These days, birthdays sneak up on us faster than a morning after a night out. If you’re like me, after the age of 21, birthdays became something you dread instead of countdown to. It’s crazy how times goes by so quickly, but if you stop to notice the little things in life, you’ll see that it goes just a little bit slower. Along with living in the now, there are things you should add to (and quickly cross off of) your bucket list. Things that should be done in your twenties. Things that your heart wants to do, but you can’t seem to find the time (or courage). Make it happen now, so that you can start a new bucket list of things to do before you’re 30, 40, 50, and so on.
1. Stop Holding Grudges. You don’t need negativity in your life, especially if you’re the one holding on to it. Make peace with your family and friends (at least the non-toxic ones) and forgive them for being flawed human beings. There’s no way you have live a happy life while holding onto things from the past. Not to mention, life is short and you will regret not spending time with loved ones because of selfish pride.
2. Sit Down And Watch That Movie/Read That Book/Listen To That Band. You already lied about watching that movie, reading that book, listening to that band when someone asked you. So take some time out and actually do it, because chances are, they were recommended because they’re truly great. Next time, you’ll actually know what you’re talking about and can recommend it to someone else.
3. Learn How To Cook. We don’t mean you have to be good enough to audition for Iron Chef, we just mean, learn the basics. If your famous dishes are cereal, pb & j, or involve the microwave, it’s time to rethink your dining habits. Learn how to make a few fancy dishes to ‘wow’ your friends and family on special occasions. Plus, single ladies: knowing how to cook is a magnet for men.
4. Take A Risk. Go skydiving, bungee jumping, or do something else that scares you. It’s okay that like staying in your safe place, but once in your life, you need to experience that incredible adrenaline that you can only get from staring death in the face. Plus, if 80 year old women can do it, you can. Don’t be a pansy.
5. Order A Cake From Momofuku. Just because, order a delicious birthday cake from one of the said best bakeries in America. If you’re vegan/gluten free, order a cake from Erin McKenna’s Bakery (my personal favorite of all time). Sometimes you have to celebrate your birthday 6 months before it arrives. So what.
6. Open A Savings Account. If you’re employed, the time to start saving is now. Putting back just $5-10 week can give leave you with an extra $500+ at the end of the year to use on bills, accidents, or an unexpected employment period.
7. Get Outside. Make a point to spend less time online, watching Netflix, or on your phone, and get outside. Enjoy the sun, bring your friends, explore the world around you. Make a pact to spend more time outside than you do inside.
8. Learn To Do Laundry. Come on. You don’t live with your mom anymore (or maybe you do…we’re not judging) but either way, you’re way past the age when you should know how to separate the shirts from the towels, and know to clean out the lint trap on the dryer. Make a point to learn how to do laundry—ask your mom, she’ll be flattered. Congrats, you’re an adult! Now you can teach someone else.
9. It’s Time To Let Him/Her Know. Stop waiting. Meet up with your best friend or crush face-to-face. Directly look them in the face and say, “I want you. I want to be with you.” It’s time. If they don’t feel the same way, that’s okay, because either way, things are bound to get tougher the longer you hold it in. Chances are, if they’re spending just about every day with you, they feel the same way.
10. Treat Yourself. Girl, go on take that 10:30 pm trip to the grocery store or quickie mart to get donuts and chocolate milk. You only live once. Hell, get a pizza for the next day, too. Or Flowers to spruce up your kitchen. Live happily.
11. Learn to say “No”. It’s okay to decline on going out if you just don’t want to. Don’t make up an excuse—just say no thanks. Don’t agree to do a favor for someone if you don’t have the time. Don’t force yourself to wear high heels if you hate them. Stop wasting time on friends who don’t appreciate you.
12. Hobby Up. Find a hobby to take up that makes being alone feel relaxing. Explore different activities to figure out what you’re good at, and to find what you thoroughly enjoy doing. It will feel empowering, and hey—you might even get so good that you get to open a little Etsy shop and make some money!
13. Take a Cross-Country Roadtrip. There’s nothing quite like a good ol’ road trip across several states, especially in the US. Grab some friend or a family member and hit the backroads to see all the things you grew up learning about—the Grand Canyon, the Statue Of Liberty, Mount Rushmore. You’ll get to experience so many amazing moments outside of your own city.
14. Date Somebody Who Isn’t Your “Type.” The great thing about being individuals is that we are all different, come from all backgrounds, and have diverse beliefs, desires, and morals. Dating someone that you normally wouldn’t will help you to learn and grow. The relationship may not work out, but maybe you’ll meet your future spouse…who knows? Opposites attract—it’s true. Either way, you’ll learn a lot from the experience.
15. Become A Connoisseur. If there’s something you love, be it coffee, wine, cheese, tea, food, beer, or art, make it your goal to learn everything you can about it. Experiment with it. Maybe try to make your own. Get better at it. Share it. Who knows, you may be the next founder of a top-selling wine. The knowledge alone will enrich your life and make conversations that much more interesting.
|Photo via Wildfox Couture|