I didn’t plan it this way, but when I went to visit Brian in Arizona, in doing so I was also crossing three things off of my life list. Holy wow, life listers! You know this is sort of a big deal.
And yet, I tend to take every endeavor I do with a grain of salt and an understanding that I will most likely fail. Failure has sort of been my theme, and as I am actively trying to change my theme, I didn’t really think that the life list would be a big part of that. Because, yeah, I laugh at my own life list. I have a little laugh at every life list I read online, because do any of us really think that we are going to be able to cross off everything on our lists? Is anyone’s life ever THAT fulfilled?
One of my favorite mottos in life has always been “Aim Low.” If you aim low, you won’t be as disappointed. If you aim low, even little successes can feel like big ones. If you aim low, you won’t look like a fool for aiming high. Life lists are all about aiming high, and though the things I get to cross off aren’t any of the HUGE! BIG DEAL! REALLY AMAZING! things, they are pretty amazing anyway, because each one is something that I really want to do in my life that I don’t necessarily think I can do. And now I’ve done three of them. The first three ever completed! All in one week!
#5. Swim in the Pacific Ocean
I am amending this after the fact (but still counting it) because after visiting I am not sure that I am capable of swimming in the Pacific Ocean because of my debilitating fear of having seaweed wrapped all around my body. There’s this thing in the Pacific called kelp, which we don’t have here on the east coast, and it was disgusting and horrifying and scared the shit out of me and it wrapped its nasty tendrils around my ankles a few times, but that was worth it to get my feet in the Pacific Ocean, so there. I’m counting it. We visited a little park in Laguna Beach and I spent a while romping back and forth in the surf (avoiding the kelp as much as I could) taking pictures and video, and generally reveling in how different the Pacific seems to me than the Atlantic, after just one visit. The waves are bigger, there are cliffs that hug the beach and houses built right into them, there is different plant life and there are surfers, and also, it smells different. It smells different.
Of all the places I visited on this grand trip I took, of all the places and towns and states, Southern California is definitely the only one where I thought to myself, yea, I could live here. The climate seemed perfect, the beaches were beautiful, there are mountains and hot dudes and people seem (even in Laguna Beach, fancy schmancy!) so relaxed and happy. I want to go there again, and maybe next time, MAYBE, I will brave the kelp forest or spend enough time trying to find a kelp free beach and get in there.
#27. Drive through the kind of desert you see in movies
I’ve been wanting to do this since the very first time I ever saw the desert in movies. I get thrilled when I see movies like Thelma & Louise or The Hills Have Eyes (which, turns out, was actually filmed entirely in Morocco but whatever). It comes from growing up in and pretty much never leaving New England and seeing the different kinds of land that America has to offer. Let me tell you guys – America has lots of different kinds of land, and mountains, and deserts, and forests, and if all we did for the entire trip was drive through the barren desert in a safety blue Mustang convertible, I would have been so happy, because as it turns out, the time spent in the car just driving with Brian was definitely my favorite part of the trip and I am already looking forward to doing it again, except the next time I road trip out west I want to hit up places in Utah like Arches and Moab, and see Death Valley, California and Joshua Tree.
#56. Party in Vegas
I partied in Vegas as much as I could for someone who quit drinking six months ago. You should have seen the looks and double-takes I got from all the bartenders when I asked for virgin pina coladas! Yes, Las Vegas is definitely a town for the depraved and debaucherous. It seems to cater to drinkers and boozers and big spenders, and frankly, I was underwhelmed by the city of sin. I think that if I had gone to Vegas last year, or even just this past summer, I would have had a better time because I would have fit right in with all of the drunks, but as it was I felt the entire time like I was on the sideline and didn’t get invited to the party. It’s really, really remarkably sad, but it’s true. When we walked around the city during the day, things were just sort of “Meh.” We have fancy casinos here in Connecticut, and when we go to our casinos we don’t have to look at all of the crack whores on the side of the road. At night, the place is lit up like the daytime, and I admit that it is remarkable and impressive when you think of the wealth and extravagance that has been thrown into the Strip, but as a whole I did not enjoy myself in Vegas anywhere near as much as I thought I would. As far as cities go, New York still has my heart in its it concrete fist, and I am perfectly happy with my heart staying there.
Have you crossed anything off of your life list lately?