30 things to do before you’re 30
✨ MELANIE FULLBROOK
For my 29th birthday party I sat with a gorgeously sporadic group of friends from all walks of my life in the afternoon sun in the gardens of Regent’s Park enjoying a pot-luck picnic. It’s something I’ve done pretty much every year on my birthday since I moved to London. I’ve never really belonged to any specific friendship groups so I joy in the one day a year where I can collect all my individual best people together and they meet each other again for their annual catch up.
This year, with the approach to 30 on the horizon - I decided to ask my friends to challenge me to 30 tasks I had to try and achieve before I was 30. My boyfriend set up a little station on the grass with pens, paper and a jar. Over the course of the afternoon more than 30 were written but here are the 30 I’m attempting. Obviously, true to form of turning 30, in a year with 9 weddings and 5 hen/stags - my pocket is empty, my weekends are mostly taken and some will have to wait to be achieved ‘in my 30s’ but I’ve already done some and already started on my journey to succeed in many others before July 10th. I hope this list will offer inspiration to anyone who wants to mix things up a little / try something new. #1. MODEL NAKED FOR A LIFE DRAWING CLASS: Any help welcome on this one. I’ve contacted so many places and can not find anywhere that needs models / isn’t over-subscribed with volunteers. I did however do a Neon Naked life drawing class this week so if no-one will let me model this will have to do.
#2. VISIT A SILENT MEDITATION RETREAT There seem to be a lot of places that offer this but I am currently looking to go to Gaia House as recommended by a friend. They don’t seem to come particularly cheap for weekend stays but I am determined that this would be very good for me! Aiming to go in late Spring when it’s warm enough to be outside. #3. LEARN 10 STAR CONSTELLATIONS I am trying my best and already have 4 down. I have the app Starlite and keep pointing it hopefully at the sky. One day soon I’ll spend a night out in the garden with my dad’s telescope. #4. WATCH A WHOLE SERIES OF LOVE ISLAND This came about because I was struggling to understand why people like this show so much and so was challenged to get involved. I do ultimately think it brings out the worst in people but... I watched the whole of the last series on catch up TV. I wouldn’t say I’m a convert and will be rushing in to watch it live of an evening but it’s good entertainment whilst getting on with other things. I watched most of it whilst cooking or cleaning. #5. MILK A FARM ANIMAL I’ve contacted a good few farms but I think people just think I’m odd. I am in the countryside a lot this year though so I’m hopeful I’ll succeed. Definitely don’t feel I can do this one without both animal and farmer consent ! #6. VISIT THE WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AND BUY YOUR FAVOURITE ON A POSTCARD Done. And postcard below. What an exhibition. I try to visit every year anyway. Nature is amazing.
#7. START HAVING THERAPY Done. I am about to complete a 12 week course of talk therapy. The Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education offers a pay what you can service if anyone is looking. #8. SWIM NAKED IN THE SEA Done and definitely already more than once. Love a properly open water swim. Thankfully for all of you there is no photographic evidence.
#9. SLEEP ON A BODY OF WATER Think I will achieve this in a little lake house in Devon in March but if not then I definitely slept on a ferry from Corsica to Italy last year. I’ll have to think outside the box to really nail this one. Maybe a friend’s riverboat on the Thames... don’t think I’ll get sea sick from that?!
#10. WATCH A FOOTBALL GAME ON THE AWAY SIDE @ THE DEN I have been trying to make sure the person that set me this has to come too so keeping track of potential fixtures. #11. TAKE A FLYING LESSON DRESSED AS MY BOYFRIEND, DRESSED AS A TIGER This one is tricky - mainly because I wouldn’t trust myself driving a plane and it’s expensive to get someone else to trust me. Maybe I’ll just dress as a tiger in my boyfriend's clothes and have a trampoline lesson instead. I am still researching just in case I can pull it off through contacts though!
#12. RE-CONNECT WITH THREE FRIENDS WITH WHOM YOU'VE LOST CONTACT I’ve started on this. I’ve done one already. It is a very lovely thing just to reach out to people you've somehow lost contact with and see how they are. #13. PERFORM TOTO’S AFRICA IN PUBLIC WEARING SOCKS AND SANDALS A karaoke night will be a must in the summer. I have both sandals and socks and a willing spirit. #14. PERFORM 5 MINUTES OF LIVE STAND UP I’m trying to write this at the moment. Very hard. I’m not a natural writer (can you tell?!) but I am determined to achieve this one as it scares me. #15. LEARN HOW TO ACTUALLY DRIVE BY TAKING THE PASS PLUS / DOING 20 HOURS Yes mother! If I could afford to have a car in London I’d be able to make use of my license!! I will however try to do my 20 hours of solo driving and take my pass plus - maybe not this year but I am looking into costs and timings. #16. FLY IN A HOT AIR BALLOON I couldn’t afford this one but my parents gave it to me as a Christmas present. Legends. So I’ll be up up and away some time soon. #17. PLAY 9 HOLES OF GOLF
Given to me by my 7 year old nephew who is already infinitely more talented than me at most things (he can already solve a rubicks cube). My parents are both keen golfers so I will force them to take me on their course in early summer. If I manage to even hit a ball within the green bits of the course I will be delighted. #18. WRITE AND PUBLISH ON YOUTUBE A 2 MINUTE RAP ABOUT MY LIFE I’ve written it so watch this space. No spoilers. #19. DO THREE PAID LIVE SINGING GIGS I’ve played piano and sung at my friend's wedding, played piano at another friend's twin's wedding and sung at a friend's grandfather's funeral. So technically yes... but not all really paid so I’m still trying to challenge myself on this one.
#20. RECORD AND PUBLISH ONE OF MY OWN SONGS I have borrowed recording equipment in my house and ready to go so just practicing and choosing which song. #21. VISIT AND TRY TO PERFORM AT EPIDAVROS Don’t think I’ll be able to afford this time or money wise this year but I will definitely go at some point. It looks like the most extraordinary place!
#22. LEARN A MAGIC TRICK Watching a lot of YouTube videos. I’ll get there. #23. GO SCUBA DIVING Money restraints again to get my certificate to be able to go out but this is 100% on my life list and I will do it!!!!
#24. LISTEN TO PARRY'S SONGS OF FAREWELL
Done. I got tickets to see it live, sung by The Carice Singers in a wonderful church in London. It truly is a stunning piece of music.
#25. VOLUNTEER IN CALAIS WITH REFUGEE COMMUNITY KITCHEN Done. Spent a weekend volunteering and plan to go back again. I wrote another whole blog on it so won't bore with details but check that out if you are interested.
#26. GET SOMETHING YOU'VE WRITTEN PUBLISHED
I feel like saying this blog counts isn't quite fair so... below is a poem I wrote. I am publishing it online right now.
You, head spinning, trapped in the neck of a bottle. Qualities blurred by the green of the glass. Every word stained with the stench of your 'secret'. Jokes hurt; you're not funny anymore - I miss that. Let's build it back up.
You, morphed so much by your insecurities. So truly trusting in that one rock you depend on, you fail to see it fade beneath your aching feet. Shrinking, dying with every lie. You've changed; I hate that. Let's build it back up.
You, sunk into exhaustion from trying. Trying so hard to gain in a world that keeps taking. Thoughts locked on the daily monotone of life. The black and white keys and the scribbled scores make you happy. I know that! Let's build it back up.
You, lonely, trapped in the hell we all call home. Like the missing pages of a dusty novel, you hold knowledge so precious, but too timid to be shared. Laughter, drowns your hidden tears. Laughter; you need that. Let's build it back up.
You, underneath these scars from time - perfect with your imperfections. Solid in your foundations. Loved for who you are.
#27. LEARN AND PERFORM GANGSTAS PARADISE Another for the karaoke night. #28. GET A TATTOO This will happen. I have never ever wanted a tattoo but as soon as I think of what I want to get and where I’ll sort it. It’ll be tiny. #29. SURF A WAVE More of a talent and skill limitation on this one but I will try my best!! #30. MEET UP WITH EVERYONE WHO GAVE ME A CHALLENGE AND TELL THEM HOW I GOT ON
I look forward to doing this throughout this year and next!
For those interested - the extra ones that I am also trying to achieve are 31. TAKE RISKS (feel like I am trying to do this with all of the above) 32. CLIMB ONE OF THE HIGHEST PEAKS IN ENGLAND SCOTLAND OR WALES (I've climbed Snowdon already which is the only reason this isn't up there... I will try to do one of the others!) 33. LEARN TO BREATHE UNDERWATER FOR 2 MINUTES (an amazing challenge and the breathing techniques are fascinating so I will try to learn if I am ever in water for long enough!) 34. JUMP OUT FROM BEHIND A TREE TO SURPRISE A SANTA, ALSO DRESSED AS A SANTA (I mean.... sure)