The Bucket List That Wasn’t

With only 2 weeks remaining until I reach the big 3-0, I’m suddenly reminded of all the things I thought I’d get done that just didn’t happen. Otherwise known as the 29 Bucket List, I drafted these to-do’s as a final attempt to exit my 20s with a bang. I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t even get close. Why am I not ashamed of that? Well, I was too busy living out God’s plan for my life and tossing my own rulebook to the side. Truth is, I can plan and plan until the sun sets, but there’s a higher power in charge, and I’m learning to trust in HIM. I’m always amazed at how greater God’s plans are for my life rather than my own, miniscule ideas.

So how DID I do? Well….let’s take a look.

 

29

1. Read The Color Purple

2. Take a web design course

3. Zip line

4. Snowboard

5. Rollerskate

6. Babysit a child under 5 years old

7. Go to Europe

8. Visit another state (not including Nevada)

9. Start writing a book

10. Make a new female friend

11. Dine in the dark

12. Ride my bike in Benicia State Park

13. Go camping

14. Go to Biscuit & Blues

15. Stay at the Sir Francis Drake in SF

16. Eat at the Tonga Room

17. Go to the movies by myself

18. Get a writing job

19. Write a poem

20. Row a boat

21. Visit a family member out of state

22. Have a family member visit me from out of state

23. Visit a lighthouse

24. Go back to HAWAII!!!

25. Drive a snowmobile

26. Boost Credit Score 100 points

27. Visit a dermatologist

28. Introduce myself to a stranger

29. Give back to my community

Anything physical (about half of the list) was immediately null and void due to my nasty fall down the stairs back in April. I spent most of the summer either on crutches, in a boot, with a cane or in physical therapy. I’ll never take my health for granted AGAIN.

The rest of the list, while important, cannot surpass the awesomeness that did happen; like going back to New York, traveling alone for the first time, getting engaged, or moving in with the S.O. I’m so impressed with 29 that I just know 30 will be even better. Bucket list? Nah! I just don’t need it anymore.

5 Things I Learned From Selma

Selma wasn’t just a movie for me; it was an experience. It jarred me to the core and shook my spirit free of any complacency. I cried (for the first time in a long time), I smiled, I grimaced. I felt pride and angst simultaneously. I left the movie theater deep in thought. I’m still processing it’s effect.

I thought I knew a lot about my history, being raised with a culture-conscious, “black is beautiful”, Kwanzaa-celebrating mother. I love my people, and grasp at every chance to learn more about US. After watching Selma, I realized you never quite know enough about your history. Lord knows our school textbooks don’t tell truths. But even some common facts escaped me. Here’s what I (as a socially conscious, 29 year old, educated adult) learned from this amazing movie:

selma1. Civil rights weren’t won overnight. As quoted from the movie, they took them “piece by piece.” It was a loooong process in which many lives were lost and many battles were fought.

2. The Civil Rights movement was systemic and analytical. While passion sparked the fire to fight for our rights as African Americans, it was the execution of timely, well-planned and dangerous demonstrations. Though some events just unfolded naturally, it was the strategic approach that led to victory.

3. There are too many nameless heroes. There were so, so many countless African Americans who contributed to the cause, many with their life or their livelihood. Now, when I celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, I’ll also be reminded to celebrate those nameless ones who I have to thank for my rights today.

4. The Civil Rights Era wasn’t that long ago. Though I used to read about MLK and Malcolm X in my history books, that time of unrest and inequality wasn’t far enough for us to forget, but is just recent enough for us to get complacent. As we tragically witnessed in 2014, African Americans are STILL unjustly being targeted and murdered by the law, and still suffer from so many socioeconomic injustices.

5. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t the angelic pacifist history books painted him to be. After watching Selma, I devoured any article I could related to the making of the movie. One thing that was starkly obvious: MLK was a believer in non-violence, but he wasn’t afraid to get dirty. He’s been stabbed, bombed, beat and jailed amongst other things. He fought long and hard, and paid the ultimate price with his life. He was fierce! He was also an imperfect husband and a flawed human being, just like the rest of us. God rest his soul and his memory.

What about you? What did you learn from Selma?

 

Skylines

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True to my city girl spirit, there’s nothing more thrilling than a sparkling skyline. Nothing warms my heart faster than gazing upon a horizon of endless possibility. After moving out of San Francisco and settling into my current suburban paradise, I started to feel the withdrawals that accompany a city exodus. Over time I was comforted in knowing that the dazzling city skylines were always within my grasp, whether it be a car or plane ride away.

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For Christmas vacation, I indulged in the most famous skyline of all: New York City. It’s been three years since I last stepped foot in the Big Apple, and per usual with any city, everything is different! As I traced back old, familiar steps, memories flowed like a river. So much has changed, and some things will never be the same, but I’ll forever have those experiences. As I enter the foreign territory that is my 30s (one more month!), I am relieved that newer horizons are before me, and so many fantastic skylines still await me. I’m so looking forward to all that comes with it!

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2014 in Review

It feels good to be back in the blogosphere. I took a much-needed break (though I continued to stalk my blogger boos from the sidelines) and now feel refreshed to start the year anew. But first, a little reflection.

2014 was one of my BEST years yet. My pastor declared and decreed 2014 as the year we would walk in the “overflow” and I received it. All of it. Blessings were aplenty and though I lost some things, I gained so much more.

2014

I thank God for all the lessons and blessings. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2015! What about you? Did your 2014 live up to the hype?