If you haven’t already read it, I suggest you read the 30 before 30 – the challenge begins post before you read this one. Only then will you fully understand what on earth I’m doing and why I decided to take on this challenge. This strange little bucket list of mine. We all react differently to turning thirty. To some, it’s the end of the world. To others, it’s a new start. To me it’s somewhere in between. I’ve started to reflect on all the things I should have done by now and never did, and I’m worrying about all the things people expect me to do that I don’t want to do. Such as buying a house, having babies and getting a nine to five job. This is a lifestyle a lot of people dream of, but to me it’s the ultimate nightmare. Maybe I’m saying this because I’m going through a so-called thirty-crisis, a kind of midlife crisis that didn’t even exist before my generation. I guess you could say I’m just another deluded, starry eyed millennial. I wanna hold on to my goals and dreams and give up on nothing, for no one. Is it still okay to keep trying and put all the responsible adult things on hold, even in your thirties?
I gave myself two months to complete the bucket list. The first month has almost come to an end, and this is what I managed to complete so far (and what I’ve learned from it).
1. Go on my ultimate dream date (with myself)
location: Paris, France
I thought this would be the easiest challenge of them all…I mean, me taking myself out to do fun things and eat good food and treat myself the way I’d want to be treated on a date, how hard could it possibly be? Turns out, I am my own cringe-worthy date. The bad date I would talk about to my friends right after making my great escape from the person I’ve wasted time on. That’s how it went down, when I planned the perfect afternoon-date for me and myself in Paris.
My original plan was to visit the Musée de la Magie (museum of magic) and/or Musée des Arts Forains (museum of carnival arts), have a coffee at the trendy Used Book Café then go to the Centre Pompidou to visit the gallery of modern art before spending the last few hours of the date at geek chic restaurant Comics Burger for dinner. I didn’t wanna do fine dining, Eiffel tower, Montmartre and all that stuff as I’ve already done that thousands of times with my boyfriend. Living in Paris makes you kind of spoiled, I guess.
Things did not go according to plan. Turns out you need to make a reservation in order to visit both of those museums…and obviously, I hadn’t done that. So I had to come up with a plan B. For some reason, I ended up visiting the Père Lachaise cemetery…because nothing says romantic date like a trip to the graveyard? I guess, if my date had been someone who’s fascinated by death and darkness, then sure, but I wasn’t on a date with neither Dracula nor Casper the friendly ghost. Or a goth. Just me.
The Père Lachaise cemetery is the final resting place of famous people like Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin and Edith Piaf. However, I got lost trying to find all of those graves and ended up seeing none of them. After two hours of searching, I gave up. I was dehydrated and my feet were hurting. If this had been a real date, we’d already be off to a bad start. Disoriented me, unable to impress anyone. I’m sure I would’ve said “I’m so sorry” over and over again, just to make it even worse.
At least the Used Books Café was open and I immediately got a table. I photographed my coffee and cake, as I always do, and two girls gave me the meanest stare I’ve ever seen…if looks could kill, I’d be dead. I didn’t realize people found latte-instagramming to be that offensive? I mean, they’re not the ones stuck with a lukewarm coffee in the end.
Refueled with caffeine and sugar, I was ready to see some cool modern art at the Centre Pompidou.
However, when I got there, the doors were closed and there was a sign taped to the doors. Centre Pompidou was closed as all the employees were currently on strike. If there’s one thing that annoys me with the french culture, it’s how much they love going on strike. I mean, I get it. They’re french. They’re used to revolutions and protests and beheading royals. But why, WHY did the employees of an art gallery (of all people) have to go on strike the ONE day I cleared my schedule and made time and effort to go there?!
Annoyed and no longer in the mood to have fun at all, I dragged my passive-aggressive self to Kilo Shop to do some therapeutic thrift-shopping. I wasn’t even in the mood to take the metro to the geeky restaurant anymore. I just wanted to eat somewhere close to where I was and get the eff home as soon as I was done eating.
I ended up buying myself a polka dot dress, two basic tops and a black jacket with some silver sequin embroideries on it. And then I grabbed an actually pretty tasty vegan burger at Hank Burger before taking the metro back to the boring suburbs I live in.
Mission accomplished? As much as it was kind of a lousy date, I still did it. It still counts.
24. See a Magic Show
location: Paris, France
I know it’s the cheesiest thing in the world, and I know I could have done it when I was in Las Vegas a couple of years ago, but it just never happened. Never in my life had I ever seen a magic show live – and I wanted to change that.
As mentioned earlier, living in Paris makes you kind of spoiled. If you wanna see a cabaret, a stand-up show, a theater play, a magic show or even a circus performance – it’s all there in Paris, every week, all year around. Obviously, it ain’t free. Far from it. So it’s not something you can do every weekend – unless you’re rich.
So for the first time in my life, I booked tickets to see a magic show performed by a french magician duo (Les Illusionnistes) The show was fun, and I am so glad they didn’t pick me while randomly selecting people from the audience to go on stage with them. They picked my boyfriend, though. The poor guy who doesn’t even feel comfortable showing his face on social media, obviously wasn’t too pleased with it. Although, I think he secretly loved it. Shh, don’t tell anyone!
Mission accomplished? Yes, absolutely!
25. Laugh more
The weekend before I went to see the magic show with my boyfriend, I went to see a stand-up show (A New Yorker in Paris) all by myself. Is it socially acceptable to see stand-up shows alone? To laugh alone? I have absolutely no idea.
Before going to see the show, I had nearly two hours to kill. I decided to head down to the very hyped up instafamous ‘you can’t brunch with us unless you’re a fashionista’ cafe SEASON. I was the least cool person there, and probably the only one who thinks it’s kind of a rip-off to pay nine euros for three small pieces of toast with avocado on them. I left the cafe still feeling hungry, so I went to a nearby supermarket and bought myself a bag of chips. Halfway into the bag, I realized how fat it would make me to eat all that, so I gave the rest to a homeless guy who had raised his beer can and smiled at me while I was stuffing my face with saturated fat. Nothing tastes better with beer than salty chips.
During the show, the comedian asked everyone where they’re from. Some said Germany, others said Greece, one guy said England. More specifically, Manchester. A retired footballer as well. Me, I raised my hand and said Norway. And the comedian then asked me if I was friends with the German girls sitting next to me… Awkwardly, I responded ‘no, I’m here on my own’. I hadn’t felt this much shame since the time I went to a high end Parisian restaurant by myself and whispered ‘table for one, please’, only to be asked to repeat myself and say it out loud – in front of lots of people who were staring at me as if I had just told them I’d pooped my pants.
To make things worse, the comedian told everyone to give me a round of applause for having the courage to come to the show on my own. I felt like I was at an AA meeting, telling people it’s been two days since my last binge.
The show was great fun, though. I laughed a lot and eventually got over the shame of being there friendless and date-less.
Mission accomplished? Without a doubt!
15. Embrace my Fabulousness
This one have kind of happened by default. Unlike the other things I’ve managed to accomplish for now, I didn’t make plans to do anything to feel “fabulous”. I didn’t get a makeover, nor did I pay to do a professional photo shoot. Those were things I actually considered doing – and I’m not even sure it would have an impact on me!
Instead of paying someone to make me look better, things happened that made me feel better. And as I started to feel better on the inside I also felt prettier on the outside.
These past two weeks, I’ve gained a lot more attention than usual as a blogger and and Instagrammer – and I’ve even become a brand ambassador for a clothing brand and been offered sponsored meals at restaurants as an influencer. Getting free meals and discounted clothes is obviously a big win, but the greatest part of it all is finally getting recognition for all the hard work I’ve put into the articles I write and the photos I take. My biggest dream is to become a published writer – and guess what, because of all the small wins, I’ve finally had the courage to start writing my first novel!
There’s no such thing as failures, only quitters. And I refuse to be a quitter. Today I’m feeling fabulous!
Mission accomplished? Abso-effin-lutely!
With only four down, there’s still twenty-six left to go. Will I be able to complete my bucket list before turning thirty, or not?