In the 2006 blog posts I'm currently editing, I found a life to-do list. I like to look back at these lists when I stumble across them and make written notes about what I've actually done, what I'd still like to do, and what no longer interests me on the list.
Things I Could Do To Improve My Life
As in, make it different, exciting, more interesting and theoretically, worthwhile.
1. Get information about and apply to programs to teach English in Berlin; live in and work in Berlin for a couple of years. Or another German city. I don't want to do this anymore.
2. Apply to Study Abroad in Delhi Never happened. Maybe I'll at least visit India someday.
3. Quit school, find a job and move outside of Jersey, like to Boston, one of the Carolinas, South Florida, or out West. Uh, I don't know about the "quit school" part, but at least I finished the last part.
4. Apply to the MFA program in Creative Writing at Iowa. And Sarah Lawrence, NYU, Emerson, and any other schools with a good reputation for their MFA program. Does MPA count?
5. Learn Spanish and apply to Teach for America in schools in the Southwest. Also not interested in this anymore.
6. Join Americorps and hope for a position with something environmental, preferably related to botany. Hmm...
7. Train and hike at least half of the Appalachian Trail. HMMM....
8. Run away to France, mooch off of my family and move from house to house as each cousin-once-removed gets sick of me, until I become fluent in French (right now I have a perfect accent, but weak vocabulary), get dual citizenship, find a job, and live in some remote countryside village, hiding from my old life and working on my writing. I hope I knew, even in 2006, that this was a bad idea.
But of course I am afraid to live so far away, worried about how much time learning Spanish would take away from my studies of botany, unsure if my German is good enough to live abroad, and unable to make the time to work on my portfolio. Oh, and #7--I currently walk half an hour on a sidewalk every day, and I've never gone backpacking. The last time I camped was in a tent with an electrical outlet and indoor plumbing.
The least I could do is some smaller version of these. There is no good reason behind me not making the time to:
1. Take a photography class at the community college. Never happened!
2. Take extra time at Rutgers getting a certificate in Medicinal and Economic Botany, since a lot of the courses would overlap with my major. Hooray! I did that!
3. See about getting certified through that German proficiency thing at RU...it may only be one or two extra classes, and it may help me in the future to have some official documentation that I can speak, read, and write in German. Hmm, maybe I could try to do this at PSU or something. I did look into it at Rutgers, but it required way too much coursework.
4. Take a not-for-credit creative writing workshop somewhere.
5. OR just work on my damn portfolio! How hard is it!?
6. Start listening to the Learn In Your Car Spanish CDs that the library has. I still have (perfectly legal) copies of them.
7. Improve my French (just find my old grammar books and skim them or something!) and visit my cousins-once-removed. I did this...in 2007.
8. Hike, in woods or at least hilly paved streets, after work. This is always my goal, to make daily walking a part of my routine. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. When I was unemployed, I frequently walked about three miles a day.