32 Things I’d like to Accomplish Before I’m 32

In 2010 a few months after I graduated college and a few days before starting my first big girl job I made a list of 32 things I wanted to do before I turned 32. I randomly remembered this today and decided to search my old blog for it and see if I had really accomplished any of these things. To my delight, I have accomplished a fair amount of these things and to my intrigue, the list was incomplete! I needed to add 6 more items. I may have cheated a little and added some things that I have already done, but didn’t realize back in 2010 these were things I’d like to do in my life. The ones I have completed are bold, commentary is in italics. Enjoy. 

1. live closer to my sister 
I completed this twice. First, when she moved to Charlotte from Florida and recently when she moved to Durham from Charlotte. I should get 2 points for this one.

2. National Board Certification
I looked into this, and for what it costs and what you get in return I don’t really see the value. I am quite honestly in education until my debts are paid and then I am not sure where I will go from there. AND I found out you have to reapply every so many years to keep your certification. I smell a scam. (Although congrats to all you hardworking teachers out there that maintain this!)

3. take pictures at a wedding
I have done this at least 4 times (4 points)! It was fun, but way more work than I’d like to ever do “on the side” and I am not 100% I am cut out for it. I am shooting a dear friend’s wedding in May and am VERY excited about that, though. Just learning, taking one day at a time. 

4. have a fully functioning photography business “on the side” 
While I do not have a license or keep up with any sort of the business side of things, I would consider what I have going on right now fully functional, in that the donations I received have paid for a trip to Peru. I have enjoyed taking pictures and think maybe someday (thats double italicized) I might like to pursue running a business outright, right now I am a teacher and only want to work in education. The older I get, the more excited I am to not rely on a job to pay my debts, but to do something meaningful that I enjoy and that will allow me to work from home (if needed) but to someday be a mom and all that. 

5. be debt free (with the exception of a mortgage, but this includes student loan debt)
This is SO in progress, Kellie of 2010. Would you believe that your Sallie Mae & Federal Loan debt (and the mortgage) are all that remain between you and freedom? Yes, about $40k (+ mortgage) but STILL. That’s it! You are just 2 years away from financial peace (see what I did there?). Keep going, you got it! 

6. purchase a full frame DSLR + a myriad of lenses (fisheye, wide angle, macro zoom, the list goes on and on and on)
I don’t really know what my obsession with the fisheye lens is, but I have not purchased a full frame camera yet and still use my humble little Canon Rebel. It works just fine, although every session I edit I just salivate thinking about what full frame goodness would look like. Maybe someday, after number 5 up there is done. 

7. figure out what I want to do my Master’s degree in
I’ve toyed around with lots of ideas, but I don’t really see getting a Master’s in the next 6 years. I applied, took the GRE, got accepted but just couldn’t decide on a program. I really like the idea of teaching college education classes one day, but that would require most definitely a master’s in C & I (which  would be fun for course development) and probably a PHD of some kind and I am just not in a place to make those sorts of plans right now. I think I want to cross this off the list. Since I’m making the rules (and got 4 points for the wedding thing) I can do that right? I just can’t justify going to graduate school while still paying for undergrad to do a job that pays $30k a year. Not a good investment. 

8. go back to Costa Rica and visit Geovanny, Zulay, Ana Victoria & Isac
This happened and it was 95% wonderful and 5% awkward. They have a dog now, are the sweetest kids ever and I wish I saw them more often. 

9. see the “Friends” apartment in New York
This happened! We also got engaged on that same trip. Le sigh. 

10. visit California
This has not happened, but Marshall has after we were married, so I think that calls for at least half a point. Today when I told him about this list he said “sure” when I asked if we can go to California in the next 6 years. I assume thats a firm “yes”.  

11. make concrete plans to visit Egypt/Israel before I’m 45
This one makes me laugh, because it’s like “in the next 10 years you should plan a trip for the subsequent 13 years”. It doesn’t belong on this list, Kellie of 2010. Although, that would be amazing. This one goes too. 

12. own a house
Does have a really big loan out on a house count as owning a house? If so, this is done. If not, this may happen before 32 but probably not. We’re projected to be out of student loan debt in 2017, but we’d need to pay on the house for at least 3 years probably after that to have it paid for. So I’m just gonna keep this bold. 

13. have a brightly colored front door
It’s teal and perfect. I’d also like to point out that ours was that color before Young House Love painted their’s teal. I’d like to think she got that idea from my Instagram. 

14. visit the FuHsing school in Taiwan, either to teach or just to say hey!
Unless there’s a mission trip or adoption of a Taiwanese baby involved in this it is probably not going to happen. Although it would be cool.  

15. learn how to run, and sign up for a 5k (Real Simple says it’s never too late!) 
I signed up for so many 5ks! Excellent wording, Kellie of 2010. Have I run an entire 5k? No. I have signed up for three of them, to be exact. 

16. teach elementary school English as a Second Language… at least one year
Well I am teaching elementary Spanish and just volunteered to man ESL testing next month. So I am counting this one as done. Technicality? Probably. But this is my list. 

17. teach in a foreign country
Not happened. But vague enough that I might be able to swing it after my mission trip to Peru in March. 

18. be working on a Master’s, or even have finished it
Yeah, not gonna happen. NC took away Master’s pay, I work three jobs and really hate homework. Doesn’t look like it is in the cards for me. 

19. visit the Grand Canyon (I guess I’ll swing this when I swing #10)
Yes. This will happen on our way to California, hopefully in real life and not just in an airplane. 

20. learn how to make jam/jelly/preserves/etc.
I really appreciate how Kellie of 2010 thought making jelly was worth putting on the same list as moving to a foreign country to teach. Just so, perfect. This has not happened yet, but I am pretty sure it just requires heating water and fruit and mason jars. 

21. master the sewing machine, and make some clothes for myself
I have not even mastered the sewing machine a little bit. I did one time remove some sleeves from a dress and then donated it to Goodwill because it was really ugly after I altered it. 

22. live in the same zip code as Robert M. Chaney
I’ll do you one better, 2010 Kellie, you married him! And now you not only live in the same zip code, you live in the same house. 

23. upgrade to an iMac
This happened not too long after this post was written and although you’ve toyed around with selling it to pay off debt, it has come in handy with photos and now all the work you do online. 

24. learn how to edit in Photoshop, without crying in frustration
This hasn’t happened, but I’m doing alright with iPhoto. Someday. Someday. 

So here’s where I added some. I cheated a little. 

25. solve a Rubix cube
Marshall said he could teach me how to do this today. I just mumbled “I can’t, I have too much work to do!” and kept working on this list. 

26. go on a mission trip
It’s not bold because it happens in March, but it’s going down! A Perú!

27. win a game of monopoly
I just recently finished my first game of Monopoly last week, but I think I might want to play again in a few months so maybe I’ll win. I have 6 years!

28. adopt a dog
I really did want to adopt a dog before I got Luna, but I ended up just buying her. And then she was crazy, needed a friend and we adopted Lobo! 

29. go to Paris
I am going to go on a limb and say this was a goal before 32, but I felt a little ambitious writing Egypt, Israel, Taiwan, California, and Grand Canyon all on the same list when I knew I’d be making $30k a year. I went for free and it was magical and hopefully someday soon I’ll get to go back and eat some bread. 

30. go to NYC
I’ve always wanted to go to NYC my WHOLE life and never dreamed I’d go, AND get engaged there to say the least. Definitely belongs on the list.

31. run an entire 5k
This will require starting from scratch again and learning how to run, but I have 6 years to try! 

32. learn how to drive a school bus
Not really a life goal, but I think it is worth mentioning. Probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life, and I have never felt prouder than when I backed the thing between two cones during my driver’s test. Driving in real life was actual torture and I will forever deny having my CDL if ever questioned. 

Someday soon I will go through and replace some of the stinkers with real, actual before 32 goals, but the older I get, the more I just really enjoy taking one day at a time and going where God moves me to go. Some may see that as not being “goal oriented” but God has never been shy about putting me where he wants me, when he wants me.

I am so grateful for the past 4 years and hope that the next 6 bring some running, traveling, jam (that one is staying on the list) and some adventures too. 

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