05 June 2011


In November 2008, I traveled to Washington, D.C. to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I met Katie in college shortly after I dropped out of pharmacy school and suddenly became a public relations major. Katie and I met at a bar in Columbus, Ohio, at a regional Public Relations Student Society of America networking event. I had heard a lot about Katie as she was the ideal young professional. She was well dressed, well educated, knowledgeable about everything, the life of the party, loved by all and she was a member of the PRSSA National Committee, adding some prestige to her already shining reputation.

Katie and I instantly became friends and I looked to Katie as a mentor and a prime example of the college student and young professional I wanted to be. Though being a young professional in college was great and probably the right thing to do, Katie and I were not the typical college kids. I stayed in on Friday nights doing homework and studying while my roommates were at frat parties. Instead of going on Spring Break like everyone else, Katie and I had internships and attended conferences. During my junior year, one of my sorority sisters yelled at me for missing Greek Week activities due to a conflicting PR event. We did a lot of good for ourselves and for our careers, but we sometimes wonder if we missed out on some other things in the process.

While in D.C. for Katie’s birthday, I told her about a grand idea that I thought might bring us closer while creating some great memories – I wanted to compile a list of 30 things to do before we turned 30 and I asked if she would want to do them with me. She thought it was a great idea, so we began planning. At 26, we had four years to accomplish these 30 things and, realizing that Katie was in D.C. and I was in Jersey meant that we might not accomplish all 30 things together. So we decided to create our own lists, which was great because we have different goals.

I saved my list on my BlackBerry so that I could refer to the list at any time and add to the 15 or so that I first recorded. I left my job in March in pursuit of this Asian adventure and, subsequently, turned in my BlackBerry. I later realized that I may not have retrieved that list of 30 things, though I seem to believe that it is around here somewhere. So, when Katie and I spoke earlier this week, she came up with a great idea. “Let’s come up with new lists,” she exclaimed. And then she gave us a deadline to complete the lists and e-mail them to each other, which I just realized was yesterday. I am without an e-mail from Katie, so it looks as if we both missed the deadline.

Redoing my list of 30 things to accomplish before I turn 30 was a great exercise. I am not able to remember the 20ish things I previously recorded but I did manage to remember at least half. And, since a life-changing event like a cross-planet move occurred, I realize that I have some opportunities for items on my list to change. My life has changed a lot over the last two years and some of my interests have changed as well. I find new opportunities and new things to explore, whether they be a part of the world or a new part of myself.

So far, I have managed to get out of the U.S., complete a 5k and see a moose, among other things. Things that await me include experiencing New Year’s Eve in New York City, taking a cooking course in Italy and applying to grad schools. Katie is looking to accomplish her goal of traveling to six of the seven continents and she is well on her way. I can’t wait for her to come to Asia in the fall where we will indeed check a few additional items off of our lists.

My boss joked with me a while ago about my continuing set of goals. He asked if I would have a list of 40 things to do before I turn 40 and 80 things to do before I turn 80. “Do they get easier as you get older? Get out of bed. Check. Go to the bathroom by myself. Check.”  While I cannot say for certain whether or not the lists will continue, I can say that this list of 30 is a great list and I can’t wait to write about all of my experiences when I get done.

No comments: