My first blog hop of 2013! This is to celebrate the release of Dana Sitar’s new book: “A Writer’s Bucket List: 99 things to do for inspiration, education, and experience before your writing kicks the bucket”.
In honor of her book, Dana asked other bloggers to share their bucket lists and what they are doing to work toward them! To read the posts of the other participants, just click the icon to the left.
On to my post!
I think my friend Rebekah nailed my thoughts on bucket lists perfectly. On her blog earlier this week she said:
“I would say that, until the past few years, bucket lists have normally been paired with inevitable death, [...] but more and more lately I’ve started to equate bucket lists with life. Because life isn’t worth living unless you’re doing something with it.”
*End shameless plug for awesome friend who totally deserves it*
My real, life-time bucket list is ridiculously long and growing. It has everything on it from staying in an underwater hotel to being an extra on a movie set to standing on the Great Wall in China. Honestly, it’s so full of such high aspirations and grand adventures that if I can successfully mark even 25% of them off I will have lived quite the life.
The key to bucket lists? You’re never too old to start, but start young if you can. The longer you have to plan for your goals, the higher the chances you can achieve more of them in your time. The downside to setting lofty lifetime goals? Sometimes it can seem overwhelming.
Because of this, 2013 is all about taking things one step at a time for me.
1) Language Study
I actually have a college degree in Japanese. But I was never fluent in it (didn’t get that far) and it’s been around 5 or 6 years since I had any consistent practice at all. I’ve lost a lot of it.
But the language is still one of my greatest loves, the sound of every syllable wrapping around my tongue like the taste of a good wine. Because of this I have finally decided to stop with my excuses and start applying myself again. I’m never going to learn it without proper study and the time that takes.
This process will take years. So how am I encouraging myself to chase it down in 2013?
I’m taking the JLPT 5 this December. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is an exam offered around the world to test the proficiency of a foreign speaker in reading and listening comprehension with Japanese. There are 5 levels, with the 5th being the lowest. I might be aiming for the lowest level, but don’t think it’s the equivalent of an easy semester or two of class. I honestly don’t know if I’d be confident in passing it this year if I didn’t have my degree and all the foundation in the language behind me.
But I’m finding ways to make it fun! (As if the pure joy of the language wasn’t already enough.) I’ve roped a friend who also has a history in the language into taking the test with me! Study buddies make everything better.
I listen to Japanese music every single day. I use the blogs and twitters of the musicians I adore as reading practice. And I am starting a library of children’s books in Japanese for practice too!
Once I accepted that I was a poet and not really a novelist I learned something…. chasing my voice is FUN. Because I have several voices inside of me, and poetry lets me indulge in all of them.
This year, while I am focusing on keeping my work on submission and creating lots of new content, I am mostly excited by the prospect of creating GOOD verse. That might sound silly but… I love poetry. I love verse. The thrill of the English language contorted into its most beautiful condition is rivaled only by my passion for the taste of the Japanese language on my tongue.
Poetry is exciting. I pour my soul into it. I’m learning my strengths, my passions, and I feel like I am on a great quest to share the world in a way no one else has seen before. I love being a poet. Even if society doesn’t know what to do with me because of it.
And finally, on this year’s bucket list, I want to become more…
Well I’m not one for teasers, but I already have a post planned all about this and I don’t want to ruin it now! Make sure to stop by again on Feb. 22nd for a very special post in honor of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest. I can promise you it won’t be boring.