Bucket List?

It’s been over a year since I wrote my bucket list. Wow. Amazingly, I’ve actually managed to complete some of the items on my list. Some will take a bit longer. What’s been bugging me, though, is an item that never made it onto the final draft of the list: Speak at a TED talk.

The point of TED is to spread amazing ideas to the world for free. Subjects range from PMS to psychology to playing games, from serious to silly. The main page is here: TED Talks. My favorite talk (so far) is here: The Voices In My Head. I’ve been watching these talks on YouTube for about two years now. I love them. They’re compelling, and you learn things.

Unfortunately, I have major problems with public speaking. I can barely get through presentations in front of classes of 15 people. I can’t even imagine talking coherently in front of hundreds of people and being filmed. So I changed my list item to “watch a TED talk.”

This did not actually make it onto my list, largely because I assumed that the only people who actually made it into the audiences for these talks were doctors, lawyers, and high-powered CEOs. (This isn’t true; there are many events around the world, and usually all you have to do is buy a ticket.) However, I recently had the opportunity to watch a TED Talk… kind of.

TEDx is the independently organized faction of the TED nonprofit. There are so many great ideas out there that the main organization can’t put all of them on the internet, so they lend their name to groups and individuals who want to put on a talk. One of those groups is based out of my school. Amazingly, for $6 I got lunch, a t-shirt, tons of freebies, and an amazing experience.

Out theme was connection. The speakers were mostly people from my school, with a few other community members thrown in there. Also, not everyone spoke; there were a few musicians and even a break dancer. It was really cool, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go, even though I’m not crossing an item off my bucket list.

What are some cool things that you’ve been able to do through your school? Has anyone else out there been to a TED or TEDx event? How was it, and what did you talk about?




The Big City

2) Go to New York City

In August, I started school. In September, my best friend started. Laura and I have known each other for years. We were in the same kindergarten class, we were in the gifted program together in elementary school, we moderately disliked each other for a while in middle school, and we reconnected in high school. We bonded over a love of books and writing and laughter, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. Laura is the best friend I’ve ever had (and we’ve both had our share of false friends). But she left me.

My entire life, I’ve been the one to leave. I’ve moved more times than I care to count, and I’ve gone to an incomprehensible number of schools. I’ve lost track. (I think it’s around nine or ten?) And I’ve left Laura before. In kindergarten, I moved to a different school. When I came back, I stayed for quite some time, but I left her when I started hanging out with a different group of friends. I moved away again in eighth grade. I’ve left her over and over, and she’s always been right there waiting for me to come back. But now it’s her turn to leave.

This time will be different, though. (Isn’t it always?) We aren’t going to lose each other. We are going to maintain the best long-distance relationship in the history of forever. She’s a thousand miles away, and I flew on a plane for the first time in years in order to help move her in. We went to New York City together, and it was beautiful. It was amazing and so much fun, and I desperately want to go back. I miss her. But it’s my turn to be left behind for a little while.


74) Talk to ten strangers in day

There is a squirrel that lives near the visitor parking in my school, and he likes to hide under cars and run out at people walking past. He chatters at them until they stop walking and proceeds to run back under the car he’s picked that day. I consider him to be conversation number one. He was also the talking point for conversation number two:

*I stop walking to listen to the squirrel*

Random Stranger: “He’s pretty cool, yeah?”

Me: “Yeah, he’s adorable.”

RS: “I’ve never seen one this close before, and he doesn’t even seem to be scared.”

Me: “I know! It’s insane. That’s why I stopped walking.”

*end convo*

I wish I could say that all my conversations were intense and in-depth, but I’ve realized that not every interaction is. Sometimes, you just have passing little talks about squirrels in parking lots. And that’s okay. After this, I recalled my bucket list and decided to make it a point to talk to strangers. It felt odd, though, tallying these people up in my head. It was also weird to realize that they had no idea that they were going to become part of my quest to do something with my life. And I think that’s pretty cool. Even if all we talked about was a squirrel.


I accidentally completed one of my Bucket List items. I sat in an empty theatre and watched a movie. Well, part of a movie. See, I work in a movie theatre, but as of now do not own my own car, so I got off work early one day and my mom couldn’t come get me immediately, so I went into a movie that I had already seen for about thirty minutes while waiting. It was That Awkward Moment, which I had previously seen while sitting next to a gaggle of obnoxious teenage girls, so I appreciated the quiet this time around. I didn’t even realize that the auditorium was empty until I looked around fifteen minutes in to make sure I wouldn’t disturb anybody by texting.

Earlier today, I was flipping through the notebook in which I had originally written my Bucket List (before posting it on here), and noticed that number thirty-one said, “watch a movie and be the only person in the theater,” and I exclaimed (inside my head), “I’ve done that!” 🙂 it was a very exciting experience compared to my extremely boring government class.

So the big question: Does it count if it’s accidental? I think yes, but I’d like a second opinion.

Bucket List

On this, the eve of the eighteenth anniversary of my birth, I do declare that I will accomplish the following one hundred items before my death:

1)      Swim with dolphins

2)      Go to New York City (preferably with Laura)

3)      Kiss in the rain (preferably not with Laura)

4)      Fall in love

5)      Sleep under the stars again

6)      Grow my hair really long

7)      Cut it all off

8)      Donate it

9)      Go skinny dipping

10)   Speak French in Paris

11)   Eat a croissant in France

12)   Have a pen pal

13)   Finish writing a book

14)   Get a tattoo

15)   Ride a horse on the beach

16)   See the Northern Lights

17)   Give someone the best present they’ve ever gotten

18)   See the stars from the desert

19)   Cross-country road trip

20)   Have a pet rat

21)   Buy a wedding dress

22)   Kiss someone at midnight on New Years

23)   Ride in a hot air balloon

24)   Pet an elephant

25)   Watch a meteor shower

26)   Have a white Christmas

27)   Go to Juliet’s house

28)   Spray paint on a building

29)   Scatter ashes

30)   Be part of a flash mob

31)   Watch a movie and be the only person in the theater

32)   Make it through a scary movie

33)   Go on a blind date

34)   Trace my family history to before they came to America

35)   Listen to every song on my iPod without skipping

36)   Meet John Green

37)   Plan a surprise party

38)   See Jeopardy! Live

39)   Ride a train

40)   See a real waterfall

41)   Run a mile without stopping

42)   Learn to juggle

43)   Ride in an 18-wheeler

44)   Drive a four wheeler

45)   Go to a drive-in movie

46)   Make out at a drive-in movie

47)   Make a guard at Buckingham Palace laugh (or at least try)

48)   Get a passport

49)   Leave the U.S.

50)   Go geocaching

51)   Learn to surf (at least stand up on a surf board)

52)   Graduate from college

53)   Get my Master’s degree

54)   Sell something I made

55)   Have sex

56)   Have my own car

57)   Hear whale songs

58)   Get another copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends

59)   Become fluent in ASL

60)   Go on a mission trip in a third world country

61)   Punch someone

62)   Make it all the way through a haunted house

63)   Saran wrap someone’s car

64)   Egg a house

65)   Ride a motorcycle

66)   Get kicked out of Walmart

67)   Mail a potato

68)   Eat a meal blind

69)   Indoor skydive

70)   Go cliff diving

71)   Name a star

72)   Try to count the stars

73)   Climb a tree

74)   Have ten conversations with strangers in a day

75)   Attend a same sex marriage

76)   Carve my initials in a tree

77)   Visit the tree years later

78)   Pay for a person behind me at a drive-thru

79)   Spend a day in nature alone

80)   Train a dog

81)   Put a bumper sticker on my car

82)   Cook a meal without using a recipe

83)   Survive paintball

84)   Take a kickboxing class

85)   Do a split

86)   Visit a glowworm cave

87)   Ride in a helicopter

88)   Ice skate on a lake

89)   Explore a cave

90)   Do something crazy

91)   Bake something for a bake sale

92)   Swim in the Dead Sea

93)   Ride the subway

94)   Have a room entirely for books

95)   Go white water rafting

96)   Go to a club

97)   Be in a food fight

98)   Draw something beautiful

99)   Make a blanket

100) Make a wish on a shooting star