30 Before 30

[November 26, 2019]

Recent events have once again reminded me that we never quite know when God will knock on our door and ask us to come home. Every day is a gift, and should be treated as an adventure. It is too easy to fall complacent in living our everyday that we forget to live and work toward our biggest dreams. It is all too easy to forget to live to enjoyment and happiness.

So I’ve decided to make myself a mini bucket list. As I post this I have exactly 18 months before I turn 30. And while I’ve often heard you can’t put a timestamp on things, I’d still like to challenge myself to make sure I’m making my happiness a priority. With that said, I’ve chosen 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30.

Over the course of the next year and a half, I’ll be updating this list with what I’ve accomplished and since the full list isn’t yet filled with the 30 items, I hope you’ll give me some good suggestions.

1.) Read 30 books (10 read, 21 more to go)

  • Memoirs
    • Promise Me, Dad – Joe Biden
    • Call Me American – Abdi Nor Iftin
  • Plays
    • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Edward Albee
    • Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Eugene O’Neill
    • A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
  • Novels
    • Supermarket – Bobby Hall
    • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
    • Suicide Notes – Michael Thomas Ford
    • Less –  Andrew Sean Greer
    • The Nix – Nathan Hill

2.) Travel to another country (my second international trip)

3.) Try 30 new restaurants/bars in Buffalo

  • Ballyhoo
  • Duende
  • Eddy Brady’s
  • The Place

4.) Complete a triathlon

5.) Go on a silent retreat

6.) Compile a family cookbook and make each recipe

7.) Get a tattoo

8.) Visit 3 American cities I’ve never been to before

  • Flint and Detroit, Michigan (January 5-10, 2020)

9.) Have a second legitimate publication (nonacademic this time!) – Another byline by 30

10.) Go on a service trip

  • Winter Service Week – Flint and Detroit, Michigan (January 5-10, 2020)

11.) Dig deeper into my family history and learn something I never knew

12.) Attend 3 concerts

13.) Do a night of stand-up comedy

14.) Go on a vacation with my best friends

15.) Donate (at least) 30 items to those in need

16.) Make a big financial investment for my future

17.) Make a big investment in realizing my dream(s)

18.) Treat myself to something BIG

19.) Find my 5th favorite TV comedy (Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Cheers and Schitt’s Creek – in no particular order are 1-4)

20.) Learn about and champion a cause that I’m unfamiliar with, or passionate about

21.) Challenge myself*

22.) Surprise myself*










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