12:30 AM

In 10 days I will be turning 29 and  I will start my 30 before 30 list. I wrote a post about this plan last month and I have in constant check with myself if I should publish this list or not. I guess you knew what prevailed because you are reading this one now. Like I said before and I will say it once more this list is meant to hopefully make me a better, happier, more fulfilled, and more whole person by the age of 30 when I officially become an adult (age-wise). I considered my time (just by how fast a day passes). I considered that my bank account is not bottomless, not spend-all-you-can (I am not a gazillionaire nor a commoner turned royal after all). I also considered that I have a regular job and that I am a critical part of it.


1. Learn to speak a foreign language. I am still torn between French and Spanish but I'll figure it out before June ends. I just need to check which school (Instituto de Cervantes or Alliance Francaise) offers a better schedule. After all, my shift at work is still my priority.

2. Read at least 30 books. This may seem easy but because of my crazy working hours this could be a potential challenge. Something I may not even be successful at but of course I will still try. I have seven unopened books and I could start from there.

3. Go on a blind date with someone I hardly know. This is probably the riskiest of everything written in this list but you know me I will try anything once (well, not exactly anything but this sounds challenging and exciting). Whatever happens during this date will surely be something worthy of a post (God forbid I end up dead!).

4. Catch a ride in a hot air balloon. This I could do during the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta on February in Subic. I hope I could find time.

5. Master a few fancy dinner recipes. This one is easy. The hard part is making the food and let someone critic it. I have already talked to one person who would willingly critic my cooking so I am halfway through the battle.

6. Revive my old income and expense tracker. I should, for the most part, be financially secure at this point. I am kind of secure already but I need to be more organized.

7. Go vegetarian for one (1) month. This I haven't tried all my life so I guess this is worth a try. Vegans who read my blog, please give me some tips on how to go about this. I can't eat an egg, right?

8. Open a checking account. Just because! :-)

9. Watch the cherry blossoms bloom. I have the choice to watch it in either South Korea or Japan. I have yet to research on this so I can perfectly time my trip.

10. Learn how to use my camera in manual mode. I have owned my Panasonic Lumix camera for more than a year already but I have not mastered the use of the manual mode. I have always relied on the automatic mode and that's cheating. Haha! I should maximize this baby before I finally ditch it.

11. Go on a vacation alone. This I haven't done yet because I am scared of traveling alone. I guess this is the perfect year to do something as brazen as this.

12. Take pole dancing lessons. Does Youtube instructional video count? Nah, I need to enroll in a formal class and see if this would indeed help strengthen my core.

13. Lose at most 30 pounds. I will not expound any further but you get the idea.

14. Run a half-marathon. I have wanted to do this since I started running but fear always gets the best of me. I know the only key thing to do is to train and train and train. Let's get this done once and for all this year.

15. Encourage at least five people to start their own blog. This one I could do with people at work and some friends. I have already done encouraging my friend Eddene and she has started her own blog featuring her experiences in her new playground, Singapore.

16. Write a book. Maybe fiction or my life story. The thing is I just need to get my creative juices flowing and create something I'll be proud of for the rest of my life.

17. Adopt a kid for a day and play mommy. This one I should do. This could potentially be a double-edged sword actually - either I would want to have my own kid or postpone the want to have one.

18. Build a strong emergency fund. This doesn't need any more explaining, is it?

19. Backup my files and organize my photos. My file system is not at all organized right now so I need to come up with an ingenious system to store the photos and delete all that aren't meant to be saved and shared.

20. Balance my input (reading, watching, learning) with my output (creating, giving, leading). I know this isn't a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) goal as I would not know how to exactly measure it. Maybe I will just play it by ear and just check the output. Or maybe I will just take a good long look at myself when the last day of this challenge is due.

21. Kiss in the rain! This is not easy as I need another person to make this happen. However, if I happen to find a good candidate then this should be easy. We just need to be in a place with ample rain. Haha!

22. Pay back my parents. I know I don't have any legal debt to my parents but I should at least send them off to a vacation. I must save for this. If my mom is reading my blog, she better get her passport now so I can make this happen. If my dad is reading my blog, he better get his passport renewed.

23. Start a business. No matter how trivial it is. My goal is to earn 100% ROI. Maybe I should sell some cigarettes at work? I'd be rich for sure! Haha! Just kidding. I do not support smoking nor do I condone it. I verbally tell the supervisors reporting to me to stop the habit. I have been there and I was able to quit and clean for almost 4 years now so it shouldn't be a big problem for them.

24. Grow something. Whether it is a houseplant, a tomato, or a rose shrub, plant a seed, and watch it grow. After some feeding and watering, my hard work should be rewarded in the form of a shoot.

25. Give someone a birthday cake every month. To the lucky recipients, I hope you will be surprised. Birthdays are fun and with all the surprises I have been getting at work every day, I think it is time to pay it forward.

26. Watch a live ballet recital. I have a soft spot for ballet and this should be an easy task. I just need to find time, and make sure to secure front row tickets.

27. Watch Cirque du Soleil live. This will be my birthday gift for myself. I will be watching the Varekai show when they perform live here in Manila from June to July.

28. Organize a charitable auction at work. Proceeds will be donated to a chosen charity. I have been thinking about this as of late that's why I included it in this list. I hope I can make this happen.

29. Seek and spread inspiration. This item is something I need to nurture and keep on working at even after I am not 30 anymore.

30. Be happy! This last item is one that I vow to keep working at as well. I know I am generally a happy person but sometimes when self-pity kicks in I forget to be happy. I should rather learn to count my blessings rather than wallow in sadness almost too often.

At last, the list is finally done. Do you think this is challenging enough? If you want me to do something in exchange of any on the list, what would it be? Let me know...

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