15 June, 2010

Re-evaluating My 43 Things

Two and a half years ago, I discovered 43 Things, a website designed for you to list up to 43 things you'd like to do with your life before you die, and to let people motivate and help each other reach their goals. It sounds kinda sappy when you describe it that way, but it's actually a really cool way to mark down and share some of the things you want to do in life, and to help motivate yourself to do them (sooner or later). Since it's been awhile, and because I'm trying to redirect my life in a more productive direction, I thought it'd be interesting to go back through those things I still have listed, and talk about whether or not those goals are still "live" for me.

live in a loft

This is still something I'd like to do. I think loft apartments are really neat, and I have a mental image of them being perfect locations for the two things I'm pursuing in my life right now - music, and photography. A loft apartment (depending on how warehousey it is) can be a great place for band practice, and it also has a great sort of atmosphere for inviting girls over to take their clothes off and get their picture taken. :3

live on a lake

Still one of my dreams, although I'm not sure if it's the type of dream that I'm destined to realize someday, or the type that remains a pipe dream. Maybe, if things go well for me, I can make enough money and spend my retirement in a nice lakeside cottage. Who knows.

own a beach house

Also still something I'd love to do, but this one is leaning even farther to the "pipe dream" side of the spectrum. I guess if I had to be realistic, I should change this goal to something more like, "go to the beach more often". That would, I guess, be a more or less acceptable compromise. Because I do love the beach, and as nice as having a beach house is (we're talking totally romantic dream territory here), the important thing is really just getting a chance to spend some time out on the beach, one way or another.

learn to play the blues

I guess you could say I've made partial progress on this one. I can play some blues, but I'm not at the level of proficiency I'd like to be at. To be more specific, what I want to be able to do that I can't do right now is jam/improvise (which is actually listed down below). Or in the context of the blues, I want to be more familiar with the blues format such that I have some confidence in being able to "create" a blues song spontaneously, which again relates to being able to jam/improvise.

be in a band

This one is still of utmost importance. Everything I want to do with music involves the band format, where two or more musicians combine their talents together to create music more dynamic than any one can play alone. Rock band, blues band, cover band, tribute band, I just need to find musicians to play with (who I can get along with, whose taste in music is compatible with mine, and who have the time to practice/rehearse/perform). It's harder than it sounds, though.

find my dream job

This is still a nice dream, but I think I could compromise on finding a dream job, rather than the dream job. A job that I can really enjoy - one that I'm proud of, and that I can enjoy doing. Something that thrills me and fulfills me, and makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile above and beyond simply making a living. But of course, what's more important in the interim is getting a job in the first place, and working up from there. Unless I get super lucky.

move out of my parent's house

I moved the apostrophe. This is important, although there are other goals I have to meet first, like getting a job so I can afford it. But ultimately, this is an integral step on the path towards becoming independent, which is really what I want to be. I want to have the means to provide for myself, so that I can shake off the feeling of dependency and no longer have the feeling that my very existence is dependent on the good will of others, which naturally decreases the importance of my own judgment of personal worth. As long as I rely on others to survive, their opinions will maintain a hold on my self-esteem.

be a ghost hunter

Lol, after seeing Paranormal Activity, I might just give up on this goal! >.< Okay, maybe not. But I'm not real concerned about becoming a "ghost hunter", all I really want to do is go ghost hunting at least once in my life. That would be fun.

learn kendo

Eh heh heh. Well, I still like kendo, and the idea of learning how to wield a sword, but... Well, learning kendo isn't as much a priority (if you could call it that) as it used to be. It's just that there are other things in my life I'm more interested in spending time learning how to do (like get better at music and photography). And besides, kendo is a sporty kind of thing, and while I could use some regular exercise in my life, sports aren't really my focus. So, I still like swords n stuff, but maybe joining a dojo and all that isn't really something I need to do.

draw more

Well, I kinda failed on this goal. I've always had an interest in drawing, but it was always an interest, and never really a hobby. I've never been able to get into practicing drawing regularly, and as such, I have zero drawing talent. I want to be able to draw well really badly, because then I could share these worlds that exist in my head, in a way that's more visceral and meaningful for me than through writing (I apparently have a talent at writing, but I'm also a very visual person). But, at this point in my life, recognizing the type of work that's required to be good at something, and recognizing my interest in other things, I'm thinking that maybe I could be okay with the fact that I'll never be particularly good at drawing. There are other outlets for my creativity...

write stories

Well, I tried this for a bit last winter. It was a good exercise, but I wasn't totally into it, because it was more being forced to write stuff rather than writing stuff from inspiration - not because there's a deadline, but because I feel like it has to be written, that I have to get it out of me. I've still got unfinished stories (the good ones) left inside of me, and while I haven't been thinking about them a whole lot lately, I'd still like to get them out of me someday. But I don't really want to force it. On a related note, I'm told my writing (not strictly fictional) is good, so perhaps a good goal for me would be to figure out some way to put my writing talent to work (either for me, or for the world at large).

record my music

I feel like this goal had a lot to do with the original music I was working on a while back. I sort of abandoned that project, and I've since been entirely focused on building my base musical talent, without concern for writing original material. And at this time, I still don't have confidence in my songwriting ability, because I don't know enough of music yet to create the kind of songs I like to listen to. Anyway, this might sound like defeatism, but I'm really more concerned about playing good music - regardless of whether I wrote it or somebody else did - than creating new music for the world to experience. I don't see myself as a "musical artist" as much as a "musical performer" - it's that thrill of playing really well, and playing it to an appreciative audience, that drives me. I might change my mind someday, but that's how I feel for now.

be in love

Well, this is still applicable. Though it's kind of broad. What I really need to do is build up confidence and not be afraid to flirt with all those pretty girls out there. That alone would vastly improve the quality of my life, I think.

learn how to surf

This is a nice dream, but I don't really see it happening. Unless I get that beach house. I really do feel like I was a beach bum in another life. I bet surfing is fun, but even just life on the beach, surrounded by babes in bikinis, sounds like a good gig. I think what I'll do is leave a place open in my heart for the beach, so that if a freak opportunity happens to open up for me, I can take it. Otherwise, I can compromise by the previously mentioned revised goal of "going to the beach more often". Although I would really love to live on a tropical island, but maybe it would be good enough just to vacation on one someday.

swim with a shark

This is still something I'd absolutely love to do someday. Would be a great opportunity when I take that vacation to a tropical island. ;-) In the meantime, I'll have to make do with Shark Week each summer.

be a nude model for an art class

Honestly, I think the major appeal of this goal is just being naked in front of other people, which is something I was able to do at Burning Man (though I wouldn't mind doing it some more). And there are other outlets for that, such as my experience (albeit in my own company only) as a nude model for photography. Now that's something I'd like to try - modeling for someone else - just to experience what it's like (even though I am more interested in being a photographer to other models than a model to other photographers). The art class thing seems too stuffy and formal to me, and I don't relish the idea of holding poses for long periods of time (whether or not I'm better at that than others). So I think this goal can be satisfactorily disassembled into some related goals.

learn Japanese rope bondage

Well, I learned how to do a basic harness, and that was fun, but I don't really see myself using it often, or becoming so engrossed in the activity as to require knowing how to do all sorts of different knots and such. The important thing is that I know how to tie the wrists and ankles, which is quite easy, and the primary thing. I do need to get some shorter ropes for that, though. I'd love to experiment more with light bondage in general, though, I think that could be fun.

beat social anxiety

Working on it. Perhaps a more realistic goal would be "manage my social anxiety", or "learn to deal with my social anxiety" - you know, without being defeated by it.

become a better conversationalist

Also working on it. Not necessarily through targeted efforts, but just by gaining more experience engaging in conversation. Actually I've been told I'm a fine conversationalist, but I'm still prone to awkward silences, and my general disinterest in the things most people talk about makes me less than the most interesting conversational partner. Really, I just want to be more comfortable talking to people, and more capable of saying what's on my mind.

live up to my potential

A lot of people tell me how wonderful I am. Coming from my relatives, it's never meant a whole lot, because they have to say that (unless you have a crummy family). But it's not just relatives who say that, and I know I'm good enough to be somebody. I don't know who, but somebody. Me. Anyway, I'm working at building confidence in myself and my passionate views on things, and honing my craft at the things I'm interested in (music, photography, writing), so really, this is a good goal. I think I can make some kind of a difference.

take a shower outside

Ha. It's the simple things. Still got to do this sometime. Walking in the rain is also great, but doesn't quite count. I'd love to have even an indoor shower in a room that had glass walls and was open to the outside (presumably some kind of pretty garden and not main street or whatever), but the best thing would be a shower actually outside in the middle of the garden.

photograph beautiful people nude

Yes, this is one of the most important goals in my life right now. I think it's pretty self-explanatory. So far I've only really photographed myself, out of desperation, and what I want more than anything is to photograph somebody beautiful. That alone would be satisfying, but to photograph such a person nude - even better. This is one thing I'd really enjoy doing with my life. But I gotta work on connecting with people first.

start a webcomic

I really like this idea, but I think, going hand in hand with the "draw more" goal, it may not be realistic. Of course, you can do a webcomic without having any real drawing talent, that's true, but if that's the type of webcomic you're doing, there are probably other mediums out there to get across the same point.

shoot infrared photography

My initial interest in infrared photography was the idea of being able to shoot in the dark without using/needing [visible] light, but whether or not that's a viable purpose, I've seen infrared shots and they look really cool. It'd certainly be worth trying at least once.

buy a mannequin

This is one manifestation of my desire to own a dress-up doll. I still think it'd be really fun to do. Even though I've been experimenting with being the "doll" myself, nothing can beat having a mannequin with the actual girly proportions I adore. Anyway, it's not so weird as it sounds. Fashion designers and such have things like this; I'm a photographer, I also have an interest in ladies' fashion. So it's definitely something I'd still like to do.

learn to improvise on the guitar

As mentioned above. This one is of prime importance for me right now. I'm still more comfortable learning predetermined passages, but I want to be able to improvise, to play with others without rehearsal, to participate in a blues jam. This is something that needs lots of work and practice, and will probably take time, but I should get to work on it. Although, the more blues songs I learn, the more licks I familiarize myself with, which ultimately helps me build up a language that I can use in an improvisational context (once I internalize the rules of putting the "words" together). So I am working on it, after all.

have sex in a church

Okay, I'll admit this one is of mainly prurient interest. But there's some meaning behind it. I think sex can be a spiritual act, so what better way of proving that than to have sex in the hallowed halls of a holy building? So maybe this one might offend some people (and perhaps seriously offend some others), but come on, lighten up. You only live once.

have sex outdoors

Nature, to me, is spiritual, and so the outdoors is kind of like my idea of church, so this is sort of similar to the last goal. Except probably more likely to happen - sooner, and more frequently. :3 It's more important to me, certainly.

wear more interesting clothes

This is something I'm working on, in terms of trying out women's fashion, which is, as I've said, far more interesting (i.e., attractive) than men's fashion. It's a delicate balance, because I like the idea of dressing up like a girl, but at the same time I don't want to become one of those guys that makes girls look bad - in terms of wearing things he probably shouldn't. Anyway, I'm still looking for something I can wear that a) makes me look and feel attractive, but b) isn't incredibly uncomfortable (if that's possible).


As I said when I originally picked out this goal, it really should be "cosplay more", since I have cosplayed in the past. Though at this stage, I think I'd be happy to just make it "photograph cosplayers more", because I'm not really passionate enough to compete with all those other cosplayers who do a much better job than I would. Not to say that I wouldn't still do it just for fun. But, one related thing I definitely want to try is to wear Lolita fashion sometime. And of course, all the Lolitas out there would cry out in anguish at my mentioning Lolita fashion in the same paragraph as cosplay. I know there's a difference, so get over it. Anywho, I'm in love with the Lolita silhouette, and I like pink dresses so...it's something I have to try at least once in my life, if not more than that. I've also gotta try cosplaying Chii one day (I can hear more Lolita screams ::rolls eyes::).

be more confident

This is definitely an important goal, and it's something I'm working on, and also gradually getting better at. My confidence is already higher than it was not too long ago, and I intend to build it up even higher. I'm getting more and more confident of my talent in the things I do - the music I'm playing, and the photography I do - and I hope to use that confidence to move forward with those things. But also, I want to be more confident in general, when it comes to talking to people and getting things I want/need out of life.

overcome my fears

This is a related goal. I just don't want fear to continue to rule my life, to dictate what I choose to do. The fear is there, but I don't have to listen to it. And if I ignore it enough, maybe it'll go away, even if just partially.

become a rockstar

Well, the "rock star" dream is a nice one, and I think it would be fun, but I don't need to sell out stadiums to be satisfied with my life and with my music. What's more important to me is finding a band, so I can feel like a true rock and roller (star or not), and so I can perform for an audience (whether an audience of 20 or 20,000) - that's the important thing. To be liked and respected for the music I play, to the extent that people really enjoy listening to me play and want to hear me, because they dig what I'm playing, not because they know me and want to encourage me.

spend an entire day watching the extended version of all three Lord of the Rings movies back-to-back-to-back

Okay, this is honestly a huge commitment, and the reason it hasn't happened yet is because I'm afraid to make it. But it will happen someday, I guarantee you that.

start a revolution

I want to change the world. But I'm also realistic. All my life I've gotten the feeling that I'm different from the average, and I have certain insights about the world. I'm really not trying to sound conceited, but I think I have something to offer the world, if only they'll listen to me. Whether or not I change the world, the important thing for me is that I accomplish something worthwhile - whether it be writing a book, or by putting forth a certain worldview through the art (photography) I create, or if it's something more substantial than that. I've been reading about activism lately, and I think there's a lot to be said on issues regarding sexuality in this culture. I just want to make a change for the better, to help people like myself, who may feel oppressed by the majority.

start a radio station

I dunno how important it is for me to actually start a radio station, I just enjoyed having a radio show, and I'd love to do it again - except that I'd have to have control over the programming. No Clear Channel Setlist bull shit. Maybe with the way technology is changing the landscape, it will be possible through some kind of internet service. But there's really something about having a place to go to set up your show and interact with the listeners, as opposed to simply loading a setlist onto some webpage while you go about whatever else you're doing in life. I don't know, it's something that requires some thought.

perform a concert to an empty coliseum in Pompeii

Just like Pink Floyd did. Okay, well, it's a really cool idea, and to follow in Pink Floyd's footsteps would be awesome, but I don't really need to do this to find happiness in my life. The key thing behind this is the feeling of playing loud amplified music to a large, open, dark environment devoid of people. It's the atmosphere. And really, I could do that any number of places not in Pompeii. And to take another step backward, the really great thing is just getting to play music outdoors. That's my favorite venue - open air. Oh, another goal I came up with was to play an outdoors performance nude sometime. That would be great. I should get in touch with the local nudist resorts and ask them if they're looking for an entertainer. :p

live in the Winchester Mystery House

This is another one of those more out-there goals. I figured, Jimmy Page bought the Crowley mansion, if I were to become a rock star, I could probably buy the Winchester Mystery House. But they probably like having it open for tourists. I love the idea of living in a house with really bizarre architecture. It's like being a kid again, exploring the hallways, and the wierd rooms, and balconies, and going on the roof, and the views, and all that. I guess the Winchester Mystery House is really just one of the best examples of truly bizarre architecture. I'd still like to visit it someday, just to see it. Maybe when I finally make that cross-country trip to California! (Granted, Nevada is pretty darn close).

see a total solar eclipse

Sure, I'd still love to.

see the aurora borealis

I almost wanted to take this off, because it's like, when am I ever gonna get a chance to see the aurora borealis? But I've seen pictures of it, and I'd really love to see it in person someday. I guess, going north into the colder climate doesn't sound as nice to me as going south for the tropics, but on the other hand, there are some advantages to the Great White North. Less people, more space, and the idea of days/nights lasting for whole seasons. I think it sounds awesome. I might not want to live there for very long, but it could be an interesting place to visit.

change my name

I don't know. I don't really like the idea of having any name be my "official name". Why do we have to have official names anyway? For that reason, I feel that it's just as well that I leave my official name what it is, since I'm not real concerned with it, and just go on calling myself whatever I feel like. To hell with beauracracy, anyway. I don't need to get the courts to sanction something for it to be meaningful in my life.

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