Let me tell you about the July 2018. The second most important month of my life. The BEST month of my life.
Do you ever say, "I've always wanted to . . . " or "Someday I'd like to . . . "? I used to say those things a lot. I'm the master of delayed gratification. So good at martyrdom and self-sacrifice. And then, in June, Kate Spade and Anthony Bordain ended their lives. I had a long conversation with a friend about how I can relate to them. I've never been actively suicidal, but I've wished every day since December 1, 1997 that my brother had killed me. That's partly because I have a very broken heart, a lot of pain that I can't articulate, and it all feels too hard sometimes. But it's also because I've spent my entire adult life living out other people's expectations for me, instead of doing the things I want to do. And over time, I got fed up with this way of existing. That conversation in June was the last straw for me. I have things I want to do. All kinds of great people in my life to do them with. I have been given the gift of time and space! I am the only thing keeping me from having fun.
So I made a list. I wrote down all the Things I've Never Done Before (if you didn't catch the list, see below for my "final results"). And I posted it on facebook so it would be eternally archived in the digital universe, and I'd feel accountable. Then, I turned off alerts for all the people who might distract me, took email off my phone, and FUCKING RAN WILD.
The month of July was everything.
It was hard. It was fun.
It was intense. It was light.
It was energizing. It was exhausting.
It was scary. It was easy.
It started a million years ago, but it went so fast. I will never be the same person, and I will not live in a prison of other people's expectations. And that, my friends, is everything.
The summer is short. Life is short. The time to do it is now. Now, let's go have some fun in August. I have a list to finish!
The List: #ThingsI'veNeverDoneBefore
Visited Pyramid Hill Park
Had some bourbon with my friends from high school (Blanton's!!!)
Shared the pinup pics I took a few years ago
Tattoos and brunch with Amy Parker
Took Mom to a concert
Visited the memorial for the Heath High School shooting (Thank you, Brooke. A million Thank yous.)
Started a blog (and here you are!)
These are things I didn't initially plan, or didn't want to announce
Asked people to set me up on dates (and not a single one of those panned out!)
Got so tan I had to buy makeup a shade darker
Went on an RV camping trip with the whole family
Ate dinner in an aquarium
Let people be nice to me, buy me drinks and give me compliments with minimal grumbling (Guys, I suck, and this is so damn hard for me.)
Spontaneously purchased a car
Climbed a rope to the ceiling of the gym (I AM SO BADASS!!!!)
Went out on a date with every person who asked me out
Set boundaries with colleagues AND (mostly) STUCK TO THEM (I love you all, and I hope you understand.)
Booked flights to visit some of my friends from high school (Thanks in advance, y'all!!!)
Downloaded an artist's album while he was doing his live set at a concert (Check out John Craigie. He's good.)
Started an instagram account (fireysheets)
Prioritized the pool, the gym, and fun
Made a list, and didn't complete it before the deadline
Still to do!!!
Do the bourbon trail
Start a small business
Read Harry Potter
Do the Butler County Donut Trail
Ride every roller coaster at King's Island
Take pole dancing lessons
Solve the opioid crisis (That's for you, Amy Parker!)