Looking Back at an Optimistic List I Made 3 Years Ago

Just now I stumbled upon a list I made in December 2012 of things I wanted to do. This is really exciting because I had completely forgotten making this list. It’s like looking back through an old time capsule. Let’s go through and see how badly I disappointed myself…

  • Paint.  I have painted maybe twice since making this list? Both times were at a free crafts thing my school hosts Saturday nights to keep students from going out and drinking. It was painting random wood shapes or paper tree ornaments, so not exactly what I had in mind. However, I plan to enroll in an evening watercolor class in March, and that’ll definitely cross this gem off the list. Status: IN PROGRESS
  • Learn to draw. I just so happen to be currently taking an introductory drawing class for credit, so this is exciting. While I can’t say that I completed the process of learning to draw because I’m still a long way from drawing anything recognizable (aside from melting potatoes), I’m pretty much locked into this class for the remainder of the semester, so I’d call this task done. Status: ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Write a poem every day. I reached a certain point last year where I was writing poetry every day, though not necessarily a complete poem. However, I long since fell out of the habit. Since I’m taking an advanced poetry course this semester, I might get back into the rhythm of things, so we’ll call this a work in progress. Status: IN PROGRESS
  • Keep up with my blog. Okay, you got me. I used to have a different blog back in the day. It’s not one that I’m especially proud of, which is why I abandoned it and never refer back to it, but it’s actually where I found this list. I would only post on that blog once every couple months, and it would never be a really thought-provoking post or anything worth reading. I didn’t know anything about blogging at the time, and so it ended up being a train wreck. Anyway, three years later, I’d say I’ve found a blog I enjoy keeping up with, and for the most part, I post regularly. Oh, look how far I’ve come… Status: ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Study until my head hurts on a regular basis. Yes, these were my exact words on the list. There’s only the slightest hint of masochism and self-loathing… Since it’s my final semester of college, I don’t really need to study all that much since I’m not taking very many classes that require studying, but even during my hardest semesters, I never maxed out my studying potential. I’m hoping this will change in grad school, but for now I can’t really say I’ve succeeded in this one. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Enjoy learning again. I think this one speaks to my psyche at the time I wrote this list. Sophomore year of college was the most difficult year for me, regarding my class load and psychological well being. I don’t want to go into too much detail about this here, but there are three distinct periods in my life where my depression was the worst, and this was one of them. However, I have gotten better since then, and I can safely say that I do enjoy learning again. Status: ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Meet interesting people. By this I meant that I wanted to connect with people with backgrounds different than mine. Unfortunately, being stuck in a college town in the middle of nowhere with no car, I haven’t really had much success with this one. However, I have met fun people with stories to tell, so I guess that’s good enough for now. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Tell people how I really feel. Yeah, this one is still a complete failure. One day I will. One day… Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Experience working at unusual jobs. Since writing this, I’ve only had jobs as a tutor and interning at a nonprofit, which just meant sitting in an office or sitting through meetings 90% of the time. At the time of writing this, I wanted to work as a pest control technician. I can’t remember for the life of me why I wanted that job, but I had even checked Monster and other job sites for postings. Jobs like that would be considered unusual, and I would still like to have a cool job like that just for the experience. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Go on a spontaneous road trip. I’ve been on spontaneous trips, which are a lot of fun. I also went on a planned 17-hour road trip to Florida for spring break last year, and it was awful. I never ever want to sit in a car for that long again. This one is incomplete and it is staying incomplete. NEVER AGAIN. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Immerse myself in nature. I’m not sure what I meant by this, but I’m guessing either hiking and camping more or feeling more one with nature. Neither of these have I done much of since writing this, though, but I’d definitely still like to. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Go hang-gliding. I have not done this, nor am I sure I still want to… Gah, scary… Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Plant flowers at George Orwell’s grave. George Orwell is one of the greatest thinkers to have ever existed, and he is by far my favorite writer. I would love to still do this, even if it is quite a bit of a journey to get there. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Ride in a hot air balloon. I actually had the opportunity to do this in Vegas, but hot air balloon rides are crazy expensive… Maybe when I’m rich… Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum and Holocaust Museum. Apparently I lumped these two together even though the only similarity they share is being a museum. I still really want to go to both, though. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Climb a Mountain. I hiked a mountain, but I never went mountain climbing or anything. I had the chance when I was in D.C. over the summer, but I didn’t pack my tennis shoes… Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Protest something. Yes, I absolutely still want to do this! I don’t even care what it is, as long as I’m passionate about it. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Run for office... why? The only office positions I’ve held were in high school, and I never ever plan on running for anything again. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Go to an opera. I have not done this. Status: INCOMPLETE
  • Get published. I have not done this either, nor have I even tried to except for one hasty attempt a year ago that was destined for failure. I need to start trying, though, because I write some damn good stuff and people need to have access to it.

So I’m not doing as great as I probably had hoped I would be doing. I never gave myself a deadline for accomplishing these, though (clearly I know myself well), and so there is still time. I shan’t let you down, 19-year-old Iris! Although, I’m thinking I need to revise this list. 19-year-old Iris had some lame ambitions. Maybe I’ll post an updated list for 26-year-old Iris to stumble upon.

I’m feeling nostalgia pretty hard right now, so the ghost of Iris past might make a presence in more posts in the near future.

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