 20 times, I know the importance of a passport.) It’s like your private adventure book.
2. Study a new language (Working on that right now, trading in my Gringo Spanish for Korean)
3. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
4. Go to an aquarium–a real one like the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia. There are so many incredible creatures you would otherwise never get to see in your lifetime (unless you’re a marine biologist). It may be a small world after all, but the ocean is a deep and still mysterious place.
5. Take a class or study something independently that is completely unrelated to your college major.
6. Watch a classic movie you’ve never seen before.
7. Eat sushi with friends.
8. Reach out to someone who seems friendless.
9. Write notes of encouragement to a relative in need.
10. Send a care package to a deployed soldier.
11. Learn how to fix a toilet. Yep, I did just put that on a to-do list entitled “25 Dreams.” Fixing a toilet is not a dream of mine. However, it is something I think everyone should learn, especially those of us who are single.
12. Learn how to change a tire. It’s practical people. Even if you are fortunate enough to avoid flat tires until after your 25th birthday, chances are you will be in the company of those who are not so fortunate. So help your poor unfortunate friends change the tire on their car and learn something new in the process.
13. Read the founding book for a different faith than your own. It may help you realize the strength of your own faith. At the very least, it will help you understand the worldview of other people around you.
14. Conquer a fear–be it heights, spiders, giving blood, speaking in public, most everyday fears can be conquered with support from friends and a little ingenuity. I’m not saying that if you are diagnosed with arachnaphobia that I have a cure for you. But for those who don’t have arachnaphobia and simply hate spiders because you fear them, maybe it’s time for an anti-fear campaign.
15. Say something intentionally encouraging to someone you don’t like.
16. Visit a National Memorial. They are many of them spread across the country. Your 20’s are when people expect you to be irresponsible and to treat serious subjects lightly. But you are never to young to learn the tragedies in our country’s past, to honor those who have suffered, and to think about how to avoid the past mistakes in the future. Personally, I want to visit the Memorial at Wounded Knee.
17. On a lighter subject, enter a contest. Just do it–any kind of contest will cause you to go outside your comfort zone. Writing contests, monster truck rallies, computer programming–there’s a contest for everyone. Just please avoid the scams.
18. Read a classic because you want to, not because you are required to for a class. There are so many great books that have stayed in popular and academic circles over the centuries. Choose one that appeals to you and read it at whatever pace you like.
19. Give someone flowers.
20. Get a pet. I believe that everyone at some point in their lifetime needs to care for an animal. Dogs have been my favorite, but I’ve lived in households with cats, been the baby-sitter for a hamster, and taken care of my own assortment of fish.
21. Go to a formal event. The 21st century generation seems to lack interest in going to fancy events. I myself often have avoided the opportunity mostly because I end up alone at a boring conference. Formal events can be fun and are an opportunity to behave appropriately in said situation. If the opportunity arises, go for it. Take a friend if you can. And enjoy it.
22. Vote. Not kidding, people. If you are not registered to vote by the time you are 25…then my words of reproach would be better suited in person than another online rant about the carelessness of youth. On a serious note, registering to vote is easy and the actual voting process–if you can get to the polls at a calm time–takes no more than a few minutes. My first time voting in a presidential election was 2008. I waited in the cold outside an elementary school and then in a crowded elementary school hallway in the early morning for over an hour and half. Everything since then has been a breeze.
23. Write to your Congressman. Congress may have the reputation for acting on party lines. But one thing motivates most Congressmen more than anything else–getting re-elected. If they find out that their chances of re-election are slipping because you the voter is unhappy, you might be surprised at the changes they make. And lest someone think I’m cynical about our national politics, I must admit there are some Congressmen who truly care what their constituents think and want to your opinions.
24. Follow the town-mouse/country-mouse model. If you were raised on a farm, visit the city. If you were raised in the city, visit the country. If you grew up on the Florida keys, visit the Colorado Rockies. If you are from the Badlands of Wyoming, visit the never-ending pine tree forest of Georgia.
25. Lastly, go fly a kite.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jess
    May 21, 2014 @ 21:15:59

    안녕 and 고마워 for the follow! (And yay for another Korean learner!)


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