Sunday, November 30, 2008

30 things to do before you turn 30

i've seen way too many of these lists and hardly any of them are up to scratch in my opinion, so i made my own.  i know that making this list is reflexive in some way or another. the truth is, i'm an artist and have spent much of my time reading, writing and travelling to do what i do. when it's your career or your lifestyle, the opportunity to explore comes easier than if you were tied to a daily corporate situation.

but the truth is, this list encompasses much of what was commonly understood to be true of someone that recieved a basic liberal arts education, way back when.   what i'm probably thinking of is a classical education that teaches logic and rhetoric -- something that's sorely needed amongst the general populace right about now.  

there's so much that i want to do. live in havana, cuba. see the hermitage in moscow.  learn how to speak french. (finally!) this list is a place to start.  there's always something else to learn. there's always more.
  1. leave home (you'd be shocked and amazed at how many people in this day and age don't ever do this.)
  2. live completely and utterly on your own -- that means you stand on your own two feet and support yourself from the ground up, answering to no one. your apartment, your money, your rules, your good/bad credit, your life. 
  3. live alone.
  4. put aside the idea of marriage and children for as long as possible (preferrably all of your twenty-something years), and have an actual life
  5. learn how to communicate effectively. 
  6. learn how to think critically (this one is kind of huge...)
  7. finish high school
  8. finish college -- get a BA degree from a decent, accredited college or university
  9. own and maintain a passport
  10. travel -- domestically and internationally. here's a tip: do this before you settle in on a corporate plantation (preferrably right after you finish college, if you're living a conventional life) or you probably won't ever pull it off.
  11. see a broadway show
  12. see an off-broadway show
  13. be a responsible citizen, do your civic duty and VOTE at every and any election
  14. live in a foreign country -- as an adult (see #2)
  15. live in another region of this country -- as an adult (see #2)
  16. watch all of the AFI's top 100 films of all time.
  17. read all of TIME's top 100 novels of all time.
  18. live and work in New York City. Or London. Or Paris.
  19. learn how to play a musical instrument.
  20. build at least one career.
  21. get a financial education.
  22. own at least one original piece of art, regardless of genre.
  23. have a hobby that keeps you physically active.
  24. work in the service industry -- so you will always have a healthy respect for those who do.
  25. learn a second language.
  26. develop your own personal sense of style -- and understand what fashion really is.
  27. be a good and reliable wingman/woman.
  28. make every effort to date against type -- especially if you live in new york city or some other large metropolis -- or at least go on blind dates frequently.
  29. do volunteer work or make a contribution of time/effort/money to charity on a regular basis.
  30. start your own business and work for yourself.

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

As far as learning a second language is concerned, can I put in a word for Esperanto?

Although it is a living language, it helps language learning as well. Four schools in Britain have introduced this neutral international language, in order to test its propaedeutic values.

The pilot project is being monitored by the University of Manchester, and the initial results are very encouraging. These can be seen at,%20S2L%20Phase%201.pdf

An interesting video can be seen at and a glimpse of Esperanto at