The Before I Die list

I find the reminder of death liberating.

Kind of like Marla in Chuck Palahniuk’s fight club…

This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time. When people think you’re dying they really listen to you… without just waiting for their turn to speak. Marla’s philosophy was that she might die any moment. The tragedy, she said, was that she didn’t… When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered.

It’s a type of grim poetry, romancing my little bohemian heart.

What can I say? I identify with the concept. Marla and I, we would’ve been friends.

Because when you dance and entertain the idea of death, you feel more alive… and it offers clarity. Suddenly all the bullshit of the day-to-day disintegrates into a pile of forgotten funeral pyre ash. Just. Like. That.

It’s with this perky perspective that I created this ‘before I die list’  – also known as the epic-shit bucket list. Because (as in BULLET point 7) contributing to an eco housing project is epic shit. ‘Cuz that’s the type of thing that really matters to me. It’s the type of thing I would die to do and live to be.

THE LIST (so what if I’m dreaming):

  • Try Ayahuasca with a shaman
  • Join a barefoot movement project
  • Learn the names and uses of at least 500 (arbitrarily seems like a reasonable number) plants and mushrooms
  • Collect oral histories from indigenous tribes
  • Open an organic cafe and a herbal remedy store
  • Go to India, take cookery lessons to make paratha roti (properly)
  • Contribute to an eco-housing and agriculture project
  • Assist with an illiteracy program
  • Visit at least 500 of the Philippine islands (did you know there’s over 7000 of ’em bad boys)
  • Learn Tagalog as well as my mum’s dialect
  • Visit and contribute to a Cambodian Orphanage (should be able to tick this off in Jan)
  • Brew my own vodka and beer (think how useful that would be)
  • Teach yoga
  • Learn to fly a plane (preferably with my retired pilot uncle if he’s still capable – damn  cataracts!)
  • Live on a farm
  • Live and work in Japan
  • Finally master my god damn Mandolin
  • Drink tea with monks in Tibet contemplating the universe
  • Work with a Filipino community to set up social enterprises in the style of Ernesto Sirolli (this is in the pipeline)
  • Live in Mexico just to smoke rolled tobacco, drink tequila and write poetry
  • Create a video documentary about my mother. She has the most incredible stories. And I would like to be able to show my future kids, grand kids, etc, what resilience and strength really looks like.
  • Become a key note speaker on social and environmental issues (First major conference in the diary for Summer 2013)
  • Build my own earthship (self-sufficient housing) and tree house and develop my own nuclear bunker (because I’m a bit of a paranoid Psycho like that)
  • Complete a wilderness leader and survival course (I have a scholarship and decided to use it on exactly that. Screw the PhD, the education system’s over-inflated)
  • Meditate until I experience bliss
  • Ride a bio-diesel motorcycle (preferably without injuring myself) through the Colorado mountains
  • Write a book and become an internationally recognised author
  • Road trip around the US collecting and selling vintage artefacts and antiques
  • Trace my family tree and document their stories
  • Eat Gelato in Rome
  • Act as street performer (checked off in 2006 the summer of love and hitchhikers)
  • Write for National Geographic
  • Try Peyote while wandering through the dessert
  • Do my very own Ted Talk
  • Stroll naked through a forest (Check. Very liberating and would like to do it again)
  • Call my tribe! (ie. Attract and build my own community of awesome, funny, proactive and brilliant people)
  • Camp and live in forest (one of the best experiences of my life, and I have the written story coming soon)
  • Become a ‘big sister’ to a young ex-offender
  • Decolonize my perspective
  • Know on my death bed that I’ve invested every cent of on my money on self-development, humanitarian efforts, sustainability and maintaining the fine line which is my own sanity
  • Explore the world with someone I’m madly in love with (sap, sap, sappy who woulda thought)
  • Live a complete life never dictated by fear
  • Know with every screaming cell in my hot-tempered body that I listened, that I cared, and that I helped

I am foolish and young enough to think I can achieve all of these things


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