50 Goals to Achieve Before 50, As Observed by an Anxious Twenty Something

  1. Be able to figure “it” all out.
  2. Be able to sit down and tell you what “it” is.
  3. “It” will not be my love life.
  4. “It” will not be my career.
  5. “It” will not be my fitness goals.
  6. “It” will not be my insatiable restlessness or improbable desire to go everywhere from the comfort of my own bed.
  7. “It” will not be the grand master scheme, the raison d’etre, the think-therefore-I-am.
  8. “It” will not be my cat.
  9. “It” will not be my family.
  10. Make “It” a good thing.
  11. Be able to point to the horrible black hole in my mind that’s anxiety, and be able to pick up a giant toilet plunger and dig out everything that’s driving me insane. What I dig out of the black hole will include: shit, hope that sometime soon some immeasurable force will crush me and I will no longer have to live in a constant state of terror, fear of the monster under the bed, fear of snakes. Fear of dying alone and unloved, fear of being forgotten. Fear of abandonment. Fear of life. Fear of death. Fear of love.
  12. There will be a lot that gets pulled out of the black hole. But eventually it’ll empty out and have to close.
  13. “It” will not be my inexplicable love and hatred of food.
  14. Learn how to make a magic wand that makes all the Bad Things go away. I’ll carry the wand around in my purse, and only take it out for the most dire of occasions: faulty elections, food poisoning, family fights, loves lost, broken hearts.
  15. All of my dresses will have pockets, so that there will never be a moment where I am left wondering what to do with my hands.
  16. Be able to wave goodbye without smacking my hand against something (or someone).
  17. Like, get a job or something?
  18. Enjoy said job.
  19. Sort of enjoy said job.
  20. Maybe just be proud of said job. Go to said job every morning with the intention of winning. Think, as I am entering the workspace for said job, “I’m doing a good thing here. This could be sort of cool in the long run.”
  21. Be excited about said job.
  22. Be so excited about said job that it eventually turns into a career, even if the word “career” sounds like a huge commitment, a commitment that far exceeds my teaspoon-sized commitment range.
  23. Have a commitment range that is larger than a teaspoon.
  24. Embrace the fact that I live my life swimming, basking even, in coffee cups and teaspoons.
  25. In fact, outright measure my achievements in units of coffee cups and teaspoons — small accomplishment=1 tsp of cheer. Big accomplishment= 1 cup cheer. Huge accomplishment = flood.
  26. Be ok with crying.
  27. Be ok after crying.
  28. Talk less.
  29. Smile more.
  30. Write day and night, like I’m running out of time.
  31. Never run out of time.
  32. Or at least, never feel like I’m running out of time.
  33. Screw “It.” I can do something better with my life.
  34. Conquer the world.
  35. Or at least, a small island off the coast of Gibraltar.
  36. Maybe just a beach on a small island off the coast of Gibraltar.
  37. Or maybe just a rock.
  38. Or maybe even just a grain of sand.
  39. Win someone’s heart by presenting the conquered grain of sand as an exchange for love, life, and commitment that encompasses a range larger than a teaspoon.
  40. Understand why the phrase “Off the Coast of Gibraltar” rolls off the tongue so easily.
  41. Know what it means to be happy. Not high, not ecstatic, not safe, not comfortable — happy. Alone and unafraid.
  42. Have changed my mind so many times that I’m positive I’ve come to make the right decisions, even if those decisions were evaluated in teaspoon-sized pieces, until the whole came to be so huge that it was impossible to see from the ground.
  43. Believe in good.
  44. Read pretty things, see pretty things, hear pretty things. Surround myself with pretty things, so when the ugly seeps through my well-constructed wall of beauty, I can clean it up and appreciate what exists in my world.
  45. Sweep the floor once a week, no matter where I am and who I’m with.
  46. Hold onto good.
  47. Not need a GPS to find the grocery store two blocks down from where I’ve been living for the last year and a half.
  48. Stay alive.
  49. Keep fighting.
  50. Be good.