Below you’ll find my answer to my guest prompt today on Plinky. I’ve been honing my Mighty Life list today, crossing a few things off, and making some changes based on the principle of dreaming bigger.
“Know basic French” and “Know basic Mandarin” became “Be conversational in seven languages.”
“Taste Durian” became “Taste 1,000 fruits.”
“Publish a piece of fiction” became “Write a novel.”
“Do something I think I can’t” became “Write a screenplay.”
“Attend my sister’s nursing school graduation” became “Get my health issues in hand,” because my sister has decided she loves her current career too much to tackle a new one.
“Gather together strangers I’ve wanted to meet” became “Organize a retreat.”
What have you been doing with your lists? Give us an update in comments.
My Plinky answer starts here:
I have a life list with a hundred items, which you’ll find in the left sidebar if you’re reading this on Mighty Girl. Here’s a handful of them:
Be conversational in seven languages.
For one, this is just a badass, super-spy thing to do. Nothing is hotter than the pasty redhead who surprises you by speaking Mandarin with the cab driver. (Except maybe the busty blonde who surprises you by speaking Mandarin with the cab driver. We’ll have to settle this with mud wrestling.)
Anyway, when I learned Spanish it changed how I thought. I had less access to irony and sarcasm, a greater tolerance for old-fashioned romance. It’s hard to sound cheesy in Spanish.
Language shapes our perception so fundamentally that we don’t even know it’s happening. Learning a new language teaches you another point of view, one that’s been honed over thousands of years by millions of people. It’s the deepest way to access another culture.
Go on a multi-day biking trip.
Like many writers, I don’t consider myself athletic. I was the kid picked last at kickball, the kid who never played soccer, the kid who died a little on dodgeball days.
So screw that. I never tried, which makes for an automatic fail. Now seems like a good time to put down the book and get off my ass. And I like bikes.
Do a “10 Things You Don’t Know About Women” feature for Esquire
Are they even doing these any more? I just realized that this month’s issue doesn’t have one, and I can’t remember seeing one for the last few months either. Shit.
Give $100 to a violin-playing busker.
Mostly, buskers irritate me. But if I hear a violin when I step off the train, it makes my whole day. I got $100 worth of two-dollar bills at the bank for just this purpose. Now I just need to spend a few days on the subway.
Lemonade on the front porch swing, warm summer night.
I can’t believe I’ve never done this. Friends, that’s no way to go.