I thought it’d be great to start the New Year off with something different. We have great family friends who live in Kentucky, and Whitney is my friend Andy’s daughter. She was 9 when I met her the first time. Now she’s 17 years old and a high school senior. Yikes! Anyhow, on her last visit to Michigan to visit my family, she shared her idea of a list she was working on. This wasn’t a bucket list; it was a list of 30 things to do before she turned 30. A lot of people set goals for school, careers, family, etc. but this list is all about how big the small things in life can be, and how important it can be to live in the moment. At least that’s what I took from it. But here’s Whitney to explain her project.   

YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG

Happy New Year! I’m so excited to share my quest for adventure with you, and being the first blogger of the New Year is a definite plus! My name is Whitney, I am a senior in High School, and I cannot decide between team Edward or team Jacob! This past summer I created a list of thirty things that I want to do before I turn thirty, and when I shared my idea with Matt it peaked his interest. It’s not a bucket list, but something centered around living while I’m young. The thought of growing old without doing the things I once thought were fun scares me, and although this may seem silly to some, it has been the inspiration for the list.

When asked the question, “Why 30?” I struggled to come up with an answer, and too quickly I replied, “Why not? I had forgotten my original intent, but after thinking about it further I came up with a better answer. Being seventeen, a senior in high school, dancing four times a week, and dealing with the stresses of college (already) I quickly realized that I didn’t want my life to fly by before I got the chance to actually do something fun! The thought formed over time with the occasional desire for adventure. I would hear about something fun and think, “I really want to do that!”

Knowing myself pretty well, I realized that my mental list was both too long and too detailed to keep up with. I sat down one random day and began writing it out. The full 30 things fathomed over time, and I carried it with me everywhere I went so I would be able to write down my latest idea before it slipped away. The time limit wasn’t the product of a supernatural suspicion; rather my thought process was simple: I wanted to make myself do things that I longed to do while I was young. I know that too many people hold off on their dreams because life gets in the way, but I didn’t want that to happen to me! I thought that if I set the limit of age 30 I was still young enough to do the stupid juvenile things, and old enough to have the financial means for the more elaborate dreams.

The list consists of both simple items as well as more far-fetched plans. Perhaps the one that will require the most resources would be #2: go to Australia. I realize that this will be difficult especially with college, the pocket drainer, quickly approaching. I have a few plans and so far I’ve come up with: honey moon, free trip with Oprah (something tells me I’ve missed this one), or SAVE SAVE SAVE. Unfortunately it’s leaning more to the latter option! Some of my more financially reasonable tasks include: hand make an original purse, pay for the car behind me in the drive thru, and race someone down the aisle in a motorized shopping cart (HECK YES!!). My excuse for not finishing the easy ones first is simple: I don’t want to waste a good time!

When I was younger my grandma would always set up a tent for my cousin and me in the backyard. Each time we would tell ourselves this will be the night we camp out until morning, but we would never make it. Thus #8 found a spot on the list: Camp out all night one night during the summer. Abby, my cousin, (but strangely different from the cousin mentioned earlier!) and I insisted on dragging out their family sized tent, setting it up ourselves (without any help from adults), and sleeping in it all night. After about an hour of confusion and too many misplaced tent rods it was finally up! We were proud of the finished product even though we were sure it would tumble down on us as we slept.  Thankfully that didn’t happen, and we were safe and sound all night.

Item #18 was inspired by this summer’s fad: conning. As Matt had mentioned in an earlier entry my family and I were determined to get him to take us coning. It’s this silly thing where you go through a drive thru and order an ice cream cone. Once you pull up to the window and have your cone you do something stupid with it. Unfortunately Matt was a no go and coning didn’t get crossed off the list while in Michigan. On my little brother’s birthday I decided we were going coning: Birthday Style! We ordered one ice cream cone (fighting back the giggles), paid, and finally reached the window. When the lady handed us the cone, my brother Matthew reached out, exclaimed “It’s my birthday”, poured chocolate sauce (from our house) on the cone, placed a candle in the ice cream, and blew out the pretend flame! The lady was laughing, but something told me she had been through this before!

All throughout High School I’ve wanted to do #17: go to a midnight movie premiere and dress up like one of the characters! The ideal movie for this would have been any of the HP movies, but by the time the list was actually created I had missed my chance! Thanks a lot JK Rowling. So I traded in my wizard wand for a pair of vampire teeth and decided Breaking Dawn would have to do! (Oh darn!) Finding someone that was just as much of a nerd as I am when it comes to Twilight wasn’t hard, and thankfully one of my best friends was willing to join me. With a lot of convincing on my parents part I was allowed to go under one condition: I go to school the next day. My friend Rachel and I grabbed our fangs and did our best to look as beautiful as the vampires on screen. The movie fulfilled all expectations I had set, and to my surprise I wasn’t dead tired the next day either. It was a lot of fun, and even though my “costume” wasn’t very good it was still crossed off the list.

The most recent item I have crossed off was #29: Black Friday shop. Being a teenage girl it was only a matter of time before I experienced this shopping day of all days. Another one of my good friends is an experienced Black Friday shopper, and I thought it was only right for me to ask her to come with me. We planned on meeting at my house Thanksgiving night about 9:30 pm, and we were going to hit all the major stores. Our adventure began at Wal-mart, which turned out to be a bust. The store was over crowed, and they didn’t have the few items we were looking for. We left so we could stand in line at Target. Now this was the place to be, and the wait was well worth it. My mom had sent me in with a mission, and her item was a popular gift idea. My friend Andrea and I strategized and split up. I scanned the aisles for the gift my mom wanted and finally found it. After waiting in many lines, my friend and I ended up going to a total of 10 stores, spent over $400 and didn’t return home until 7 o’clock the next morning! We were tired that’s for sure, but my shopping was a success and I can definitely say I’ll return next year.

I’ve always liked the quote “Youth is Wasted on the Young”, and perhaps it had something to do with the my creation of this list? I don’t want to waste my youth, and I want to experience adventure before I become too busy. I think that whether or not I finish every item on the list the adventure of trying will be just as fun! It has been an experience in its self telling people about each task and coming up with all thirty things. I hope that it inspires other people to write things down that they think are fun and that people begin to form their own list! So far only a few items have been crossed off, but with thirteen years left, I still have time!

WARNING FAMILY!! Some Items may cause controversy!!

#1: ride a segway
#2: go to Australia
#3: get on a kiss-cam
#4: skinny dip
#5: go through a drive thru in a shopping cart
#6: kiss a baseball player
#7: learn how to surf
#8: camp out all night one night
#9: see the Pacific Ocean
#10: learn to ski/ snow board
#11: meet a famous person
#12: get a tattoo
#13: go to Meridian Street (located in Indiana)
#14: kiss a random guy on New Year’s Eve
#15: pay for the person behind me in the drive thru
#16: go to Hogwarts at Universal Studios
#17: go to a midnight movie premier and dress up as the characters
#18: go coning
#19: hug a homeless person
#20: make an original purse
#21: go to a Phil Collins concert
#22: see the 9/11 memorial in NYC
#23: swim with dolphins
#24: go to Las Vegas
#25: drive a red mustang
#26: go to a drive in movie
#27: sumo wrestler suit fight!
#28: race someone in a motorized shopping cart
#29: black Friday shop
#30: go to a Kentucky Derby

13 thoughts on “WHITNEY, STEP UP TO THE MIC

  1. I hope you get to cross everything off and have a great time with your adventures. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks Matt for letting Whitney share her dreams here.

  2. Don’t do #5 in Michigan. You may get pulled over by the police. lol Also do #26 soon before all the drive in theaters are absolete ! Have fun and be safe!

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