Sunday, July 04, 2010

30 Before 30 Project: The Backstory

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
- Tyler Durden, Fight Club
Last night, as I sat nursing a chardonnay with some girlfriends and mulling over the highs and lows of our lives in the past few months, my friend Che broached the idea that maybe I wouldn't have come up with my 30 Before 30 Project had my life not turned into a maelstrom last year. I've thought about this too and it's probably true. I'd rather not rehash all the sordid details but suffice it to say that I found myself in the middle of a rapidly crumbling relationship and realizing that the person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with was all smoke and mirrors. 

There's nothing like a failed relationship to make you lose your footing and find yourself suddenly unsure of who you are and what you're worth. In those three years, in small ways and measures, I had somehow become a less defined individual, blurring my edges to seamlessly blend with another person. By the time we broke up, I likened myself a bit to that girl in Runaway Bride, who didn't even know how she liked her eggs cooked because she'd always had them the way her beaus did. But if there's one thing that I am, it's a fighter. Even if the relationship had shattered to pieces, there was no way I was going to let him or anyone else break me. So I set off on a mission to start a new and kick-ass life, and at some point the 30 Before 30 Project was born. After several years of putting off the things I wanted to do either because my dad wouldn't let me do it, or it didn't fit in with my boyfriend's schedule, or my job situation didn't allow for it, I was suddenly on my own time and with the means to seize life as I've always wanted. And I have never been happier. I'm still a little undefined these days, but in a good way. I'm blurring the edges once again, not to blend with someone else, but because all those lines and boundaries I once thought I had, I've found aren't really there. 

I used to think that I could never run, but here I am in the midst of training for the New York Marathon. I thought I hated sweat and grit, but I've already completed the 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge. I still recall being a prissy 23-year-old hiking through Swarzwälder and telling my friends, "Ew, I don't do camping." And yet here I am excitedly plotting and planning a 7-day road trip with lots of hiking and, indeed, camping with my friend Kate this August. If I remain undefined, it's because I'm finding that there's so much more to discover about myself and what I'm capable of doing.

But enough about me. What I've been really excited about these days is that more and more people are catching the list-making bug! I received a few emails this week from some amazing ladies who have decided to put down their own lists, and thought I would share them with you.

Teeyah of Chronicles of Vanity has thrown down the gauntlet and put down a 26 Before 26 list on her blog with a November 2011 deadline. One of my favorite items on her list is "Skip the thinking part and just pack my bags." I love it a little extra because she's already checked it off and the story is very cool. I'd love to do that one day too!

Romance writer and blogger Sonja Foust also started a 30 Before 30 list and is making pretty good progress on it! I am especially envious of her "Go to a roller derby match" item. Why didn't I think of that? And where the heck can I go to see roller derby in NY?

And finally there's Dea, who now has a 31 Before 31 list and a very exciting 3 1/2 years ahead of her. Curious to see which proves to be the more difficult task for her ... climbing Mt. Pulag or eating her first balut? I hope you will end up loving balut as much as I do Dea!

I've never met these three brave ladies, but look forward to someday sharing a cold beer and lots of good stories with them. Wishing you the best of luck and looking forward to the juicy updates!

As for me, it's a ridiculously hot day in New York with temperatures hovering around the upper 90s. Not the best weather for the day I'm scheduled to tack on a 10-mile run for my marathon training program, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Off to relish a few more hours in the AC and chug as much liquids as humanly possible. Happy Sunday and thank god for long weekends!

14 comments:

  1. I also experienced painful things in life, which led me to needing to do such drastic steps. Like you, I look forward to having a chat in the future over beers :) thanks for linking me, Celine!

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  2. Thanks too Teeyah! We can do this!!!

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  3. I totally understand how you feel-- sometimes the "blocks" in life are from good things, but still things that get in your way. When you come upon a new life situation, the best thing to do is to make the most of it! Hope we can meet up for those beers someday.

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  4. Thanks Sonja, I totally agree. When all this is over, a recap and beer session should definitely happen!

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  5. Hi Celine, thank you so much for being an inspiration, your blog was just the push I needed to MOVE! I filched some of the items on my list from yours. Actually, what got me to make my list was that as I went through yours, I kept going, "Oh, me too... me too... me too..."

    Anyway, I wish you nothing but the best, and I do hope to meet you one of these days. Take care!

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  6. Haha Dea! I'm glad someone shares the enthusiasm I have for all these crazy things, and I really wish you luck on getting it all done! Someday, we will have that beer!

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  7. "After several years of putting off the things I wanted to do either because my dad wouldn't let me do it, or it didn't fit in with my boyfriend's schedule, or my job situation didn't allow for it, I was suddenly on my own time and with the means to seize life as I've always wanted. "

    Can totally relate to all three! I am so glad my sister forwarded your blog to me. I've always had a list of the things I wanted to do before I hit 30 too but it's all in my head haha I'll try writing them all down. Thanks to you!

    Good luck on your project!

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  8. Sheila, I am so sorry for the belated reply as I'm the dum-dum who just today realized that there's a COMMENTS tab in Blogger that let's me see all my comments in chronological order. Thank you so much and keep me posted on that list! All the best!

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  9. i love your blog. I am older than you, and i've done a lot of lists too. So far all my list doesnt have a deadline, but i seem to accomplish them one at a time. Special thanks to people like you who inspires others by sharing your life with us. =)

    i really wish you will able to accomplish every item on your list (and to the coming lists). =)

    so far you are really doing a great job! Congratulations!

    - charlie-j

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  10. Thank you for the kind words, Charlie. Hearing such nice things from you and other readers makes everything worth it! Being able to help people through a difficult time, even just a little, is truly amazing and mind-boggling! Lists are awesome, IMO, and I do hope it helps you as much as it's helped me! Take care and all the best :-)

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  11. hi celine, i will be planning my 30before30 listthis week, you are an inspiration :-)

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    1. Thank you for the sweet message, Kai! Best of luck. I am so excited for you!

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  12. Hi Celine! I'm 22 and you're one of the women I look up to. This post made me tear up. Thank you for being an inspiration :)

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    1. Hi Ayen! I'm sorry for the late reply as I just read your wonderful message. Thank you so much. Knowing I've inspired you in my little, slightly crazy way makes all of this worth it!

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