Today's blog post was inspired by the Sassy Curmudgeon's 30 things she is glad she did NOT do before 30. I thought to myself... "Self, you are feeling kind of down in the dumps.. why don't you try to cheer yourself up?" Sooo boys and girls.. that's what I am going to attempt to do.
With that - I am going to come up with 50 things that I think were super cool that I have accomplished!
50 things I think are REALLY cool that I have accomplished (and why!)
1. Learned to tie my shoes. I am serious. Don't roll your eyes. Do you friggin' remember how hard it was to learn to tie your shoes? I do. It took me years before I learned the double knot system.
2. Learn to ride a bike. I remember it like it was yesterday, trying over and over attempting to ride around this playground. I started around 8am and did not accomplish my goal until the sun was setting. It was my first time discovering that by trial and error - you WILL figure things out eventually. I was 8.
3. Standing up to a bully. My sister and I were fishing with cane poles (yes, a sign of a southern girl) at Crystal Lake. These two girls kept following us for days, every time we chose to take a walk around this lake. Finally - the stand off happened. I looked at my sister and said, " I see those girls are coming back. Just ignore them, I will handle this." One of them - names Carla - approached me and threatend me. Her sidekick, Wendy, was standing behind her threatening us. I was 10, my sister was 6. I turned around, all 4 '11 of me and told those girls to leave us alone. Guess what - it worked. It was all talk. Lesson learned.
4. Moving up to an advance class in Ballet and getting my pointe shoes (or toe shoes.) Since I was a little girl and I saw the Sugar Plum fairy flutter across the Grand Opera House - those pretty pink satin shoes were all I wanted. I still remember the day!
5. Learning to roller skate backwards. Man.. it's the little things, okay? Seriously important - what if a cute boy wanted to couple skate? PS - it never happened. :-(
6. Not fainting during my first kiss! Yes, I thought I would NEVER have the nerve to kiss a boy. It took one young man (who I never saw again.. oh my word.. does it make it a one night stand - middle school style?? lol) My friends and I were at a teen dance club called Guidos - and yes, this little boy just layed one on me. I think I lost my breathe. hahahahaha.
7. Perfecting a Tour Jete. I knew as soon as I circled the dance floor and felt myself take air, then landed gracefully - I was hooked for life. (PS - still a favorite dance move I like to perform when I am home alone. ;-) )
8. Surviving and getting over my first heart break. And maaaannnnn.. did I pick a bad boy to break my heart. I was 14, he was 16 or 17 - (His name was Jason) and man oh man...
Looking back, I am sooo glad he broke up with me. I would not do things with him other girls would... so he left me. I always thought (when I was young) he was the boy I wanted to marry. LOL Soooo glad I did not. He is quite the "loser" now. ;-)
9. Passing for 18 with a fake id at Flaming Sally's. (Does that bring back memories??) I used my friend, Dedra's driver licence to get into this bar. PS - she is waay taller and had blonde hair. LOL To me.. at 17, that was pretty cool.
10. Winning a little Georgia Theater Conference competition with my theater peeps. John Jones was our director and we had one hell of a good one act play - "The Second Best Bed."
11. Learning to drive a 5 speed manual car. I wanted a car so bad at 16, and my parents refused to buy one for me. I had a part time job at JC Penny and made a total of $100 a week. I found an old man who sold me his 1978 Toyota Corolla (it was 1990) for $100 a month for 12 months. It was a 4 speed (not even 5.) I had to get it home.. so I put the petal to the metal and taught myself to drive the thing. I went from Pio Nono Ave to Spring Meadow Drive. By the time I got home, I had it all figured out.
12. Winning "Best Witness" at our Mock Trial Competition in High School. I can't remember who we were competing against - but apparently it was a really tough high school. I played a Clinical Psychologist - and won!!
12. Representing Israel in the "Special Political Committee" for the state's Model United Nations. Talk about walking into a cess pool of debate! Learned some pretty cool skills at that competition and our team walked away with honorable mention.
13. Getting confirmed at church.
14. Having the coolest flower in the world for prom. I wore a black dress and I told my boyfriend of the time, Allen, that I wanted a black orchid. That boy found one. Seriously - coolest flower to the day!
15. Surviving the never ending stair case at Mammoth Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I was NEVER afraid of heights until my trip to the cave - which happens to be the largest in the world. The cave was so large, at one point we had to climb stairs that were sort of like spiral.. these stairs went really, really high. At one point - I stopped, looked down, and could not see the floor. I stood frozen in place. Yes my friends.. every since, I have issues with climbing stairs that you can see through.
16. My introduction to a completely different "alternative" world. My friend, Heather (in high school), took me to her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida for spring break. Heather was a bit "alternative" (at the time that's what we called it.. basically followed alternative music... pre-goth, etc.) Anyway - she introduced me to new music, new clothes, a whole new world! LOL
17. Surviving a trek by Greyhound from Macon, Georgia to Dallas, Texas to visit my friend Wendy. 30 hours on a bus, alone, at 19. (First time going that far away from home, alone.)
18. My first flight on a 173 Cessna. Dave Burn got me, Brad and I think Janice to fly in this tiny little plane. It was like riding in an old Volkswagen bug that is not pressurized. Lord have mercy.
19. Sleeping under the stars on top of War Woman mountain next to a camp fire, surrounded by really good friends from college. Merri invited a big group of us up to go camping in the North Georgia mountains. Once we got there, I realized we did not have tents. I was a little freaked, but settled into it. Slept under the stars next to a warm fire. (Note- if you have never slept to a fire, please realize you will wake up with a yellow face. lol)
20. Hiking Pine Mountain - (the entire mountain trail) in one weekend. Yes, the most "strenuous" thing I have ever done is go backpacking with my boyfriend, Brad, and a few other "adventure therapy" major. We hiked in 7 miles, camped.. then hiked 18 miles.. camped.. then hiked out 12 miles. I thought I would die. The pack was soooooo heavy .. at one point.. I dropped to my knees and said - I CANNOT do this any more. But somehow I pulled myself up and did it. LOTS of hills, small amount of throwing a pack up on some rocks and pulling yourself up. But man - the views were spectacular in October.
21. The first time I ever got really really drunk. I don't know if I would call it the "coolest" thing I have done.. but it is something I will never forget. My friends and I were at a Phi Delt party, and one of my new friends (I was a freshman) Mike Rachels (he was a senior) insisted that I learn to drink beer. I said it grossed me out. He taught me to throw the suds to the back of my throat. I did. I drank a total of two beers.. and tried to walk to the bathroom. LOL. I remember thinking I would fall over, I was sooooo dizzy. hahahahaa. Funny... two beers, out of a plastic cup was all it tool. Cheap drunk.
22. Going across the monkey bridge (rope bridge) over sweet water creek - walking backwards and blind folded. Oh yeah.. I did it. hahahaha. Quite the dare devil at one time.
23. Okay - some of my friends from Crystal Lake might remember this... Remember the Case of tracking down the devil worshippers??? That's all I have to say. hahahaha.
24. Ending one wild and crazy night in Milledgeville at a local bar - by suggesting all of our friends go and watch the sunset on the beach. A big group of us ended up on Tybee Island drinking champagne and watching the sun rise. (We drove almost 3.5 hours.) After it rose.. we drove back. ahhhaa.
25. One crazy Sunday night in college, a big group of us were at our friend Elizabeth's house hanging out.. and we ran out of beer. Matt Ostrander had a military base pass - so we drove almost 2 hours to Robins Air Force Base to purchase a case of beer, then drive back to college. (If you did not know.. alcohol is not sold in Georgia in Sundays, but apparently on a military base it is.)
26. I remember another crazy night my friend Wendy and my friend Brad decided we would drive from our college (we decide this at 3am at a bar) to Jekyll Island to see our friend Trent. Wendy loads us into her car, we drive the 4 hours or so down and as soon as we get on the island, her car breaks down. We end up talking the one mechanic on the island to fix it for free, and we also talk one of the hotels into letting us stay there. 3 days later - we were rescued from the island. lol
27. Graduating from college on Saturday. Starting my internship at a tv station on a Monday. three month later my internship ends on a Friday and I get hired to work as the Midday and 5pm News Producer on Monday. BLESSING and rare.
28. Earning my first Georgia Association of Broadcaster's award.
29. Earning my first Associated Press Award.
30. Having truly one of the most beautiful catholic weddings with hundreds of people. (Unfortunately the marriage was not as beautiful.)
31. Snorkeling with the manatee in Crystal River Florida. (They are going extinct.)
32. Flying in a helicopter. YIKES!
33. Taking a super intense Vampire Tour in New Orleans. Pretty Cool.
34. Dancing and Flirting with Army Rangers in Savannah.
35. Going through an Ice Hockey phase - attending all of the games, sitting on the ice, consuming large quantities and beer and.. well.. dating a few players. Telisa and I had excellent times!
36. Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in November and seeing the Biltmore Estate.
37. Taking a sleeping car on the train to Washington DC to celebrate Veteran's Day.
38. Peering out over the Empire State Building.
39. Leaving the Battery in NYC and randomly browsing the buildings in the financial district. I began to smell smoke.. walked a little further, passed Trinity Church, saw Century 21 and noticed smoke rising from the surrounding areas - it was March (after 9/11) and the buildings were still smoking. Very moving moment that I "happened" upon.
40. Speaking of my first trip to NYC - getting of the train at Penn Station - walking up the walkway to finally set foot in the city, and seeing the walls lined with "Missing" posters, etc of the victims of 9/11.
41. Waking up my first morning in Egypt, peering out the window and actually seeing the pyramids of Giza outside.
42. Taking a romantic walk by the Mediterranean Sea with the man who would become my husband.
43. Participating in a muslim wedding ceremony.
44. Opening my home to 14 exchange students from 2000 - 2007. Thailand, Spain, Belgium, Italy, France, Moldova, Germany, Iraq, Australia, Columbia, Brazil, Cambodia.. all of these cultures were a part of my home for a long period of time. I brought the world to me.
45. Being a "Big Sister" to a bi-racial child that was the daughter of a crack-whore and her father was a drug dealer. She lived in Pleasant Hill. I did my best to spend time with her, and show her a different world.
46. Driving past Mohammad Ali's castle on the way to the Cairo Airport.
47. Walking through Alexander the Great's Castle.
48. Sitting and have a two hour conversation with a woman who only spoke arabic, and I - only english.
49. Having that adorable niece of mine look up at me with her big blue eyes and say, "I luv you Ant Cole."
50. Sitting her as I write this - and glancing across the room, and realizing I love that man.. even when he makes me mad. LOL ;-)
PS - Of course, there is so much more - like meeting the President, getting a private tour of the capital (behind the scenes when in DC), meeting someone who I think "may" have been an angel, surviving meningitus, surviving a cancer scare... soooo many things. But these things... the 50 above - are things I remember fondly. Maybe one day I will make a list of things that really changed my life. But today, was just the "coooool" things.. in my opinion. Sure.. there are tons more.. but that would be slightly "self involved' don't cha think? ;-)