My friend Beth from college has a birthday in December, and hence was one of the first in our group to turn 22 years old during our senior year. We were all a bit wary of 22, because it meant we were no longer 21, and being 21 Meant Something.* But 22? What was 22?
“It will be a kindler, gentler, 22,” Beth’s mom told her, which Beth immediately relayed to the rest of us, and which we promptly thought was a fantastic slogan for the year. Any time we were asked our age, the response was simply, “I’m a kindler, gentler, 22.” And after college the trend of assigning a slogan to our age continued. 23 was the Cornucopia of Goodness; 24 was The Mother Load; 25 was the Quarter Life Crisis, or the Quarter Century Mark, depending on the day; 26 was Sexy and Sassy 26; and 27 began the rhyming phase – 27 is Heaven, 28 is Great.
And now, this year, we’ve reached Lookin’ Fine at 29.
(And by “we” I mean “me” because I think I’m the only one who still thinks in these terms.)
It’s My Birthday, Too, Yeah
As 29 approached, though, I thought to myself that a great rhyming phrase wasn’t enough to do justice to the last year I’ll ever have with a 2 in front of it. I felt I should mark the occasion in an exceptional manner, just like I marked the occasion of leaving my teens behind when I turned 20. But shoving a tower of Italian donut hole pastries smothered in chocolate into my mouth by the handful—which is how I marked that occasion—wasn’t exactly the manner I was going for this time.
So I came up with a list.
It’s a list of Things To Do Before I’m 30.
Over the past few months I’ve asked friends, family, and random strangers I’ve met to help me compile a list of interesting adventures I should have before the numbers change. I’ve gotten some great suggestions, and some awful suggestions**. And then I decided that I shouldn’t keep all of the fun to myself, and that I should, for the greater good of all mankind, share it with you all.***
My original plan was to post the list so we could all have a good caucus about the funny things and random things and silly things and weird things I would take on and then write about. However, I’ve decided against that, and instead you’ll just have to wait for the post and be surprised. Because otherwise, I know if I posted the list, and then didn’t get to one or the other of the things on said list, some of you would be all, “You didn’t do X, Y, and Z! Why didn’t you do X, Y, and Z! I thought you said you were going to do X, Y, and Z!” And then I’d have to be all, “Listen, Yo, I am not Supergirl, and I have limitations, you know.” And then there would be sulking and disgruntled mumblings on both our parts about how I never finish anything I start and how you have unrealistic expectations for the website relationships in your life. Pretty soon we wouldn’t be speaking to each other at the dinner table or class reunions and when forced to interact we would resort to awkward head nods.
So I’m not posting the list. Sorry. You’ll just have to be surprised.
I should mention, however, that the list is ever-evolving, and if you have a Great Idea of something I should do before I turn 30, please email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I should also mention that if I use your Great Idea, you will earn a Major Reward****. Questions, concerns, and general comments can be directed here as well, or you can post them on this site. And don’t forget to bookmark this page so you can check back to see how I’m doing. Check early, check often.
Needless to say, the next 12 months will be filled with wondrous adventures! Exciting escapades! There will be thrills and chills! You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! I’ll write about it all! There may even be pictures! I SHALL CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY IN THIS, MY 29TH YEAR!
Or maybe I won’t.
Who’s to say what will happen?
We can’t really know, can we?
But I can tell you it will be interesting.
So here we are.
Hello! And welcome. And thank you for coming to my party. It’s great to have you. I hope you have a good time. I know I will.
Happy birthday, Me. Welcome to 29.
*It meant you could go to the bars. And not just in Europe. You could go to the bars in the United States. Legally.
**NO I DO NOT WANT TO RUN A MARATHON.
***This will also help me to better answer the oft-asked question, “So how’s Washington?” It will be nice to have a more interesting answer than, “Emm….good! It’s nice!” Which is about how I’ve been answering the question since I moved out here 2.5 years ago.
****Not to be confused with a Major Award.