my 2014 bucket list

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as you can recall, i’m not really one for resolutions. and even the resolutions i do make don’t always get fulfilled as planned. so i want to approach my aspirations for twenty-fourteen a little differently. instead of resolving or setting goals or placing pressures on myself of things i want to accomplish in 365 days’ time, i’m making a bucket list for 2014 -a collection of things i’d like to accomplish in the next 12 months, but if left un-attained will not make me feel as though i’ve failed in some sort of way. i’m hoping by approaching it in this manner, i will be excited to scratch these items off the list. and i think that’s what goals are meant to be, right? exciting, inspiring, encouraging, something you look forward to achieving, rather than something you’re fearful of falling short.

so here’s what i’m hoping 2014 lends me the opportunity to accomplish (in no particular order):

host a dinner party. i could probably count on one hand the number of people i have entertained in my humble abode over the course of my nearly seven-year tenure as a homeowner. i have the fancy pottery barn plates, the matching paisley tablecloths, and an abundance of vanilla-scented candles to to set the mood, but somehow i still reserve opening my home (and my kitchen) to only a select few. but perhaps in the new year, i channel my inner martha (stewart) for a change. i may never be the hostess with the mostess, but i can sure as well try. plus, i would totally give me a reason to wear my cute anthropologie apron.

make more pinterest(ing) recipes. believe it or not i have a whole pinterest board dedicated to recipes i’d like to try. it’s called “yum, yum in my tum” because clearly i’m five years old and am really good at naming things. but regardless of its childish nomenclature, this board contains some pretty intriguing culinary quests. so i’m making it my mission to translate a few of these recipes from digital screen to dinner table. come to think of it, i could easily kill two birds with one stone by hosting a dinner party and serving a pinterest-inspired dish. now that’s efficiency at its finest.

go to the movies by myself. i have a few friends who have sworn by this phenomena of flying solo to the cinema. i mean, it’s not like movies are really conducive for chatting it up with your neighbor anyway, so going to a flick by yourself makes perfect sense to me. plus given my ever-evolving movie taste, i’m usually the only one with the burning desire to see the latest indie film on the big screen. so here’s to not having to share the tub of popcorn and having the armrest all to myself.

take better outfit photos. and by “better” i mean less selfies, more actual photos. as much as i know y’all love seeing my silhouette in the full length mirror on the back of my closet door, if i’m ever going to be taken seriously as a pseudo fashion blogger, i really need to up my photog game. lucky for me, my mom is kind of an amazing photographer and well, she’s my mom so she’ll totally give me the family discount. i know i might never be able to run with the big dogs like happily grey or kendi everyday, but this is about dreaming and dreaming BIG. so why not? if the iphone photo of me in my adult tutu can be repinned 116 times, just think what a semi-professional looking shot could do!

speaking of photos…take more pictures in general. the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen” has been roaming around the interwebs for about a year now. in its basic sentiment, it implies that if you don’t have photos to back up your story, then it’s as if it never transpired. i mean, usually this phrase is connected with late night shenanigans where adult libations are involved, but when applied to more innocent activities, it still makes sense. we are visual people. words can do wonders to paint an image in someone’s mind, but photos help bring the story to life. so as i continue to share my life with all of you, i want to be better about including original photos to back up said tales. plus that way, if you’re like me, if you don’t want to read the copy, you can just look at the pictures instead.

read at least 12 books. that’s basically a book a month. that’s totally doable, right? i think so. you know, aside from the occasional jeopardy episode, my brain doesn’t get a ton of stimulation these days. in fact, some days i’m fearful i’m actually getting dumber from sheer exposure to reality television. so to combat a complete brain-to-mush transformation, i want to keep my mind nimble with the works of some of literary’s brightest stars. plus iron sharpens iron so if i ever expect to evolve my writing, it only behooves me to employ some of my more successful counterparts in the wide world of text.

continue to pursue writing opportunities. 2013 was certainly an amazing year for me in terms of writing. i was published not only once, but twice in darling magazine’s spring and fall issues, as well as had articles featured on the magazine’s online forum. being given the chance to display my thoughts on a grander scale has literally been a long-time dream come true. if i have ever doubted God’s providence in providing the open doors for me to walk through, these issues and online links are a tangible reminder. but i don’t want to rest on my laurels. i want to continue to stay hungry. to pursue opportunities for my words to be exposed to a broader readership -both with darling and beyond.

wear my tutu more often. because, yolo.

experiment with different hairstyles. i’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my mane. unless i’m working out or washing my face before bedtime, it’s usually down, having been blown out with a big round brush a few days prior. maybe i wore too many high ponies (or side ponies) in high school during my cheer days or just got burnt out (no pun intended) on hot rollers and flattening irons. but then i see someone post a photo of a big carrie bradshaw-inspired top knot or a milkmaid braid and i think to myself, “self, that would be really fun to try, wouldn’t it?” lucky for me, there are one zillion hair tutorials floating around cyberspace, most notably at the creative hand of libby of a lover’s anthologyso it’s just a matter of me making the effort to manipulate my mane into a new ‘do.

travel somewhere new. i mean, i’m pretty pumped to already be crossing off this one in just 14 days, but aside from the whole going “down under, mate” thing, i would also love to travel somewhere new, domestically. seattle has been on my list for years now, as has parts of colorado. and then there’s giving texas another shot as well. i mean, all i know about dallas is what i’ve cleaned from DFW and courtney loves dallas so, you know, maybe not the best representations, but i’m into big hair and cowboys, so sign me up.

regulate exposure to social media. i have a little issue (okay, it’s kind of a medium issue) with comparing myself with others via social media. i realize that social media is not always the most accurate representation of how great someone’s life is at this current time (they do, in fact, only show you what they want you to see), but when they’re inundating you with engagement rings and babies and exotic vacations, it’s hard to take a step back and assess the situation objectively. the little green monster comes out (i hate when he does that) and before you know it, you’re throwing yourself a pity party in the rabbit hole you’ve fallen down but at least there’s cake to keep you company. so this year, i’m going to take posts and likes and filtered images with a grain of salt. and maybe do a day of unplugging at least once a week.

and finally seek joy. in everything i do. even when i don’t think it can be found. sometimes, if left to my own devices, i have a propensity to get very dark very fast and sometimes once i’ve managed to get myself into a funk, it’s hard to get me out if it. but i’ve wasted too many days feeling meh. as far as i’m concerned, with the things God has blessed me with -both the tangible and intangible -i have no business feeling meh. so here’s to seeking joy in 2014. and for surrounding myself with people who encourage me to seek it, too.

for the first time in a long time i’m really really excited for what twenty-fourteen has in store for yours truly. if you know me, you know unpredictability and i are not close friends. but the kind of unknown that comes with a clean slate is the kind of unpredictability that i can get behind. it’s the good kind of question mark, the one with endless possibility and untainted hope.

2014 bucket list

image via: andrea culver.

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