20 things I will do

I had a teacher last year who forced us to write 20 things we will do in our lifetime. Looking back, it was one of the best assignments I had ever completed. It was a list that made you really think about what you aspire to be and what you truly want out of the life you were given. I still have the sheet of paper that I wrote my list on – it hangs above my desk so I can read it each and every day. It is my inspiration to keep going; because of that, I decided to share my list with you. Here it is:

1. Ride an elephant

2. Eat a meal that I don’t think I would usually try, such as escargot.

3. Swim with sea turtles (COMPLETED!)

4. Study abroad

5. Be able to say “I made it – I’m accomplished.”

6. Change someone’s perspective

7. Have a son and name him Luke

8. Have a daughter and teach her what it is like to always love

9. Get a tattoo

10. Visit every continent, including Antarctica

11. Write a short story

12. Learn how to dance

13. Win an award

14. Fall in love with a man and have a ridiculously happy wedding

15. Have a chalkboard wall in my house and cover it with quotes that I love

16. Give my time to those less fortunate than I

17. Have a conversation with someone who is homeless; make them laugh

18. Go on a spontaneous trip with someone I love

19. Make enough money to take my Dad on a trip with me

20. Find a way to prove to him that I love him, and make him proud of me.

21. Adopt a dog from the humane society (multiple dogs are okay too)

22. Buy my mom and stepdad a very expensive bottle of wine, then sit down and drink the entire thing with them

I know I had a couple more than 20, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a lot of goals! I encourage you all to write your own lists, and if you do, send me the link! I would love to read them. This truly is one of the best ways to really reflect and get to know yourself a little bit better.


Prompt: What is in the sky?

Have you ever wondered what is contained in the stars above you? It was said in a legend long ago that each star was an ancestor; another said that each one was a king or a queen or a leader of some sorts. To move into contemporary legends, some say that the stars are other life forms living among us… watching us. If you asked a practical person, such as a scientist, what stars are, they would explain to you that they are simply just collections of gas in space.

I feel as though the question “what is in the sky?” is more complex than it looks. If you take the time to think about it, you will come to realize that many things are up above us. The first things you will think of will be the most visible, such as birds and clouds, or the moon and the stars; however there are also conceptual items that seem to be in the mass of the unknown, such as prayers, sorrows, wishes, and even a higher power who controls the world in which we live.

For those of you that believe in a God, you know that when prayers are said, they are always sent up – never down – because up is where the heavens lie, and down is where despair awaits. You also know that your God is far above the clouds, invisible to the human eye, way beyond where our galaxy dares to reach. To ask for a blessing, you beg the planets and the stars to align in a fashion that brings you what you wish for. Everything that you ask for is sent to a place in the sky with hopes that something miraculous will be sent back down to you.

As for sorrows, people often use the phrase “letting go”. Whether letting go is acted out in a physical manner, such as writing down your burdens on a Chinese lantern and watching it float on into the sky, or figuratively, such as taking a deep breath and allowing your troubles be exhaled to a place beyond your reach, you are pushing something away from you in an upwards manner. As people, we feel the need to have balance in our lives, and it is believed that the sky brings that feeling of relief to us.

If I can bring you back to the image of stars for a moment – have you noticed that the number of stars visible is different in every part of the world? In America, you see quite a few, yet in the populated areas of China you see next to none, and then in Canada it seems as though the sky is lit up with glowing freckles because of the millions on millions of stars that you can see. If one of the legends is correct, that the stars truly are our ancestors whom have gone before us, then does that mean that one area has more than another?

I don’t want to seem as though I am full of ignorance. I know that pollution and gasses and such affect the visibility of the sky above us, but just think with me for a minute; pretend those facts don’t exist. Perhaps the places with the most stars are where our ancestors feel the most at home. I believe that I would much rather look out at the mountains for eternity instead of a busy city.

So if you were to ask me what I believe is in the sky, I would tell you so much more than the stars and the moon and the planets and the birds. I would tell you that everything I have ever dreamed, every prayer I have ever said, every wish I have ever made at 11:11 and every burden I have ever pushed away from me. Part of me is up in the sky above me, as is part of every other organism here on this earth, and maybe after we finish our time here, we will be reconnected with our lost pieces up above.

Troo Kidd Pan

Story time! I have had quite a few major events occur in the past couple of days. However, if you know the slightest bit about me, you’d know that great events lead to great stories to share. So that is what I’m doing today, giving you a piece of what I have been able to experience.

So to begin, let me tell you about this girl I recently befriended.

To me, her name is Troo, because that is how she introduced herself. Troo Kidd Pan. The first conversation was exhilarating; I had never spoken to someone filled with so much excitement. She was like a bottle of champagne, waiting to burst into happy bubbles. She is spontaneous – she’s one of those girls that refuses to let silences occur. She fills empty space with irrelevant words that lead to hour long conversations.

I should probably explain how this Troo girl and I met. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was accepted into DePaul University – my dream school. A group chat flared up and quite a few people were swallowed by the flames. Two of those people were Troo and I. We have been talking constantly for weeks now. It’s incredible how close two people can become in that short amount of time.

You see, Troo lives a lifestyle much different than mine. For one, she is dating a girl who is deployed halfway around the world. They hardly get to talk, and she’s in love with her. Second, she has an autistic little brother. She was forced to grow up much more quickly than I in order to help take care of her family. She had to push her own emotions inside and throw herself out into the real world.

Troo stands for “trooper”. I cannot think of a better name for this girl. In the past few weeks, I have been taught that distance does not mean a thing – love can exist over oceans and mountains if you have faith in it. I have seen her strengths and weaknesses, I have supported her through a break down and I have committed myself to at least four years of true friendship.

I find it quite humorous that we have become so close without meeting each other – it’s interesting how face to face contact does not mean as much as it used to. Troo knows that much more than I though, because her superwoman and her can only talk via the internet. I love learning more and more about their relationship – it is definitely one that requires trust and strength.

This girl is going to go far one day, because at 17 years old she has life experiences that some 40 year olds don’t. I can’t wait to become better friends and to learn from her because Troo Kidd Pan has so much to share.

You have five minutes to explain this picture…

In eighth grade english I was shown a picture. A lightbulb turned on, and a lightbulb turned off. A fairly simple photo. I was told (by my all time favorite teacher) to write down my thoughts about it in five minutes. The expected response was a couple paragraphs; my response was a couple pages. 

Allow me to share my thoughts (in summary form): 

This picture represents life and death. The lightbulb turned on is life, and the other, death. I have come to this conclusion because a lit up lightbulb is portrayed to represent an idea. It also represents energy. Those two coincide quite well. You see, without ideas, we, as people, have no energy. Without ideas, there is no motivation to get up and do something, no inspiration to make a change. Also consider, without energy, there is an extreme lack of motive to even attempt to form an idea. You need both for them to exist. They are a team. Ideas and energy make up life, because nothing would happen if someone didn’t have them.  This simple photo of a lit up lightbulb represents the light of humanity and everything our minds bring. 

The lightbulb shut off represents death, but not in the literal sense. Without ideas and energy, a person does not simply die off. That’s not how the world works. It represents the death of the mind. Without your own ideas, you become a follower. You become brainwashed by what society tells you. There is no opinion on what is right and wrong, it’s just what everybody else does. This shut off lightbulb represents how people can wither away without their own original thoughts. They become nothing, useless to the world. A potential bright light that unexpectedly flickers out. 

These thoughts seem quite complex for an eighth grade girl, but that’s how most of my writing was. It was that class that I realized how much words mean to a person. It was there that I learned how to let myself go, how to rid of any troubles I may have had. Where I realized that writing was a passion. 

I will never forget that photo. It means so much to me. This photo motivates me to continue to be that beam of light, and to inspire those on the verge of flickering out. 



light bulbs