Hola, amigos! Today I write to you from the warmth of Puerto Rico!
If you know me in real life you may know that I am half Puerto Rican, although I don’t appear Hispanic at all. Most people think I’m your regular ol’ white girl, which I pretty much am in my physical features. But you know I got that Latina blood in me.
Being here these past few days has been a much needed escape from the hustle and bustle of winter city life. It’s as warm as my summertime dreams and as beautiful as paradise. My family and I spent a few days on the beach in the southern part of the island, and now we’re up in the mountains on the east side with extended family.
But more on this later. For now we have lots to catch up on! I’ve been crossing off a few things from the bucket list and I’m pumped to share with you.
This week, I…
1. Went ice skating at Rockefeller Center and totally felt like I was in the movie Elf. (#9, short-term list)
I remember passing the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center on my first visit to New York City as a teenager and thinking they looked like they were having so much romantic fun twirling around the rink. But for some reason I had yet to actually try it myself since moving here 1.5 years ago!
That all changed when my good buddy Allison came for a one-night rendezvous in the city. She was here for a business trip and called me up for a fun night out. Allison really wanted to reenact the scene from Elf where Buddy and his main chick skate at 30 Rock, and since this activity was part of my bucket list goals for the winter I was more than thrilled to come along.
Here’s the thing, though: Allison took ice skating lessons as a teenager, and she’s also one of the most naturally gifted people I’ve ever met. As in, she’s naturally gifted at everything. You know the kind of person I’m talking about.
And me? Well, let’s just say I hadn’t gone ice skating since I was in high school and I am less naturally gifted and more naturally clumsy.
The most I can say for myself is that I actually didn’t fall a single time! But I did nearly run over a few people. They survived though, so it’s fine.
But the highlight of that night had to be when I told Allison that if I was a man, I’d probably propose to someone at that very place, and no less than two seconds after I finished my sentence a guy got down on one knee in the center of the rink! It was pretty romantic and sweet…until another guy and gal got engaged a few minutes later. And then another one.
All in all, three different couples got engaged during our one hour stint of skating. Turns out I’m not only not very naturally gifted at things, I’m also not very creative. 😉
2. Enjoyed a bonfire on the beach. (#74, long-term list)
I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted to start a nice lil fire on the beach. I think I felt like it was pretty badass since typically bonfires on public beaches are illegal.
But this week while we were vacationing, the hotel we were staying at set up a fire for guests on the sand, right by the waves! Except it really wasn’t as BA as I anticipated because it was entirely legal in all capacities.
But still. It was a bonfire on the beach. And it was nice. And I got to have a pretty cool conversation with a four-year-old who sat next to me by the fire, and I liked that a lot. She was pretty nice. (S/O to Gemma.)
Unfortunately I was so wrapped up in the mad insights this four-year-old was dropping (mostly about all the names she was giving each of the shells she collected that day) I didn’t take a picture to share. 😦 I’ll just have to remember it in my mind.
3. Started a book!!!!!!!!! (#61, long-term list)
So I wasn’t even planning to do this one. As part of my goal to write a poem each day, I opened up my laptop one night planning to create something that had been brewing in my mind.
But when I started writing, it didn’t turn out as a poem. It turned out more like a paragraph.
And then there was another paragraph.
And another paragraph.
And suddenly I’m 10 pages deep and I got so much more I want to say.
So I’m writing a book. A short book, to be fair. But a book.
And I’m honestly really excited about it. I’m not going to pretend I’m the next F. Scott Fitzgerald or something like that, but expressing common human emotions and thoughts on a page is pretty liberating, and it makes me feel connected to other people.
So I’m hoping to finish this book by the end of January. Not sure if I’ll self-publish it or if I’ll keep it to myself. I guess it depends on if I still like it by the time I’m done.
4. Changed one of my short-term bucket list goals.
With that last tidbit in mind, I’m making an executive decision to change one of my bucket list goals.
I’d been aiming to write a poem every day – it’s #5 on my short-term bucket list. But clearly I’ve been putting a lot of my writing energy into this book instead. So instead of making it my aspiration to write a poem, I just want to make myself write something every other day.
Whether it’s my book, a short nonfiction piece, a prose poem, or what, I just want to write something down on a page and have it be creative. That’s it.
And I’m still going to be adhering to #6 on my short-term bucket list, which is to submit a piece of writing to a literary journal twice a month.
So I just wanted to give y’all a heads up about that. Changes happen, and I think this one makes more sense. The goal really wasn’t ever to write poetry in particular – it was always to motivate myself to keep tapping into that part of me that likes to make things that express pieces of me others can connect with. I think this alteration my original bucket list item still does the job.
5. Went on a bunch of fun spontaneous adventures with pals.
Between deciding to go to a Bon Iver concert with my roomie about 7 hours before doors opened, to hitting up Puppycon (an event where dogs basically just dress up in fun holiday outfits and go take pictures with Santa and let you pet them) with a good friend of mine and her sweet canine, to many fun nights out with really great people who make me laugh, these past couple weeks have been brimming with last-minute adventures galore.
For the record, I cried no less than 3 times during Bon Iver. And I met a dog who was dressed up like a reindeer at Puppycon. And I did a lot of dancing. Life is amazing.
6. Left for my vacation in Puerto Rico!
Here’s another spontaneous thing I did! My family and I decided to go to Puerto Rico like only a few days before we got on the plane, and it was a great idea.
We doin’ lots of relaxing and eating and sleeping and beaching and exploring around here, and it’s a dream. I’ll share more when we get back, but until then I think I hear a fresh cup of coffee calling my name downstairs. 🙂
What did you do this past week to live life fully? What are you planning to cross off your list this upcoming week?