Monday, October 7, 2013

Jackson, Megan

            I have always been a dreamer.  When life was unsatisfactory, when I would have preferred to be anywhere but in my own skin, I spent my time imagining what life would be like some day, at another, better time.  Until now, I never thought of my dreams and plans to be carried out eventually (when I had the funds, when I was finished with college, when I felt like it) as a bucket list, but I suppose that iss what they have been all along.  After all, "eventually" is just a nicer way of saying "before I die."  Not all of my dreams are practical - some of them are as far fetched as you can get - but I think that is the beauty of dreaming.  It frees you from the binds of every day life.  While there are endless exciting and wonderful things to do that are entirely possible within the constraints of physics and my budget, I have never been inclined to limit myself in that way.  So, without further adieu, I present you with my "bucket list."

             The item first and foremost on my list of things to accomplish before the timer hits zero is getting as far out of Arkansas as possible.  It is not that Arkansas is a bad place, because it is not.  It is simply that it is not right for me, never has been, and potentially never will be.  I do not tolerate the heat well.  I do not share the general population's viewpoints on hunting, fishing, gun control, or most current political issues.  I do not hate it here, but I have never fit in, and it has never been my home.  So, before I accomplish anything else, I want out of Arkansas.  I may find that Arkansas is better than anywhere else I go, and I may come back one day, but my experiences thus far say it is an unlikely prospect.
            Item number two is more like a short list unto itself.  The first step is to move out of the United States.  I refuse to spend my short time on Earth stuck inside the bubble that is the United States of America.  I want to live in the French countryside. I want to own five century old farmhouse in Scotland.  I want to walk the streets of Rome.  I want to explore the African savannah.  I want to see every museum, every famous work of art, and every ancient structure in the world in person.  I want to see the Australian outback and arctic Russia.  I want to learn a dozen languages, and communicate easily wherever I end up.  I want to experience Egypt, Canada, and Brazil.  I want to see everything there is to see, and one day when I am old to be able to say, "I have traveled the world." with complete honesty.

            Last but certainly not least on my bucket list is something that is significantly more complicated than it sounds.  I want to learn to be happy.  I want to be content with my life.  Happiness is not something that someone else can provide for you.  It is a choice that you make every day when you wake up, no matter the circumstances in your life.  You decide whether or not it is a good day.  You can not always control what happens to you, but you can certainly control your reaction to it.  My biggest lifetime goal is to learn to genuinely be in control of my own happiness.

            In summary, I have a lot of dreams.  I may accomplish all of them.  I may add to the list as time goes on.  A year from now, I might have an entirely different bucket list than the one you just read.  The beauty of a bucket list is that there are no rules and regulations.  It is what you want it to be, and if you change your mind, it can change with you.  I am only eighteen.  I have a lifetime ahead of me to think of other things I would like to do before I die, and I'm sure it will not take long for this list to exceed two and a half pages.  For now, though, these are the things I want to do before I die, and I think that they are enough.­­

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