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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

41. Make a Blog

{Yay <insert clapping> I can officially cross something off my list! You may wonder (even if you didn't, just go with it) why I would make a blog about 101 things I want to do before I turn twenty-five. Well I enjoy writing and I thought it would be a fun idea. Like that answer (short and sweet)...I don't. It’s totally not my style. If you know me (and if you don't you'll soon learn) I love to elaborate, give back story, embellish (its not lying, its enhancing) use anecdotes, side-notes and lots of exclamation points! So of course my answer cannot be summed up into one simple <insert boring> sentence. So if you have few moments (well maybe more than a depends on how fast you read), sit back and read about why this girls got a list!}
I've always been someone whose doodled in notebooks (more doodles than notes), day dreamed about far off places (right now its Seychelles Islands), and gotten swept away by books (got any recommendations). My imagination has always been vivid. From the time I was a very little girl, I was creating stories, plot lines, and whole other worlds. I played them out with the help of my Barbie's dream house (two stories, six rooms with a balcony, flower boxes, and a closet...that place was BA) and my American Girl doll (Samantha, who currently resides on the top floor of my closet). Now I enjoyed the occasional play mate but mostly I preferred to play by myself. Not because I was anti-social (I'd bet and say no one's ever referred to me as that) no it had more to do with my friends not "capturing my vision". I know, isn’t that the point of having friends? So you learn to compromise, see things the way others do... (I'm sorry if this sounds snotty) but that doesn't work when you have visions like me.
I didn't just have plot lines and scenery picked out, no I had dialogue, cutaways, and room tone (subtle background noises) all planned. Once I'd established a shot, like any good director, I was not easily deterred. So you can imagine that my six year old contemporaries didn't really appreciate me correcting them when they came into a scene too early or messed up their lines. I believe the word bossy was thrown out a lot. I think the main problem (besides me being a tyrant) was that they were shortsighted. They could only see as far into the story as I told them. I on the other hand knew how it was all going to end. So I knew what lines to say and what paths to follow to get us there. You can imagine that any kind of outside (anyone but me) criticism or input was ignored. It’s like if someone is trying to give you directions but you already know where you’re going, you don't really listen to them. Which could be a mistake, since they may know a better way then you (trust I have learned this lesson personally).
I would like to take this moment and sincerely apologize to anyone who had to endure playing with me as a child. I would also like to thank my (now) friends for being my friends....because not much has changed. While the word bossy has been replaced with opinionated, I'm still someone who has a lot of ideas about what I want. But what does all of this have to do with me having a list. I'm getting there I promise. (Plus I warned you in the beginning that this would not be short) Along with having "visions", I love making list. Grocery list (with little boxes next to the items to check them off) Christmas List (I use to revise my list to Santa at least 10 times) and my favorite To-Do list (I feel accomplished just making them!). At twenty-two, I still have a very active imagination. I've always believed that I'm borderline ADD. At any given moment I'm thinking about several different things. So having a (good) list provides me the order and structure that my mind cannot. Now the hybrid of a To-Do list is what I like to call an LTDL (Life To-Do List). I've been making LTDL's since I was a little girl and they've had a very high success rate.

For example when I was about 8, I wrote in my American girl journal (I'm obsessed with that company) that I was going to go to Paris after I graduated high school. And two days after my high school graduation I did (success). Another time, in middle school I loved the show Bug Juice. I decided I was going to a camp like that and actually wrote supply list of everything I would need. Well with divorced parents (I spent my summers with my dad), and being a severe homebody, I never went. But for the past two summers I've been a camp counselor (I consider that a success) and of course I made a supply list. In high school I became obsessed with the continent of Africa (yes the entire continent) and I made of list of all the countries I was going to go to. A week after my twentieth birthday, I boarded a plane to South Africa. Though I've yet to conquer the whole continent (thus completing that list) I've at least made a start (meaning success).
{Now let me stop and clarify and say that I'm not a believer of the whole if say (or write down) something’s going to happen, it will happen (coughthesecretcough). I believe that's complete crabapple (Bart Simpsons teachers’s my favorite made up bad word). Point in case, how many times have you said you're going to stick to a diet (or be more disciplined in some other area) and it didn't happen...exactly! No, no I'm a believer in Jesus. And I believe that He had a plan and a purpose for all of those things (stories mentioned above) and thus His hand moved in my life to make them possible. So I understand and know quite well that just writing things down, doesn't make them happen. Now back to the story}
 As much as I love dreaming about things, and making list, I've never been some one who’s content to just live in my imagination. I want things to come to life! And I've been blessed to see several of my dreams come true. I must say it’s a little addicting to see dreams (aka as visions) manifest in your’s a pretty amazing thing. Just like when I was little, choreographing my Barbie dolls lives, I have a vision of how I want my life to go. Now I wish it was that easy, that I could just type up a script and follow it (but its not). Because, and I didn't realize this at the tender age of six, I'm not the director of my life...Jesus Christ is. And that means that I don't get to orchestrate, or dictate, or design every last detail. There are outside factors, that unlike my old playmates, I can't control. Just a few weeks ago my 12 year old Jack Russell, Casey, died while I was away for Christmas. I would have never written that. I would have reconfigured everything in my story to make it so I was there. But I wasn't and as much as that sucked (sorry there's no better word to describe it) I know there is a purpose behind that happening. The same goes for my car accident (For those who don't know I was in car accident Dec 6th 2010). 
I know that God has a plan and a vision for my life (I'm just too shortsighted to see it all). Somewhere around age18, I realized that I couldn't do this (life) on my own, so I surrendered (my life) to God. Meaning I gave Him creative control over my life. Six year old me would loathe this arrangement. Twenty-two year old me finds such a comfort in knowing that it’s not all up to me. I don't have to set up every scene, script every word, micromanage everyone around me, so it goes just right (how exhausting). The sad thing is many people live that way, trying to plan <insert control> every minute of their lives, instead of just living.
You'recame from the fact that I really wanted to write more...and actually let people read it. Also once I had the idea, I wanted to show people that achieving what you want in life is realistic. Like I said I started the blog because I enjoy writing and thought it would be a fun idea. What more of an answer do you need? probably wondering if I'm so content with giving up control to God, how I can create a list of 101 things "I" want to do. If God is in control, why make plans? Why not just wait and see what God does. Again complete crabapple. Giving up control and giving up on life are two very different things. I may have given the Directors Chair back to God, that doesn't mean that I've left the set. I believe that God wants our input (hello proverbs 16:9 look it up), we just have to remember our place (at the foot of His throne) and that this is His project. (The Guy does do pretty amazing work...I mean just check out oh I don't know all of creation.) So I believe that as long as I remember who’s in charge, there's no problem with me shouting out my ideas (all 101 of them).
I don't know if it was the combination of my dog’s death, the car accident, and that song If I die Young by the band perry (I hear it all the time) but it all made me start thinking about my life (funny how death does that). What I was doing. What I wasn't doing. What I wanted to be doing. And it hit me. The time to go after my dreams is now. I have no real responsibilities (yes I know I have a responsibility as a citizen of the united...blah blah blah). I have no definite plans. I'm not locked into a mortgage or a marriage (both of these are great...when the timings right). When I look around...I don't know many grown-up dreamers. I know a lot of people working a job, not a dream (working for the weekend kind of deal). I want so much more then that! <insert Belle Reprise> The usual response involves phrases like that isn't always practical or that's not realistic. But right now, at this moment, (for me) it is. 
So I decided to make a list of all the things I wanted to do. I mean what's more practical than making a list. I soon realized it was going to be a very long list (well over 101 things). I edited my list to just 101 things I wanted to do by the time I was twenty-five. I picked twenty-five because I felt like it gave me enough (but not too much) time to complete the list. Yesterday I turned exactly twenty-two and a half (which technically means I'm half way through my early twenties). Giving me precisely two and a half years to complete my list. I picked things that I wanted to do and for whatever reason had not done (or not done in awhile). Not everything on the list is fantastical (bungee jump, trip to Europe, meeting Martha Stewart), most things are actually pretty mundane (learn to fold a fitted sheet, stop biting my nails, make a blog). The idea to do a blog about it,

{P.S. Now I'm sure there will be a fair share of critics who scoff at what I'm doing. Okay so maybe not everything on my list will happen (I really don't believe my hips can learn to hula-hoop) but then again maybe it will <insert me sticking out my tongue at all you critics>! I'm not treating this list like a coin tossed into a wishing well, hoping it'll come true. I'm actively pursuing it. So stayed tuned and see what I do!}

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