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The List: 25 things while I’m 25

I don’t know where I first heard of this idea, but I know several people who have made these lists, and I’m by no means claiming it as my own brilliant idea. That being said, I proudly present to you, my list of 25 things. Thank you to everyone who helped me brainstorm, and thank you in advance to anyone who will be joining me on any of these. I’m excited to get started!

I think most people post these kinds of things on their birthdays, but I’m going to be honest with you, the next two weeks are jam-packed. That, and I couldn’t wait until then to post it.

This is a list of 25 things that I WILL do (or at least attempt to do, you know, assuming I make it through my 25th year on this planet) while I’m 25. It’s going to live as a work-in-progress page up top (look up, see it?) and I’ll be crossing things off (YAY) and adding notes as I start to work on some of these.

Without further delay: My list. Ready, set, GO!

  1. Get my A-license (certified to skydive). I made my first tandem dive in 2005 in Titusville, FL. When I landed safely on the ground, I swore to myself that I’d get certified to do it solo some day. Unfortunately, at the time, I was a broke college kid. I made my second tandem dive in March when I was in Austin for SXSW and I knew that I needed to get back in the air ASAP and get certified. So, this summer, I am. I plan to start my AFF training in July (location TBD, as there are three drop zones in the area) and in August, I’m organizing a group dive to benefit my colleague who is battling breast cancer. BAM! This is number one on my list because it’s the most high-priority thing. The rest of the list is in no particular order.
  2. Ride the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. No, I really haven’t done it yet. I know, I’m a bad Chicago resident. I moved here last summer and had two days before I jumped right in on the whole working thing. And I wouldn’t change a thing. I just need to explore a bit.
  3. Go waterskiing. Not sure how I’ll pull this one off, but I’ve always wanted to try. It will probably be ugly and painful.
  4. Master one signature meal – from start to finish. Appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. This is going to be one of my favorite items to cross off because I love to cook, and I’m eager to expand my list of things that I’m really, really good at.
  5. Pay off my last credit card. Pretty self explanatory, I reckon.
  6. Visit NYC – not for business, or at least have time to explore after a business trip. I’ve been to NYC twice in my life but never had a chance to explore. I want pizza. And to see the Statue of Liberty. And be really touristy. Or hang with locals, that works too.
  7. Shoot a gun. I think I can thank Sonny Gill for this one.
  8. Go to a driving range. This kind of spawned off the gun thing.
  9. And a batting cage. And this kind of spawned off the driving range thing.
  10. Extend one business trip by one day so I can skydive in/around that city. One of the reasons I want to get my A license is being certified automatically makes travel more fun. If there’s a drop zone in the area – I can go jump out of the plane and experience that city in a whole new way.
  11. Run and/or walk a 5k. My two roommates are running fiends. I want to try to like it.
  12. Make snow angels in three different parks in Chicago. So I had this lofty goal of making snow angels in every park in Chicago before I die, but then I realized how many parks there are here. And how some of them are in parts of town where I probably shouldn’t be skipping around having snowball fights. So three parks. This winter. Bring your mittens.
  13. Get promoted. Pretty self explanatory on that one, too.
  14. Learn how to make sushi. A friend of mine knows how to make sushi. I want to learn. Sushi is freaking gorgeous and I want to know how to not screw up the rice. Think about it. Handrolls whenever you want? Sign. Me. Up.
  15. Get my family up to Chicago – while it’s nice outside. Nine months out of the year I’d rather fly to Florida then have them come up here, but I want them to see my badass apartment, office, meet some friends/colleagues, etc.
  16. Buy some grown-up clothes so it’s not a last-minute dash when I need something nice to wear. Between nice dinners with friends who come in from out of town, client meetings and other occasions where I need to look presentable – I’d like to learn how to dress myself. I have no fashion sense, whatsoever.
  17. Pay for someone’s toll behind me that isn’t a family member or friend that’s following me. I’ve paid for tolls of friends and family before, but I want to make a stranger’s day too.
  18. Go on a blind date. This almost didn’t make the list because let’s face it, the whole dating thing is a beast in itself. And I don’t want to force anything. But, if this is the one thing that doesn’t get crossed off on my list, then it was still a pretty damn awesome year.
  19. Learn how to play a song on the guitar. My roommate plays guitar and I just want to learn how to play one song. Maybe not even the whole thing. Just a little bit.
  20. Make cupcakes that don’t suck. I am not talented in the kitchen when it comes to baking. Growing up, my dad did the cooking, my mom did the baking, and I was the helper. I took to the cooking thing, but never got on board with the baking thing beyond licking the beaters when when my mom made cookies. So, cupcakes it is. I love them and they’re all the rage and there’s a LOOOOOT of flavors you can play with. So, I hope to master the cupcake.
  21. Ride a new roller coaster that I’ve never been on. I live close to Six Flags Great America – this one shouldn’t be too tough.
  22. Grow and use fresh herbs. I love herbs. I want to grow some. And not kill the plant.
  23. Be an awesome mentor to someone. I’m such a sucker for mentors. And I want to be a good one.
  24. Get that whole 401k thingie figured out. I have an amazing job that I love, that also comes with great benefits – I need to take advantage of them.
  25. Meet Oprah. She’s incredible. I’m not going to get all crazy about it, but I’d love to meet her. She’s an inspiration.

Is there anything on there that you’ve already done? Anything you want to join me in doing? Tell me about it!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kris G

    Love the list. You can totally do all of this. Let's plan on doing the PAWS 5k walk/run in Sept…ummm, I prefer the walk, not a fan of running but you can run it if you want. You can also borrow a dog for the day.

  • Great idea — love the list, especially #25 šŸ™‚ Who wouldn't want to meet Oprah, right? When I turn 26 in September, I'll have to create a list too…

  • stephmajercik

    I really need/want to make one of these lists! Sushi is incredibly fun to make & easy too! You have quite a few things on your list that I would also like to do namely water ski, master a signature meal, pay off credit cards, shoot a gun, pay for someone's toll, blind date, and grow fresh herbs! As far as what I have done, the batting cages & driving range are fun and so is the Navy Pier ferris wheel. I've run a few 5k's before, but that was when I was way younger and ran all the time. I fell out of the habit but would love to get back into it!

    Best of luck on your list – you can do it!


    I want to do these with you, because we could do them together from wherever:
    – master a signature meal. shall we meal-plan together?
    – pay off credit cards. i don't have those, but I have loans I want to kill. Accountability, much?
    – I'm growing fresh herbs this summer, though i started last summer with rosemary (resilient, tough to kill!) and basil (sunlight and that motherf*cker grows like CRAZY). Check THIS out to get started in a fun, blog-love way:

    Things I can do/have done:
    Play a song or two on the guitar.
    Driving range.
    Batting cages.
    Visit NYC (but I'd go back in a heartbeat).

    GOOD LUCK šŸ™‚ And let's do this debt-free thing.

  • Pretty ambitious & awesome list amiga! You'll love waterskiiing and it's not that hard. I've always wanted to do the equivalent of #17, AND I tried #19 and failed miserably. I thought it would be another great thing to have in the arsenal when picking up women, but then I realized I'd have to practice a lot and that I was already the most charismatic man alive. šŸ™‚

    Hope you had a kick ass birthday!

  • sherrylowry

    Hi, Sydney! I'm Aaron's friend and I'm glad you posted your 25 While 25 List.

    We've not met yet, but I'm already confident to bet that WILL happen at SXSW '11.

    Betcha' this list approach turns out to be a tradition for you, maybe even a life-long one. Wouldn't that be something if it did!

    You also make it sound both like fun and just enough of a stretch you'll love the challenge, the checking-off, plus the new friends you make in the process of the adventuring.

    For now, I'm offering whatever support is useful around your mentoring goal. I've both had mentors my entire life and been a mentor to many, many.

    You are correct. Mentoring and being well-mentored is definitely one of life's most gratifying experiences, and one I am so grateful I've had the chance to experience almost life-long. It is high on my “savor” list — which may be a good idea for ME to develop.

    Right now many of my most helpful mentors are in their 20's and 30's, and for this I'm most appreciative. Many of you “get” life, for sure, and I know we'll have an opportunity to explore why I think so.

    For now, thanks for welcoming the world to your new journey.