How it Started

When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How it all started

Twenty-four pages, twenty-nine lines per page - that is a long To-Do List and it continues to grow. I've been keeping the list since I was 12 years old; that's.... well, quite a few years of daydreaming on paper.  The book is starting to fall apart and the penmanship changes from page to page. It isn't in any kind of order.  I didn't fill in the lines one at a time, but started new pages, then went back and filled in the blank lines. Some of the items are as simple as "Spit off a bridge," others more complicated, "See a space alien."  I love that that 12-year-old girl I used to be still talks to me across the ages.  She wished things for me that an older and wiser version probably wouldn't have considered and I'm so grateful to her wisdom, her sense of adventure, and her unflagging optimism that all things are possible... if you just put them down on paper.

As an adult, it's fun to read the things I wrote as a kid.  The things that seemed like fantasy to me then were surprisingly simple when they finally happened. If there is a message here, it is that you should never limit your dreams to the things you think are likely to happen - aim a bit higher - aim a lot higher.  Aim for the things you would like to happen, even if think they probably won't. When I wrote "Visit Paris" at age 15, I didn't believe that would ever happen to me - a dorky teenager sharing a Raggedy-Ann motif bedroom (at 15!?) with my sister in cookie cutter house in suburbia.  I've been to Paris four times now.  Some of the things on this list would never have happened if I hadn't put them on the list - I would never have dared to try them if they weren't on the list. "Sunbathe in the Nude" is not something I would have agreed to if it didn't happen to be on the list and I wanted to Check the Did-It Box!

It isn't a stagnant list with an end in sight, I add to it frequently.  Last week I added, "Blog this journal."  So here I am!  This blog is a series of short, short stories about the items I've crossed off the list, not just what I did, but what I learned from it as well.

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