Just a small town girl. Living in a lonely world. She took a minibus going anywhere. It ripped off her toenail.*

That’s not where I meant to go when I started writing that sentence but there it is.

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I had a drink on top of that building at the highest bar in the world with some of my best friends during a storm. leeeeeeedge.

I sing that all the time because I say this all the time but I didn’t realize how much of a small town kind of girl I was until I moved to Hong Kong. I became the living definition of “country mouse” as I was easily startled, darting through the streets, trying (and failing) to avoid all the humans, and did a fair bit of squeaking those first few weeks  months.

Hong Kong specifically and Asia in general had never been a part of whatever vague plan my fever dream that is life was spinning out. Yet here I am at 34 years old, staring down the barrel of the last few months before I turn 35, the deadline for the wishlist of accomplishments I’d drafted for myself at 30, and wondering if I really do have a chance at completing it.

In order to do this, I will have to exert the kind of focus I haven’t tapped into since I completed my teaching certification while also teaching middle school Latin, leading worship, coaching volleyball, creating a drama club, maintaining a serious relationship, and cheering the SF Giants into two World Series. I need a nap after writing that sentence. Yikes.

hot mess mugBut I am pretty determined. I don’t have a boyfriend, I’m not in school, I don’t have kids, my only plant is an aloe that is very independent so I really don’t have much of an excuse for not following through on this. Therefore I’m publishing this blog as a sort of call to accountability. This “book” is going to be a collection of travel stories and personal stories that I’ve already written, so the material is there, and now I need to mine for spelling and grammar errors, change names when necessary, and work on producing something not totally embarrassing, because contrary to what you might think, there are lines I will not cross and stories I will not tell. I have yet to find many of them, but will let you know when I do.

I’ve already accomplished a lot on my original “thirtyfiveby35” list. The most memorable probably being all the travel, the penguin selfies,

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…and otter selfies!

meeting someone famous, learning languages and eating weird foods. And it’s tempting to tell myself ‘that’ll do, pig, that’ll do.’ But my strongest bone is my competitive bone so. Onward.

If you’re interested in being a cheerleader on my quest, here are the other things I have left to finish on the list. Feel free to invite yourself to join me as I attempt to:

  • Complete this list. – I KNOW IT SOUNDS LIKE CHEATING but I am a firm believer that every to do list should start with something you can accomplish.
  • Memorize 5 songs on the guitar (leave your requests with the deejay)
  • Write the child I sponsor through Compassion International at least once a month. (three more months to go!)
  • Buy the person behind me a coffee.
  • ReRead all the Jane Austen books. (Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey left to read)
  • Make a pie or cake from scratch.
  • Lose 40 pounds. (25 more to go)
  • Keep a plant alive for a year. (the aforementioned aloe just needs to stay with me until March!)
  • Get 300,000 hits on this blog. (about 25K left to go)
  • See a sunrise on purpose, not getting up for work, not on a plane. (i find mornings hard)
  • Blog everyday for a month.
  • Write 1000 blogs. (67% done as of Sept 2018)
  • See 15 concerts/live music performances. (6 more to go)
  • Go on a horseback ride and not cry. (So. A semi-secret. I’m terrified of horses.)
  • Attend a multi-day/weekend music fest. (Clockenflap 2018 oughta do it)
  • Give up restaurants and food delivery for a month.
  • Read the Bible all the way through again. (about 64% done. Reading it chronologically and stuck in Ezekial and want to cry)
  • Complete 1000 Yelp reviews. (57% done)

Right on. Write on. Asdfghjkl okay lets do this.

*toenail story is oh so true and I will send you pictures. It became infected. I took antibiotics. My knees still go weak thinking about it.