Crossing things off the list

Bucket list, life goals, whatever you’d like to call it, my “Before 30” is a combination of ambitions, dreams, and slightly far fetched fantasy. Every time I read it I feel inspired and excited for all of the experiences that await me.

Seeing as I’m a bit of a globetrotter, a lot of items on my list are travel oriented. This year I plan to live out a lot of dreams, like visiting Burgundy Street in Madrid, experiencing cuisine in Italy, and delving into history in London. I’ve started the year off right, and can officially cross of four items.

26. Go to Ireland

I actually took this goal one step further and moved to Ireland. Now my goal is too see as many counties as possible and learn about complex Irish history. Ireland is a stunning country, and every time I’m outside of the city I feel like I’m in a movie.

34. Read 40 books for pleasure in a year

I read a LOT of books while I was in Canada for eight months, and I loved ever minute of it. Reading is like therapy to me and good writing inspires me. I crossed this one off the list when I finished reading Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong around Christmas time.

42. Work in a real Irish pub

Okay, so it’s not really a pub, but it’s a real Irish bar, with Irish colleagues and Irish customers, and we serve a lot of Guinness. I think it counts.

77. Visit Stockholm

I did a travel writing project on Stockholm, Sweden in third year at Western and I’ve desperately wanted to visit the city since then. I got to go for five days about a week ago and it was everything I hoped for. Beautiful buildings, beautiful landscape, beautiful people. I’ll get into the finer details in my next post, but for now I’ll just say I’m very glad Stockholm was on my list.

Not a bad start to the year, and who knows what I’ll cross off next. Maybe I’ll buy a coffee for the person in line behind me or eat chocolate in Belgium. Regardless, I have much to look forward to.

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Something awesome that I learned today

Sometime last year I decided it’d be a sweet idea to have a “something awesome that I learned today” wall. I love quotations and thought it’d be sweet to have awesome things to read while brushing my teeth.

Some of the stuff written down is from my academic readings, some from church, a lot from things I come across online, and then a bunch from random people. Don’t be surprised if you see something you once said!

Please note Steph’s insights concerning our crazy kettle. Very valuable information.

This is one of my favourite pages. I had the privilege of covering a Raps/76ers game this year, and I was blown away by how tall they all were.

I also love the fun fact about pointalism. Steph and I were thrilled when Elyse explained this to us. We still need to do a huge wall-sized pointalism self-portrait. Look for it in your closest art gallery.

“Be intentional” is one of the best life lessons. I wrote some features  for The Gazette this year, and I was always so inspired by people who had solid, well thought out answers for questions I would ask them. I have so much respect for people that do everything with a purpose.

I took a course called “The Culture of Containment: Post Cold-War America” and I remember my professor trying to explain containment by drawing a whole bunch of shapes inside of other shapes with a bunch of fancy words describing 1950’s America… The gist of the whole production was that consumerism acts as a container for Western culture. Interesting to think about when you’re not distracted by a guy with a bow tie squiggling things on a white board.

Another thing that I really learned this year was that if you take action, you’ll get results. Don’t sit around contemplating good ideas — act on them!

Oh Yoda. So wise.

After Liz explained debt to us with the porridge analogy, it made perfect sense! (Not really though…I still don’t know what she’s talking about. All I know about porridge is that it’s delicious.)

I thought the knowledge quote was really cool because as a student I cram so information (or “knowledge”) into my brain before exams only to forget most of it a couple of days later. Knowledge is only truly useful if it impacts you enough for you to be able to recall it, or as it is so eloquently stated, if it is “written on the soul of the learner.” (I read that quote while I was studying for an exam in April…I don’t remember which course it was for. Ironic?)

I read a cool article by Roland Barthes about how writers are special because they never stop “working.” I can absolutely relate to this. I’m constantly thinking about what I’m going to write about next and topics for the future. It’s not a bad thing though — it’s kind of nice.

Hmm… there’s a definite “goals” “dreams” and “take action” trend happening…

It was awesome when I realized that people change their minds. Change is healthy, and often exciting. Although change can be difficult when things are already good, it’s nice to remember that everything happens for a reason (right Iz?)