celebrating the past

A few weeks ago, I posted this picture up on my Instagram feed. D30bucketlist2004

I needed to find some linguistics lecture notes for work, and this was tucked away at the back of a student diary from 2004. I remember looking at this list in 2005 again and committing some of it to memory, but then thought nothing of the physical list that I initially wrote. I thought I’d use today to celebrate some of the achievements that I’ve ticked off this list.

Maintain a blog. This here blog space is proof that I’ve done and am continuing to do this. I initially wrote this blog for myself and a handful of readers (namely friends and family) with no real intention of my ideas spreading out to a bigger community. This is a blog about a 30-something chick who works too much, has a stationery obsession, dabbles in craft, drinks too much coffee, and writes about planning and organisation from time to time — who in their right mind would want to read about that? Internet, you’ve proven me wrong, and you’ve welcomed me with open arms. I’ve also completed some great collaborations with Kim Alvarez of ‘Tiny Ray of Sunshine‘ and contributed to Ryder Carroll’s blog, and not to mention I opened an Etsy store!

New York. I had grand plans to finish uni and move to New York, but other important life matters took precedence, however, I was still determined to at least visit. And so I did in 2010. Best experience ever!

Live in another city. I’ve lived in two other cities – Sydney and London. I lived in London for a couple of years with my husband, and then moved to Sydney to study. Loved both cities, but nothing beats home.

Complete my bachelors degree. In 2006, I graduated my Bachelor in Behavioural Science (Psychology) with a major in forensic psychology and criminology, and vowed never to study again. I dropped out of a previous degree one semester shy of graduation in 2002 because I just wasn’t interested in working in the field. Anyway, little did I know that I’d go back and complete my Masters in Speech Language Pathology. So much for never studying again!

Buy my own car. I wrote this down because I was sick of my fourth-hand 1984 Honda Prelude dying on me all the time, and I would have to either rely on public transport or someone else to take me places. I’m glad to say I’ve bought two cars since those days, but have a new appreciation for public transport ever since living in London, where I didn’t drive at all!

Florence, Italy. Another place that mesmerised me, and I spent a good amount of time here with my husband in 2008. I would go back in a heartbeat!

Sketch outdoors. In high school, we were encouraged to do plein air sketching so that we can capture the real essence of what we were drawing rather than looking at reference photos. I was always too self-conscious of people watching me draw, so I lied to my high school art teacher, even though I claimed I drew something on the spot. Anyway, I signed up to a few urban sketching meet-ups when I was living in Sydney and my confidence grew. Nowadays, I love sitting in a cafe or in a park and sketching my little heart out.

Get married (or at least be with someone for an extended period of time without wanting to leave him). I married my then fiance on October 17, 2014. We’ll be celebrating our first wedding anniversary this year. We took our time with the marriage thing – we were together for eight years before we got hitched. Next year will mark ten years together and there is never a dull moment with my guy :)

Write a novel. This was a work-in-progress in 2004, and I finally completed it in 2012. It’s been sitting there being constantly edited and I really should just publish the damn thing. It’s about the evolution of relationships throughout a lifespan, told through two characters struggling to define their own relationship. I just have to get over the fear of criticism and rejection before I take the plunge into publishing :P

See snow. I know this sounds childish, but that’s what I wanted to do, and I guess, it’s a homage to my childhood dreams. I was born in the tropics, and I’ve lived most of my life in a city that doesn’t snow. We were in the middle of the first snow storm in 20+ years in London – that was the first time I saw snow. I was 26 years old.

Play piano in front of a crowd at The Conservatory. I ticked this off later that year in 2004. This may have happened because I was dating a musician who happened to be studying there. This may have also happened because a bunch of us were stupidly drunk after going out all night. There may have been at least 10 of us. This may have happened really late one night. We may have been asked to leave by the security guards. We may have also been playing jazz and blues renditions of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ greatest hits when it happened.

Own a Mont Blanc pen. At the time, this was my unicorn pen. Unbeknownst to my husband at the time that he was looking for gift ideas for my thirtieth, he bought my first Mont Blanc pen: a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck ballpoint. His reason: “you love to write, so this was the perfect gift for you.” Apparently he was getting grief from everyone around him that it was a tacky present to give to someone for their thirtieth. It was the BEST present ever! (See, I told you he’s a keeper :))

Sell one of my paintings. Given it was my aunt who bought it, it still counts. It was a pen and ink drawing I did of a clock face arranged in a geometric puzzle. She paid $100 for it. Below is the only picture I have of it.


I’m going to create a new list for the next decade and this time not be so careless about where I put it. I may not be so lucky next time. I’ll add the ones I haven’t completed from my previous list to the current one because they all still resonate with me. Well, maybe not so much the ‘meet a celebrity crush’ goal, but hey, I’ll chuck it in there for fun :)

What have you accomplished in the last decade of your life?


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4 thoughts on “celebrating the past

  1. ive always wanted to start a blog but like u I thought no one would read it. But since I’ve moved to San Antonio, I’ve had many ideas that people might like but I honestly don’t know how to start a blog….. How did u start

    1. Hi Cassandra, thanks for stopping by my blog :) I started this blog just before I turned thirty and sort of brainstormed ideas about what I wanted the blog to be about. From there, I just started planning in days that I would blog and began writing articles about things I love. The hard part is starting, but you have nothing to lose :) Good luck!

  2. This is so awesome, Dee! :) You inspired me to make a fresh list of big goals I want to accomplish in my life.

    Let’s see, in the last 10 years I’ve accomplished a degree in Psychology, meeting and dating a wonderful man, moving into a safe and peaceful home, get my driver’s license, learn to successfully budget, buy a DSLR camera, floss daily, have kitties, and more I’m sure but those are the ones that come to mind. :) Man, this was a great exercise. Sometimes when you’re burning through the days you don’t reflect on the big things that have happened until an exercise like this coaxes you to. :) Thank you for sharing, Dee.

    I’m excited for the next decade of my life and what lies ahead!

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