A good friend recently sourced me for a national magazine. She asked me if I would be willing to give my bucket list to the entire world to read. I had an incredibly easy time coming up with the first three, but then had to really dig down to what I found was important. I was honored to share with her and wanted to post it for you. The grammar is off because it’s mainly a conversation between friends. I wanted to keep it exactly as it is because I want to truly see if I can do what I am pledging to do. I think it all boils down to one life goal:
“I’d like to be Streisand, not Snooki.” -GMG
Here are my top three:
1.) Breathe. It’s so often that I’m incredibly detached from what is really important. Tonight I worried that since I had two, different, shades of red in my kitchen, if it made it look, ‘cheaper.’ I realized then, how lucky I was to have a rug with tags on it, that I could return, and something that would caress my feet as I stood in front of my sink. Breathing, to me, means living in the moment and practicing thankfulness for the things that don’t match perfectly.
2.) Love. I have a preschooler who I love so fiercely that sometimes, I’m overwhelmed. If I love her, the best I can I know that will be enough. Love cannot control her choices, but it can help to remind me to be patient when her Barbie, “accidentally” decides to take a swim in the toilet… for the 5th time.
3.) CONQUER. My story is my own and I am incredibly blessed to have developed the mentality that I, alone, am worth fighting for. I will continue to beat cancer, selfishness and my own personal indifference by remembering who I am and how hard I’ve struggled to become what I see in the mirror.
4.) Someday, I’m going to be in a room full of people and I’m going to jam out on the electric guitar to Bush’s, “Little Things.” When I was younger, (early teens,) I often choreographed ice skating routines to that song. Later, I decided I just wanted to sing it. BECAUSE I AM A GIANT, FLAMING, LOSER. (And secretly, I hope Gavin’s rockstardom will rub off on me.) …kinda.
5.) I’m going to stay happily married. (http://www.girlmeetsgeek.com/2010/07/22/i-will-love-you-and-honor-you-all-the-days-of-my-life/) If I find another partner, I don’t mind sharing who I am, but I’m not going to discount my life, my wants and my needs for someone’s attention. That’s so, 2005.
6.) I have a severely-long list of places I want to travel. Ireland. Paris. Scotland. But more than anything, I want to go to Auschwitz and see Anne Frank’s Holland home, one more time. I feel that the atrocities of what happened go far too unrecognized. I need to remind myself that within decades of my lifetime, humanity was cut by six million.
7.) I’m going to stop worrying about figuring out my faith and views and just BE. The more I see, the more I question, the stronger and weaker I simultaneously get. Although I’m not a particularly religious person, sometimes I feel emotions so intensely and am caught up in a moment so much that I KNOW someone is telling me something. When I meet my fate, I want my moments up to that point to be one of personal reconciliation: not of guilt or worry: but of practicing an art, (and it’s an art,) of not living my life out of fear. I am proud of who I am and the choices I make. I don’t want any organization, institution, or view to shake the foundation I’ve built.
8.) I will have lived a life of tolerance, empowerment and happiness.
9.) My blog, will be published into a book and my daughter will have something to hold on to. My words, thoughts, emotions, are to show her WHO I am. I know I wouldn’t have come so far without her and her persistence in making me the toughest, and most passionate mom I could be. I want to leave something tangible for others to understand me by.
10.) I’m going to find my birth mother. There’s an envelope that’s been sitting in my drawer for almost a year now, asking for a $25 check and a simple form. It even has a stamp on it. That letter, is the payment to receive a picture she left for me when I was adopted. I want to see her face, to know my own face before I die. In truth: I don’t know what I really look like. It’s like comparing a painting to an artist, but never seeing another piece of their work; it’s incomplete.
11.) I want to go to the moon. One of my most vivid nightmares as a girl was being on the moon and no one being able to hear me. When tickets go down a few hundred thousand, I’m going to be the first one on the plane. It’s not about seeing how small I am in comparison to the rest of the universe, but to see how much excitement and possibility there is.
12.) I want Anthony Hopkins to read any outrageous bill that comes in the mail to me, (preferably in person,) with the sympathetic voice he has. Sad news, always sounds better with a fantastic english accent. He should seriously look into a career in telling people they are bankrupt, or being charged with various crimes. Everyone would be peaceful.
13.) Of course I want to have a successful business, and I’d like to be published and have a cabana boy that cleans my pool, but in all reality: I just want to die without severe amounts of debt. I don’t want someone to have to contact my loved ones and say, “Kate was great, but she still owes money on her student loans.” If I do this correctly, I might have those paid off by 2090. Stupid loans.
14.) When I’m 98, (because frankly, in a perfect world I will die at 98, peacefully, while sipping on mojitos,) I want to look at myself in the mirror and see my sagging skin, the space where my chest used to be, (seriously… the falling of the boobs terrifies me,) and realize: It all had a great run. I want to face myself when everyone else may see me at my worst and find the brightest moments of beauty at the fact that I was able to survive this long.
15.) I really want to mix mentos and diet coke. I haven’t had the gall to start a food volcano, but someday, I’m going to do it. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be known as the girl who figured out that mentos and diet coke cause a gigantic, chemical, explosion like no other? I secretly, kinda, want to be that girl.
16.) I really want to just ‘sustain.’ My life holds promise. I have an incredible child, a condo I pretty, much, adore and a bank account that isn’t in the negative. I really, truly, lead an amazing life. I have wonderful friends, (I mean that.) I am supported and loved. Shouldn’t that be the exact way to live my life? I’m not worried about fame, or money, (because those things inevitably go away. I don’t want to live my life for 15 minutes of fame, but rather a lifetime of purpose.) I’d like to be Streisand, not Snooki.
17.) The picture, “The Singing Butler,” currently resides in my living room. Someday, I’m going to recreate that picture, except with live people, and a very, swanky, red dress. Once, I dated a guy, (who is a fantastic friend- Love you Sean!) who demanded we start dancing in the middle of a date at the Cheesecake Factory. We did. That, to this day is one of my absolute FAVORITE moments. People clapped and we just danced. Tell me that wouldn’t be fantastic!
18.) I’m going to keep up my flickr feed. (www.flickr.com/photos/lovelyava) I want Ava and my grandchildren to see that I had a sense of humor and passion when it came to capturing the moments in our lives. I want to live on through those memories.
19.) I’m going to go to BIG SUR. It’s been an obsession of mine since the Death Cab For Cutie song, “Bixby Canyon Bridge.” It calls me, and I’m ready to conquer it.
20.) I’m throwing this out there, a.) Because it’s totally true and anyone who doesn’t secretly want this is nuts, and b.) Because I can actually print this. HUSBAND AND WIFE SEX. I mean, seriously. I want to find the one person who looks forward to the way the right side of my hair spikes in the morning and my awful puma-like breath. I want to have incredibly passionate, and have a killer sex life at 75 with the one person who’s been with me for all the bad, decent and everything in between.
21.) I want to give back: not in a way that I donate a check and demand a building in my name, but honestly and truly thank, (in action,) all the substancial things people have done for me. I want to give in a way that they know they are so appreciated, and I am so blessed that there is no question left of if I did it for the right reasons. My actions will prove it.