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On Growing Up, Jamming Out, and Taking Deep Breaths

Last night I joined 55,999 other girls at the Taylor Swift concert in Atlanta. I went with my friend Lindsay who gets box tickets from her job and we enjoyed a once-in-a-life-time evening casually watching Our Girl Swift shake it off whilst eating free fried foods in the press box. Most things I get to do in life are because of my friends and their wonderful generosity and scarfing down fried macaroni balls while Tay Tay blew our collective minds was no exception. I was on top of the world. 

I checked my email this morning as I awoke in Lindsay’s gorgeous midtown apartment, still glowing from all the Bad Blood Awesomeness we’d experienced the night before. An email from mom. 

My favorite teacher, Mrs. D, had passed away. She had suffered an aneurysm a few years back and had never fully recovered. She went peacefully. Mrs. D had the most epic gray hair, a whip-smart sense of humor, and the best cursive writing I have ever seen. She also was no pushover on the kickball field, which is just about everything to a 4th grader. 

I had seen her only last Christmas at a pie party (small town perks) and things were the same as they had been in the 4th Grade– she wanted to know what I was reading, if I’d been writing, and of course, if I’d been behaving myself. I assured her reading and writing were happening, and if by “behaving” she meant “goofing off and causing harmless mischief” then yes, by all accounts, things were as they should be. 

On the drive home, I kept thinking about a promise I had made to Mrs. D back in the day. She had written me a letter while I was away at camp as a counselor, with a book she wanted me to read included. She told me that she wanted me to write… wanted me to tell all the stories she knew I had bottled up inside somewhere. Back in elementary school, I read voraciously and had an insatiable appetite for mystery and adventure novels. (I do think this is why I got into so much “trouble” as a kid. Trying to be Nancy Drew rarely leads to calm days…) I wrote back and told her that yes, eventually, I would sit still long enough to start writing seriously. 

And to a certain extent… I have. But not truly. And now, part of me feels the weight that I never did it while she could have looked everything over for me. 

On my drive home from Atlanta this morning, I started thinking of lots of things that I haven’t done that I’ve always wanted to do. And I’ve decided, though woefully cliche, to put together a list. 

Since this Wednesday is my 29th Birthday… I’ve decided to make it a 30 Before 30 List. #2 is for you, Mrs. D. 

Deep breaths. Here goes. 

Morgangster’s 30 Before 30 List 

  1. Go to Paris (this feels like cheating since I leave tomorrow but hey)
  2. Write a book during NaNoWriMo
  3. Make my bed every morning (ADULTING UGH) 
  4. Train for and Run a Half Marathon 
  5. Design and publish a font
  6. See Adele in concert*
  7. Learn how to make chocolate ganache
  8. Go snow-shoeing with my sister
  9. Perform stand-up at an open mic
  10. Go a whole week without eating out (this might be the hardest on this list)
  11. Coach my basketball team back to the State Finals
  12. And win this time!
  13. Go to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston to watch my Mom race
  14. Re-learn how to knit
  15. Finish a NYTimes crossword puzzle (without my Mom-life-line)
  16. Attend Rabbit Box Storytelling in Athens
  17. Go Yurt Camping at Sweetwater Creek State Park
  18. Audition for a local play
  19. Complete a 21 Day Fix cycle
  20. Go spear fishing with my brother
  21. Re-watch all Star Wars movies
  22. Learn to screenprint
  23. Take a bike repair class
  24. Host a Wes Anderson Movie Marathon
  25. Take a weekend adventure with my Dad
  26. See a Cubs game at Wrigley with my cousins
  27. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway in the fall  
  28. Play Croquet & Have a Fancy Picnic
  29. Read entire CS Lewis, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott catalogues
  30. Write a snail-mail letter once a week


*this presupposes that she’ll do a 25 tour but I’m just gonna go ahead and count those eggs before they hatch because I need this to happen

Last Year’s Birthday Post //