Welp, we’re here. Today is my 30th birthday. I’ve been thinking hard about what I wanted today’s post to be like and then this idea hit me. Often when people have bucket lists, they contain various thrill seeking, majorly risky, big ideas. I’ve never had a bucket list like that. I’m not into that kind of thing. But, what did intrigue me was reflecting on some really cool things I’ve done in my 30 years so far, and maybe they weren’t wild. Maybe they didn’t nearly kill me. Maybe I haven’t jumped out of a plane. But hey, they’ve played a part in making me who I am today, and that’s how this bucket list (mostly full of humble brags 🤷🏼♀️) came to be.
1. I studied abroad in Italy. And I didn’t let my anxiety get in the way. I loved it. The cast of The Jersey Shore was there. It’s hard for me to imagine that version of myself but, I did it, and it was rad!
2. I had my heart broken and broke a heart. I learned a ton from those experiences, one notable lesson being that both scenarios are equally miserable.
3. At the dawn of the Internet, circa dialup 2003, I somehow sleuthed out the audition information for the School of American Ballet’s summer intensive in NYC. My always supportive parents drove me 5 hours to what I later learned was Abby Lee’s studio to audition. In the dressing rooms I dodged questions brought up by my accent, “Are you from Tennessee?” Uh.. no. I made it about fifteen minutes through the audition before realizing I was in over my head and that those girls had exited the womb wearing pointe shoes and pirouetted their way to greatness. I told the instructor I had to barf. My parents drove me home. A few weeks later, I received my most prized rejection letter. My dad still says it’s the proudest he’s ever been of me. I didn’t understand then, but now I do.
4. Speaking of dance though. Even though classic ballet wasn’t totally my calling, I have performed on many stages for many people in many states. I danced with a team who still feels like family to me. We won a lot of shit.
5. I saw Hanson play “Mmmbop” live last summer. I cried. Childhood and current me were L.I.V.I.N.G.
6. I flew by myself a couple times. That’s another version of me that’s hard to imagine. I met a super kind FBI agent on one of those journeys and no joke, briefly thought perhaps my calling was in criminal justice.
7. I’ve had so many mini golf hole-in-ones that you would be shocked, outraged, and jealous.
8. I tried unsuccessfully to milk a cow, but tried nonetheless.
9. I met the band that sings my favorite song.
10. I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Olivander excused the rest of the room to choose a specific wand for me. 💁🏼♀️
11. I watched The Ring by myself.
12. I survived The Great Tonsillectomy Fiasco of 2011 and fun fact, received the blood of a kind stranger.
13. I read The Bible cover to cover.
14. I bought my first car! Less than six months ago, haha. These things take time!
15. I started a blog. 😉
16. I exhibited my artwork. Yeah, it was in college. No, I haven’t done it since. But hey, it happened! It was cool. It could happen again!
17. I married a robot 😱. JK, I married someone I love, and now in addition to that, he’s also my best friend, and that is the equation for our success. Life is good.
18. I just did the rough math, and I can confirm that it’s possible to come out on the other side of hearing the worst song of all time (“Human”, by The Killers) roughly 1,297 times. Literally, not kidding. It builds character. This was a product of my former job and I’ll leave it at that.
19. I’ve lived the 27 Dresses life and loved. every. second. of. it.
20. I rapped “Payphone” at my wedding.
21. I once let rage get the best of me in a work setting, with a customer, and to this day I do not regret it.
22. I completed several 5ks actually running, which seemed totally impossible based on my first try. I also did a Warrior Dash and that footage shocks people to this day.
23. I never lost a game of Monopoly, and no, that is not a challenge. It’s at this point and many others that you may find yourself wondering if this fact is applicable to this post. To that I say, this is my unintentional bucket list, so mind yours.
24. I had a singular, witty, viral (by my terms) tweet.
25. I spoke at my high school graduation. It is by far the most people I have ever addressed/cried in front of.
26. I got an iiiitty biiiitty tattoo.
27. I have a little munchkin that was adopted and not shopped.
28. I got to be my best friend’s matron of honor.
29. I lived through a blizzard that resulted in snow taller than me.
30. I am surrounded by friends and family who make me feel loved and special every day. Even when it’s not easy. Despite all my flaws. Thanks to them for not only making me feel better about this 30th birthday, but for making me excited for this trip around the sun.
xoxo laughing at Leigh Ann