16. I will be 43 years old when my daughter leaves for college. [Today: When we only had one child, this fact somehow made me feel better about having had her so young. This changed when we had our son five years later. Today, I know that I'll be 48 when he leaves for college, and 52 when he graduates—not to mention that I'll have to work the next 30 years to pay off the debt of eight consecutive years of college tuition—and yet, this statement somehow allows me the illusion that I'll still be young when the kids are finally out of the house.]
17. I have been dying my hair since the age of 12—and, no, I don’t know my natural color. [Today: This has not changed, I'm still dying my hair—the last time was a month ago. I actually wrote a post on this, which you can read about here.]
18. I spend more time with my daughter than with anyone else. [Today: This is still true. As she has gotten older, I seem to spend even more time with her—watching television, talking, laughing, playing games, or just simply hanging out. I dread the day that this is no longer true. Again, the topic of one or my first posts.]
19. I once walked into a lamp-post when leaving work and had to get seven stitches. [Today: How do I update this one? I'm still a klutz. I haven't walked into any more lamp posts, but I have needed stitches once since then, but this topic is not exactly blog-worthy.]
20. I once stayed in a squat in Brixton, London for a few days. [Today: When I wrote about my time in England and the influence it had on developing my self-confidence, I pictured the place I stayed in Brixton as part of the back-drop.]
21. I am deathly afraid of heights (which is why I did not do #13). [Today: This hasn't changed. I now live—somewhat vicariously—through my daughter who is completely unafraid of heights. This summer, I couldn't even look at her as she rode roller-coaster after roller-coaster or sped down giant water slides. I loved her enthusiasm even as I was paralyzed in fear for her life.]
22. I have been a chamber maid, sunglass saleswoman, waitress, Dunkin Donuts clerk, teacher, and Editor. [Today: In the last year, I moved into a new position in my company and now have the title "Digital Product Manager." I would also add the sub-title "Blogger/Writer" to my list of occupations, even though I don't get paid to do it. I'm proud of this list of jobs, and I think each one of them has given me an insight into what it means to work hard.]
23. I have been wearing glasses since I was 7. [Today: I've thought about getting corrective surgery so that I wouldn't have to wear glasses—or contacts—anymore, but the idea of having any kind of operation on my eyes just freaks me out. My daughter got glasses at the same age as me, but she is so different than I was at that age. I was embarrassed by my glasses—even getting teased at times. Since getting contacts at twelve, I seldom wear them, and still don't feel comfortable in my own skin when they are on. My daughter, however, is so filled with self-confidence that I have never heard her utter a word about having to wear them, or a desire to wear contacts. I'm not sure how this came to be, but I am so thankful for it.]
24. My favorite alcoholic beverage is Guinness. [Today: This was true until I was introduced to India Pale Ale (IPA) a few years ago. My taste-buds have since been ruined, and there is only one kind beer for me.]
25. I once missed my train from London back to Lancaster University three times—on the same day—because I was so engrossed in a book. [Today: I often take the train from New York to Boston for work, and if I'm reading a good book—because of this day—I still have this fear that I'll look up and the train will have left without me. Thankfully, this has not happened. That being said, one of my favorite past-times is still getting completely lost in a book. Now the only thing I end up missing is the chaos in my house—and that's a blessing!]
In going through this list, I was struck by a thought: If I were to write a future list of “25 Things,” what would I include in it? Would I include those things from my past that ultimately define who I am—like meeting my husband on my 2nd day in Istanbul, or how I told my parents I wanted to travel the World after college? This current list is a snapshot of my life at thirty-four—and now at thirty-seven—but I can’t help but wonder what my list would be like ten, twenty, or thirty years from now. By writing a future list, I believe I would share my hopes about where I will be in the years to come, and to also document where I have been.
Children have the uncanny ability to dream, and to dream BIG. As adults, we often lose this ability amongst our many obligations, like our jobs, the bills, our kids, and our homes. If I were to think back on my dreams as a child, I would remember wanting to be a chef, a farmer, a mother, a poet, and a writer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I had a list from when I was eleven in order to see how far I’ve come in life? So this is my advice to my daughter: make a list of what she has accomplished in her eleven years, and to include those things she hopes to do in her future. At the very least, she will have this list to look back on when she is older.