This has been bothering me for a few years, a few as in the past three or four years… why? Well, let me explain:
While I was in college, I created a “Top Ten” bucket list that I felt was semi-realistic and would be something that would keep me busy for decades to come… right… “decades”. More like “decade”… as in one, as in less than a decade. Granted anyone that knows me well, know what I really want out of life… but in the meantime a bucket of things to do in the meantime would always help… right? Right… little did I know.
I have always believed in the willingness of trying anything at least once, possibly twice just to make sure the first wasn’t a fluke. Then, if it turns out to be something I truly enjoy, then I’ll pursue the activity further in the future, possibly bring more people into coming with me. If in the end it just wasn’t my cup of tea, then at least I could say that I gave it a shot. I mean think about it… If everyone did as much as they could just once in their lives they would find hundreds, if not thousands of things they could be interested in and pursue… Instead of just staying in a small little circle.
Now before you guys start judging about how simple my bucket list must have been… let me give you a glimpse of what it included (in no particular order):
– Write for a drama / soap opera series: Which I did, an online drama series called Currents, they have been established for quite some time on the World Wide Web before I came on board in 2004.
– Take up ballroom dancing: This was done in 2005 through 2007-ish (give or take a year). In Vietnam, “social dancing” involved the ChaCha, Paso Doble, Viennese Waltz… this was what I grew up with so I thought everyone did this in America… was I wrong. Good thing is that I met a close friend of mine via ballroom dancing… one I’m still friends with today.
– Audition for a TV show: Yes, scoff… I went through cattle call auditions for Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance, got through the cattle call audition and danced in front of the top choreographers and dancers in the country (at the time). I got to work with them for a little bit for the televised auditions, but then I got cut. Don’t believe me? Here’s an article of my experience (I had to edit so I wouldn’t get nailed for non-disclosure agreements).
– Pursue community theatre: The first show I ever auditioned for was in college and that was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, I got to play the Fool. Right off the bat I knew that if I wanted to pursue theater completely and for fun… I needed to be willing to make a fool of myself on stage: no ego, no issues. This also gave me a love for Shakespeare and made me realize that it is a hell of a whole lot more fun playing character roles than leads… and I have always kept that in mind for every show that I’ve been in ever since.
– Compete in dance competitions: Ballroom dancing competitions are crazy hard! Moreso if you have dance background because you have to unlearn everything before you could even begin to understand ballroom dancing. All in all it was fun.
– Go to Vietnam: Vietnam is over at the other side of the world. It takes almost a full twenty-four to thirty-six hours to fly there, the same to fly back AND there is the International Date line… so you automatically lose three days on commute alone. Tickets are also not cheap, and with me not able to talk in a lot of Vietnamese, I was better off going to Vietnam with family and should I go, I needed a month off from whatever job I was in. Done. I was gone from mid-Dec 2008 through mid-Jan 2009.
– Go to New York to see a few Broadway shows: Made possible by having friends and family in NYC now. Not really all that difficult… it was more difficult doing so when no one wants to go with you. I took this a step further and started seeing more shows as they come through Chicago, going to more community theatre productions, and once in a while I would jetset to another part of the country to see a show that I believe I have no other chance of seeing anytime soon.
– Meet online friends: Why yes, some of my closest friends I met via the Internet and I am pleased to say that I have met the majority of them, in person. There are a few on the West Coast that I’ll come around to, and a few in Europe that I’ve been meaning to meet up with one summer (particularly in Portugal and Greece). But most everyone else I’ve either met in person, or talked to on the phone.
– Complete a manuscript: Now I used to write for an online web series… but as we all know web dramas / soap operas rarely end. So completing a story… no matter how horrendous is still an accomplishment, and I have. Not only one in prose (that deals primarily with ice skating) but now a stageplay that I’m editing for festivals (dealing with college students) and a 10-min stageplay also for festivals with the possibility of becoming something bigger.
– Create a professional website: I tinkered with web designing in college and promised to help a friend with his small business (designing organ parts). What I didn’t realize was that my major website would come via a national conference that came to Chicago in late 2004 for NODA. The conference website has been down since… but I was hired as a fill in when the original web designer left the planning committee and ended up “revolutionizing” how future NODA planning committees looked at their Internet presense (or so I was told). Eventually I updated the website for the online soap drama I wrote for later as well.
– Going to the Olympics: This actually happened when I was in junior high… so I was too young to really appreciate it. However, this is something that I would love to do again, but if I could find a way to make it work… but having gone once (Atlanta 1996) it was still amazing being able to walk through the city while the Olympics were going on.
In general, I don’t think I’ve done all that much… but when I looked at my original bucket list I realized “apparently I have”, and a lot of it I still continue to do/repeat/pursue.
So where does this lead me? Well I decided from the current year onward I will pursue one new thing and give it a shot. Whether it’s a trip to the Caribbean or sky diving, knitting or horseback riding… You name it, and chances are I am willing to give it a shot. There is a whole world to explore… why do I want to spend it working and pursuing material goods, making money when there is so much more that I can accomplish for the betterment of my well-being? As Jean-Luc Picard once said when explaining why there was no money in the 24th century: “We work to better ourselves.”
So every now and then I’ll update this post with something new that I’ve pursued and when I did so… now that I’m 30… this is going to get very interesting…
1: Web Blogging (spring 2010) – ongoing, I now blog for Pure Dancing with the Stars, Pure So You Think You Can Dance, Pure America’s Got Talent and have had a few perks along the way. I have also been added to the PureTVNet.com blog team too for other minimal blogging pursuits
2: Pole Dancing (autumn 2011) – time permitting, this is a hobby I would love to pursue further
3: Scrapbooking/Card Making (spring 2012) – time permitting, this is a hobby I would love to pursue further, probably best done with company as opposed to alone though
4: Crocheting/Knitting (summer 2012, originally summer 2003) – a few of my friends were doing this a lot lately, and I have the yarn at home, so I’m trying to pick this up again.
UPDATE 11 July 2012: I decided to move/copy the bottom portion of this post to a separate page on this blog called: Endeavors.