My mom loves me (I’ve fact-checked).
This poor woman sat through every single one of my school plays, pretended to enjoy my band concerts and put up with my (very brief and pathetic) teenage emo phase. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Even though she’s my biggest supporter, sometimes I’m sure that having a globe-trotter for a daughter can be rather trying. So after accomplishing BOTH my life goals in just a year—moving to Peru and reporting from Antarctica—the female parental unit was understandably worried.
I could see the words written in her frown: What is this offspring of mine going to tackle next?
Well, Ma, since you asked. Life Goals 2.0!
Write for NYT: Alright, I ADMIT IT, I haven’t written for The Gray Lady. Now, that’s never been my scene, but in high school I was voted “Most Likely to Write for the NYT” (“Most Likely to Nerd Out Over Stargate Atlantis” was already taken. Damn you, Jessica!), and I’d like to make it happen. #letsdothis
Study physics: I took chemistry instead of physics because I heard we’d get to blow stuff up. Unfortunately, our class watched “Fat Man, Little Boy” a couple times, and that was about as close as I ever got to actual chemistry. </regret> Unfortunately, this didn’t pick up a physics book until much later in life. And, GUYS, physics is SO COOL.
Learn hip hop: I don’t like dancing. Unless someone is blasting Journey or Fleetwood Mac, you can count me out. But I suppose I’m still too young to say “screw it,” order Chinese food and watch Golden Girl reruns on late-night TV while lounging in a sports bra and underwear. So I suppose I should learn polish my skills with something other than YouTube videos. This. Will. Happen.
Now where’s the takeout menu?
Be less judgey: I hold myself to impossibly high standards (which is something I’m working on, too) and naturally that bleeds into my perceptions of others. BUT what’s best for me, obviously isn’t necessarily what’s best for others. I have to learn to cut people some slack and let them be them. It’s a process!
Read one non-science book every week: For years I haven’t read anything but science-related books, and hot damn, have I been missing out! I asked all you brilliant peeps for recommendations back in October, and so far I’ve read ~a story a week. I feel more fulfilled, smarter, richer, happier, all the awesomes are belongs to me.
Visit NYC at least 4x per year: I haven’t seen a rat in 365 days; I can barely recall the smell of subway urine (public restrooms just aren’t the same!); and I now (*gulp) own a bed bigger than my last apartment. How I miss La Ciudad!
Broaden my understanding of philosophy: Freshman year of college, I was super-duper stoked!!!1 (17-year-old me’s words and punctuation, not mine) for Philosophy 101. But my professor spoke like The Dude, and after three hours listening to teenagers argue about whether black widow spiders had souls, I was ready bang my head on a desk that may or may not have existed. I dropped the class. Of course, I’ve studied philosophy in other courses, but there’s so much more to explore!!!1
Attempt taxidermy: I lurk on this FB group for taxidermy enthusiasts. It’s a private group (yeah, I’m cool *shoulder brush*) or I’d paste the link here for peeps to follow. Taxidermists are just ridiculously awesome and creative. But since I’m a chronic lurker, I feel like it’s time to put up. Sadly, I missed the Valentine’s Day Rat Taxidermy seminar, but there’s always the Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy (One or Two Headed!) class. I’m not sure how that works anatomically, but I’m pretty stoked to find out. Plus, I’m pretty sure this is a tax write-off. It’s basically career advancement. If I decide to leave journalism, I’ll have a similarly lucrative profession to fall back on. </sarcasm>
Play fútbol: I played soccer for, jeeze, 12 years? 13 years? anyway, a long time. Then I stopped. For no good reason. When I was working in the rainforest, the guides and researchers played pickup games every afternoon on the beach. I tagged along, and it turns out I’m kind of a soccer god. (Or, at least, I can hold my own.)
Read “The Listserve” every day: It is amazing and brings me down to earth. Check it out.
Rewatch the TV series Just Shoot Me: Everyone needs easy life goals. Don’t judge me.
Be more thoughtful: Most people aren’t bad, they’re just super unthoughtful. Hold the elevator door. Write an honest-to-god PAPER thank-you note. Don’t bail on friends. Think before hitting send. <–I talk the talk. Now I want to make a concerted effort to walk the walk.
Learn rock climbing: Anything perched higher than my nose scares the crap out of me, and I’m a firm believer that in order to grow as a person you have to conquer your fears. Plus, rock climbing is great exercise, and once you get good enough, gives you access to parts of the world untouched by guard rails and pedestrian walkways.