I like to be organized, punctual, and plan ahead. For me, those are traits I always thought would help me get through life more efficiently, and so far they haven’t led me particularly astray.
However, as I get older I’ve also started to realize that those traits prevent me from living my life in a way that I admire in so many other people. That is, living their life freely, going from one place to the next or one job to the next simply because they want to. Those people are capable of adapting to change in a split second. They don’t stress about the unknown, they embrace it. That is something I’ve never been capable of. Their life is an endless adventure while my adventure is still waiting for me, constantly being paused or put on hold.
Knowing what I do about my personality, I know I need to get through my education and set myself on track before stopping to adventure. That doesn’t mean that I dream any less; it simply means I act on it less.
I decided to make a bucket list, and not the kind you want to fulfill before you die but the kind you actually need to do now. I thought maybe if I started to do some small things then I wouldn’t feel like I’m giving up so much just to further my long term plan. I picked one thing out of each of these categories that I have to do this year! That way, I don’t forget to take smaller, more functional adventures, along the way.
Travel To One New Place: Pick a place, any place, near or far. Allow yourself the luxury of going to it. Maybe it’s a new hike in your area or a new city a couple of hours away. If you’re really lucky maybe it will even be a new country! This year, I’m headed to a new city with a friend, we haven’t picked which yet, but we slotted out a week or so for our adventure.
Try One New Food: This one I’m truly terrible at. I get in my comfort zone and I forget to push myself. There are a million different kinds of foods out there, don’t limit yourself! Plus, with new food often comes a new cultural experience. You have only things to gain from widening your horizon.
Read One New Genre: On the opposite end of the spectrum, this is one I’m very good at! Often times we learn what we like and we stick to it. We stop seeking out new authors or genres, and because of that reading becomes less of a challenge and less of a learning experience. Go into a friend or sibling’s room and grab a book off their shelf, pick up a new magazine off the shelf as you get groceries, the details themselves don’t matter so long as it’s different!
Buy Something That Doesn’t “Suit You”: As far as my wardrobe goes, every article is basically a different version of the same thing. I stick to the same colors and styles and it’s what I feel most comfortable in. Some of the styles I admire most in others I would never even consider picking out for myself. I decided that because of this I have to buy one new thing a year that I think I would love if I had the guts to wear it, and then within a week of buying it I have to wear it. This way, I get over the fear of purchasing and wearing something new all at once. Turns out, they’re some of my favorite articles of clothing!
Try One New Hobby: This can be literally anything! From baking to sports, painting to paintballing, pick something you’ve watched or heard others do and give it a try yourself. Maybe you will hate it and never do it again. Maybe you will love it! Either way, the act of simply trying something new breaks your routine and checks something off the list of things you wish you could do.
Try Something New, Socially: Maybe you and your friends go out all the time, so instead you try having a games night. Maybe you and your friends have dinner but never go out, in that case trying going to see some live music! The change is good, it’s healthy for your relationships and it’s healthy for you. Maybe you can check a band off the must-see list, or an activity you’ve always wanted to try. It will give you something to look forward to during a long week at work!
Set A New Volume: If you’re the kind of person who constantly has music blaring or even just has it as background noise, try a little silence. Silence can help you reflect on your day, destress and is a nice change of pace. If you’re the kind of person who never gives yourself a break from the silence, try putting on music while you cook or get ready in the morning. Music can help raise energy levels and keep you feeling content.
Someday I hope to be the kind of person who isn’t afraid to pause life for an adventure, instead of pausing my adventures for life. In the meantime, this is my way of coping. It’s okay to be the kind of person who plans ahead, trust me when I say sometimes things work in your favor. Just don’t forget to allow yourself time to fulfill your dreams, even the little ones! Someday you’ll look back and be grateful for every opportunity you took.