All I Want To Do is Dream and Do.

I spent the last two hours writing, erm, thumbing what I want to do for the next few years of my life. Inspired by a blog I got to know through C, this blog chronicles the writer's list of things to do, why she wants it, and how she will do it. It's kinda like those lists that say 100 Things Before I Die, with the difference of an identified deadline. And I think the deadline makes it so much better than just stating a period of life as 'before I die.'

My mantra for 2010. Don't stop.

And so began a series of witty quips, laughs and tears over roasted hot dogs and two bottles of beer of what we wanted to do in the next years of our lives. Since we all were in different ages, some even over 30, we figured we were going to give ourselves a bit more than a year for a deadline so we could go through them together. And the other rule? Put it somewhere out in the public, and endure humiliation if we don't get to do all of it. Or at least die trying.

Presenting, Tara's 26 by 26 (only because I'm turning 25 this year), some of the things I would have to have done by November 20th of 2011, some I've always wanted to do and ticked off, too, in no particular order.

1. Go to New York City, and see a broadway show, amongst many, many things. STATUS: I am doing the first step to doing this dream in a few short days and my toes are all curling in excitement and I need all the well-wishes I need for this. TIA! When I tried my luck the last time, I can distinctly remember not having this utmost, almost feverish passion as I have now. And being a believer of the universe and its powers, I know that one will get something, anything, if one wants it that bad. And I want it, THIS bad.

STATUS: The first time I cemented my desire to go to the Big Apple was two months ago and I can't believe I'm actually taking the first step this week. *wiggles in excitement*

All it took was the official soundtrack to get things moving.
One hand in the air for the big city!

2. Create and not touch an emergency fund. CHECK

I always preach about building emergency funds and sure I have a bit of money lying around for rainy days, or you know, spontaneous I-only-have-30-minutes-to-be-on-the-airport trips, but it's not exactly the kind of account that can get me through if I ever decide to live somewhere random, like Sydney or .. Barcelona.

STATUS: Done :) And more.

3. Tell someone I like/love him. CHECK. And this is on the context when you're unsure of the status of your relationship. This, apparently, is a tough thing to do for me. I don't know if it's because I really like this guy or because I'm just a chicken-head, gutless person. Or both. And in the course of all the thinking, wondering what kind of reaction or answer you're going to get, prepare to save face when you don't and don't forget to go in full battle gear: a pretty, rockin', I-am-a-woman dress, sky-high heels, a flawless face and the most charming perfume you can find {I personally choose Daisy by Marc Jacobs} -- a rule I have adopted from my friend T.

4. Cook a five-course meal and eat with someone I love. I have never produced a five-course meal for anyone in my entire life and it would be a great honor to be able to do this for my parents, before I turn 26. First step to undertake: Read recipes, go to the market, PRACTICE.
STATUS: I still have not cooked anything. Still have not set foot in the market and still yet to touch our stove. 

UPDATE: Somebody has been in the kitchen ALL the time. And since I was alone when I cooked, I just brought the food to the office to share.

5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. I am the most insecure person I know. Or used to, at least, but still not perfect. I am proud of being able to grow up so much in the last two years, all with the help of the people around me, people whose blogs I read, and people who impart so much wisdom in every day life. Truthfully, the job I have lets me meet the most amazing people, however I never get starstruck with uber-famous people. I get this amazing high from simple, real people whose courage are all bigger than their lives, who've shown compassion to me, a stranger. I can remember the Mexican guy who sat with me on the AM568 flight, listing all the tequila and drinks I've had to try in Cancun, the mom and daughter who cliff-dove in the Yucatan Peninsula hand in hand, the newly-married couple from Calgary whose ambitions burned brightly in the musty afternoon ride we shared going to Xplor, or that old Mexican lady from Monterrey who didn't speak a word of English but nevertheless tucked me in my blanket and woke me up during feeding time on the way to Tokyo. These people somehow color my insecurities {every single traveler does it to me}, shows me what I cannot do but so far, I'm learning to get more and more inspired with all their good will.
STATUS: I think I am not 100% whole on this project but I can tell I've improved vastly in the last two years.I can tell I'm not so insecure as before, I've been learning the process of shutting my mouth up when I'm about to say something counter-bitchy. So, yay me!

6. Visit a foreign city on my own and not just on a layover. I have so many plans of travel for this year that I don't know which part I would actually be able to do this. Oh well, there is always 2011 and I am certain I can do this for it doesn't have to be somewhere far. HK on my own sounds amazing, yeah? I did go to Canada and Japan for one day. On my own. I did the same for Amsterdam, too.

7. Reconnect with an old friend. In 2004, I met one of the wisest people in my life. She was probably twice my age but was one of the coolest, smartest people I know. In 2006, we had a friendship fallout due to thesis class {she never finished college until then because life happened, how cool is that?} and many many times since, I've wanted to reconnect with her, find out how she is now, talk to her about the most mundane things of life and see if my hope that life be good to her did happen.

STATUS: We've reconnected again, hung out several times and caught up on all those years.
8. Learn Spanish. I have two reasons for having this on the list. a) Spanish, IMO, will always be the hottest, sexiest language in my own little world, caliente. And b) My native language, Filipino, is a distant cousin of this so it should be hella easier than say, French.

STATUS: I have pinpointed an institution where to study, thanks to Bianca!
UPDATE: I seem to be leaning towards French. ACK!

9. Learn how to swim properly. Over the weekend, after a hazy Saturday night of partying in Manila's newest happening club, I suddenly, extremely spontaneously, found myself in the deepest nooks of Coron, Palawan, staring at the clear waters and wishing I could swim well without my life vest. It was such a numbing, sinking, animal of a feeling I wish I never feel again.

STATUS: I found out that a nearby hotel offers swim classes for Php 3,000 only! YAY!
STATUS: I can now do freestyle + breast stroke well. Eyeing that butterfly stroke :P
STATUS: Hello, there, ocean :P

10. Live in a new city. I really wonder why this comes in #11 for this is all I've been dreaming of since, well, since the beginning of the year. And life, like you wouldn't expect it, has been throwing me all the opportunities I can get. It's just the chicken in me who wouldn't budge. Yet. Take a leap of faith, and breathe. And rely on faith, and faith alone. You ever read about how people dropped everything for a new life, a new man, a new job etc. without so much as a plan or right amount of money to get by? I want to be just like them.

UPDATE: For #s 9 and 10, see this link.

11. Skip the thinking part and just pack my bags. CHECK. As I've mentioned in #10, I had a weekend wherein I woke up still smelling the smoke from my hair and remnants of heavily smudged eyeliner on my face when I received a call from a ... a man I was in like with then, but was leaving in true rolling stone form, to join him, his bestfriend and his bestfriend's girlfriend for a diving trip in Palawan. I responded jokingly, "You should've at least let me book a flight last night." "Oh no, I'm getting you a ticket now, all you need to do is get yourself here in 20 minutes. Plane leaves in 30." I don't know about you but I have a problem over thinking things, always weighing pros and cons before making a step {obviously, a good step most days}. And so, in five minutes, I was dashing out the door, with a toothbrush, a couple of bathing suits, shirts with shorts that don't match and cash enough to get me through un-credit card-able instances. I still don't know what's to happen with me and this guy but it definitely was the best decision I made in the last couple months, maybe years, especially when I remember how the guards of NAIA Terminal 3 made way for me like the Red Sea parted for Moses, making it in the check in counter one minute before it closes. Sure I missed work {my boss forgave me, bleh}, didn't use toner for three nights, made my parents wonder where the hell I was running for a minute and all other things but I didn't think and I am frikkin' glad I just did it.

12. Scuba dive. CHECK. Eternally afraid of ear-popping instances {ditching the scuba lessons that came free with our Mexico accommodations}, I have never had the guts to try scuba diving until I got into Coron {what was I to lose anyway?} and loved every single moment of being terribly scared and excited of being 30 feet into the water whilst balancing a heavy tank and flapping fins and trying not to look stupid.

13. Pole dance. Long before the pole dance craze started in Manila {or anywhere else I don't know, for that matter}, I had a thing for pole dancing. There is something unbelievably sexy crazy with a woman who knows her way to work the pole. That, and that it's supposed to give you these amazingly flat abs, too.

14. Learn how to surf. In 2009, I went on a roadtrip with my friends from work to La Union, Vigan and Pagudpud and swam in the ripples of strong waves but never surfed. Never even tried. What kind of chicken courage is that?

UPDATE: I've gone surfing in the country's surf capital nonetheless.

15. Watch a concert, jam in the mosh pit and attempt to meet the artist. I definitely do not wish for this particular artist to be biggies like U2, or Madonna, or even Jason Mraz {but hey, who knows?} only because it would be un-realistic. I just wish to watch a concert, something I always put off, thinking I will always have another chance, but never really do. I want obscure bands/artists like Stars, William Fitzsimmons, even Hanson {yes, I will always be a Hanson fan at heart}, Gin Blossoms {crosses fingers}, or The Weepies.

Stars - Romantic Comedy

16. Create the soundtrack of my life, burn it on a CD, draw the cover and give it to someone. I can only think of a few songs that has stayed with me all throughout my life {among them 'This Side' by Nickel Creek, 'Hey Jealousy' by Gin Blossoms and 'A Beautiful Mess' by Jason Mraz} and as soon as I get to about 12 songs, I would burn this into a mix CD and give it to someone, just for kicks.

17. Party hard in Ibiza, Spain. Lie topless in Rio de Janeiro or go walking and weeding in the streets of Amsterdam. Euro-trashing, anyone? Most people want to visit Europe {okay, Brazil ain't Europe} because of the lovely architectural sights and that includes me! But when I visit Europe or Brazil, which should be in the next 1 1/2 years, I want to do something definitive of their crazy lifestyle.

UPDATE: I didn't do anything trashy in Europe but hey, I did some very local stuff :P

18. Get married in Las Vegas. This has a pre-requisite though. I would have to fall in love first! Though I know this is kind of a cliche in the US, being only part of the audience when someone crazy does it {just like in the movies} makes me want to do it so, so, bad. However, I do not want this to be my real wedding though. What I am thinking is I could go there for honeymoon and get married again, too! Okay, maybe this can wait till I'm 30.

19. Kiss a local of a foreign land, in a foreign city, and charge it to experience. *smiles*

20. Pull a 'Before Sunrise' and then a 'Before Sunset.' I wear my dreams {as opposed to heart} on my sleeve and I remember telling some people about my dream of having that intimate connection with someone I would meet in a train in Vienna {after a trip to the Neuschwanstein Castle perhaps?}, share intellectual stories, a bottle of wine and a night at the park, move on with life and see each other after 8 years and realize that it feels like there wasn't any leaving that happened at all. Truth be told, I have had so many starts of this, only to have lasted more than 'before sunrise' and 'before sunset,' leaving so much more than a memory but scratches in the heart, too, but I am not sorry.

Ask me in person.

21. Take photographs of my travels with a real Polaroid camera and pin them on a wall or give them to someone. The thrill of not knowing how your photo will turn out {much like how it is with vintage SLRs, I had one and sold it dirt cheap, stupid move it was} is an insane high for me. Now, the problem is finding a nice Polaroid camera to do this. For the moment, I am getting my pola-fix with my Poladroid program and Hipstamatic on Apple iPhone.

Polaroid + Travel = HIGH.
Mexico, June 2010 {yet another long blogpost waiting to happen}

22. Go Skydiving. There are places that exist all around us, so easy to be in but so hard to get the courage to try. When I went scuba diving, I realized that while it was all so easy {discipline, not skill is key}, I had this little bit of experimental I-wanna-try everything spirit awakened in me. And so what is the most logical step after scuba? Skydive, what else? Oh and bungee jump, too.

 Free Fallin'.

23. Get over a heartbreak while not doing anything stupid. The first time I had my heart broken, I almost broke a windshield with a baseball bat {I almost had mine broken first}. The second time my heart was broken, and in my face this time, I caused so much damage, I broke someone else's heart, too. The third time I am, is right here, right now, hoping there isn't much damage that I will be doing. So far, so good!
STATUS: For once in my life, I finally faced a heartbreak ever so maturely, ever so quietly, ever so soberly. Good job, me!

24. Do the tango, preferably with someone as dashing as Col. Slade of Scent of a Woman. When I first watched this movie, back in the 90s on a VHS player, I was taken aback by the arresting charm and dancing prowess {more like grace} of my still-crush Al Pacino. If I get married, my first couple's dance will be to the tune of the song Por Una Cabeza, all because of this. But I want my first tango to be with a stranger :)

If there was a scene I have imagined myself so many times to be in, this is it.
Scent of a Woman, 1992

25. Learn how to play a musical instrument. There is only a handful of instruments I would have the patience to learn {I gotta be realistic for this project, it ain't a wishlist}and they are incredibly expensivo. But it just pains me to be not able to join jamming sessions as they happen. The last time it happened, I couldn't even play the kahon decently. So before I turn 26, I want to be able to learn to play at least one instrument, choose from the drums or the violin, and be able to join impromptu jamming sessions as they happen.

26. Forgive. Let go. Love someone selflessly. I don't think I ever really have given love to someone selflessly, and in this case, I am taking the cue from yet another wise blogger friend, Frances, who reminds us that in order for a relationship to grow and be incredible, it is always good to look back to the Bible where they said it plain and simple: “Tara is patient, Tara is kind. Tara does not envy, Tara does not boast, Tara is not proud. Tara is not rude, Tara is not self-seeking, Tara is not easily angered, Tara keeps no record of wrongs. Tara does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Tara always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Tara never fails.” (a modified version of I Corinthians 13:4-8). Admittedly, I have not been the most, great-at-commitment type of person, in fact I have always had a problem with being "committed." And so in that note, I feel like I have never really, truly given myself to someone, always thinking of my welfare, my feelings, always sticking with the guy who puts me first always and lets me put myself first all the time. I know that a 'happy wife/girlfriend means a happy life' but for the life of me, when I enter my late 20s, when I fall in love, I want this love to be far from the superficial things I have experienced. Do I honestly think I will be able to do this at 26? I have no frikkin' idea.
STATUS: Love? I am in love with life. Maybe loving someone will follow but it ain't happening now but hey, I have a little more than a year for that.

So there. I will be putting this list on the sidebar as soon as I get the time, to constantly remind myself of the things I have dreamed of doing. Honestly, it took me three days, almost four in finishing this, as I kept striking out travel plans, as too many of them didn't seem realistic anymore. Wish me luck and I hope you share your list, too! Oh man, I know I have so much more but I do have four more years after 2011 till I hit the big 3-0 so I will save some more adventure for that. Already, I think the first half of my 20s had been extremely exciting, it would be unfair to expect less of the next half.

And because I have some that I have already done {some even in the course of writing these}, I decided to add some more:

27. Read the Holy Bible. I don't know if this is completely true or not but I noticed that the Christians I know {not Catholic, Christ-centered folks, correct me if I am wrong} have all read the Bible cover to cover. I have only known Bible passages and stories and gospels through Religion class and even then it wasn't enough. Oh, and I call myself a Catholic? Shame on me.
Status: I downloaded a free app from iTunes Store called the Holy Bible and I will start reading it, when I'm on the cab on my way to work, when I'm in the loo, when I'm in line for something and most importantly, when I need guidance especially in making decisions.Currently reading the book of Exodus.

I'm actually very tempted to see Sunday worship in Victory Church at The Fort but I haven't found someone to come with me. Then again, that's not an excuse. So if anyone out there knows where this is located, please help me through a comment. TIA.

What's in your list? I wanna know!

Bear hugs and bunny kisses,

UPDATE: Some amendments here.