Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Year of Amanda

I’ve always had big plans for myself. BIG PLANS. But for some reason, my plans always just stayed plans. They never quite made the leap to become realities. When I turned 25 last May, something inside me stood up and screamed “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!”

“Um…?” was my less than brilliant reply.

After thoroughly embarrassing myself in front of… well, I guess just myself; but anyway, I decided that May 23, 2007 – May 22, 2008 would be henceforth known as the Year of Amanda. Mine. Three hundred and sixty six days (score! I picked a leap year!) of full on narcissistic pleasure. I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish, see, hear, and feel before my 26th birthday. As if the things I came up with weren’t quite enough, I decided that I would keep the list open ended. Who knew? Maybe there was some great stuff out there to experience that I hadn’t seen, heard, or thought of yet. As I am what many would call a “social” personality, I mentioned the idea of the Year of Amanda to several (all) of my closest (anyone that would listen) friends. This began a whole new concept to the Year of Amanda. It turns out others are sometimes lazy when it comes to acting on their hopes and dream as well! My friends and I started discussing what was on my list and what, should they have done a Year of Whoever, would be on their lists. That’s when it hit me. It was a risky move, but I would append the rules and regulations of the Year of Amanda to allow others to add to my list. If there was something a friend was currently dreaming of, funds and commonsense providing, I would pursue said dream with them. I thought to myself, “Did I really just turn the most purely selfish concept that I have ever thought of into one of dare I say, philanthropy?” Well, I probably wouldn’t go that far. But I can honestly say there a few people in this world who have conquered a fear, reached a goal or seen something amazing because of this phenomenon.

The most exhilarating thing so far about the Year of Amanda was quite honestly, the physical act of making the first draft of my list. Simply putting the pen to paper made me feel ten times more likely to make some of this stuff happen, which happens to be moral of this story. My plans never materialized into realities because I never put forth any effort into making them realities. We’ve all heard the saying “life is what happens when you are busy making plans” but I have to disagree. It’s a funny thing, but nothing will ever happen to you if you just sit around and wait for it. So plan! For tomorrow, next week, next year! Plan whatever you can, just be sure to turn these plans into realities so that your list of of plans becomes your life, not the other way around.