I’m quite a forgetful person. I forget small things – grocery items, phone numbers, where I put my pen. I’ve forgotten the name of my elementary PhysEd teacher (who didn’t like me very much, even though it’s really not my fault that I wasn’t born a natural athlete). I’ve forgotten the name of that floating restaurant in Hong Kong with the yummy crabs. Don’t worry, I remember important things.
Or do I.
Sometimes it feels like everyday life takes its toll on me, and I mix up the important with the mundane. Get the stars and the moon mixed up with traffic and phone calls – things like that. I’m so intent on bringing home the bacon (or you know, the bacon bits, let’s not kid ourselves!) that it’s almost like I can’t afford to think about the bigger picture anymore. Times are hard for dreamers. Let’s face it – you can dream for free all you want, but following through requires money. I am well aware of that, which is why I got a job straight out of college. But it’s like I’ve gotten so focused on the how that I’ve lost sight of the why, and, more importantly, the what(s).
So here it is. This my Bucket (Hindi) List (note: for non-Filipino speakers, the Tagalog word “baket“, pronounced roughly the same as “bucket”, means why; in local parlance, “baket hindi” means why not). Everyone needs to write these things down: in ink, on paper, with conviction. Do it. You have to hold onto your dreams, or they might just float away – and without them, trust me, you are lost.
I know no one reads this blog, but I wanted to post it anyway because I know I’ll always be held accountable, even if it’s just to my virtual persona and any random stranger or computerbot who finds their way here (hello to you, too).
- Take a gap year. Or even just a few weeks. Go dive with the sharks in Malapascua, or save the turtles in Lima. Go alone. Go where no one knows or cares who you are. Just go.
- And then, when you get back, don’t forget to travel far and wide as often as possible. You’re young – your wallet may cry for help, but your soul and heart will thank you.
- Feed your brain. Apply for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship. Take up a master’s degree. Download some German audiobooks. Take the Foreign Service Examination. Attend a baking workshop. Watch a Spanish movie without subtitles and hope to understand at least enough of it to get the gist. If you’re not learning something new everyday, then what are you doing?
- Explore other income opportunities outside work. Sell your old books online, or make some accessories and sell them at bazaars. Intern at a magazine, even if it means having to hustle for overemotional divas and temperamental models. Write articles online for people who can’t be bothered to do it themselves. Don’t pretend you don’t need money, but don’t be a slave to paper.
- Get more active. Take Zumba or pole dancing classes. Remember to do yoga every morning. Fuck the elevator and use the stairs. Play tennis, or at least try. (Remember what I said about not being a natural born athlete?) Go bungee jumping. That’s not adrenaline pumping through your veins, dude, that’s fucking life.
- And last, but not least, keep dreaming. Keep swimming.