I started this list in my 29th year as a way to kick-off the countdown to a new decade of my life, give myself the gift of 30 little adventures, and challenge myself to do all the things I say I’ll do “someday” now. I kept the list dynamic and made changes as I went along, to include once-in-a-lifetime opportunities as they came up, and to remind myself that life itself is fluid and ever-changing. This became much more than a list for me, but a way of life. Even though I left the list unfinished, I learned to live in the moment, be wherever I am, and prioritize being happy. Here’s how the list looked on my 30th birthday:

30-Before-30 Wish List

1. Swim in a swimming hole

2. Throw a coin in a fountain and make a wish

3. Finish this list

4. Go to a red carpet event

5. Start & finish the “100 Days of Happy” challenge

6. Climb a mountain

7. Make a time capsule

8. Go on a ghost tour

9. Have a mother-daughter trip, outing, or excursion

10. Host a dinner party

11. Paint a blank canvas

12. Start a creative memoir project about my dad

13. Go on a picnic

14. Volunteer to support the Lincoln Square community

15. Make a vision board

16. Make a set of wall art

17. Win a hand of poker or blackjack at a casino

18. See a live rock/blues show with my aunt & uncle

19. Stand on the Sears Tower Skydeck

20. Successfully complete a 21-day detox

21. Visit a state I haven’t been to yet

22. Make a music video

23. Write & send letters to the most influential people in my life

24. Fly a kite

25. Join Conversation Exchange to practice Spanish language skills

26. Go camping

27. Take a burlesque dance class

28. Plant a garden

29. Tell a story at The Mudroom, a community storytelling event

30. Kiss the Stanley Cup

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