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.


K. Miller said...

Congrats on the creation & implementation of the "Year of Amanda"! Great blog, by the way. When I was younger I looked up to the older girls and thought "Wow, they are so grown up and have thier life together." When I finally turned 25 I freaked out. I didn't feel I had my life together and I sure didn't feel grown up. Like you said there were so many things I hadn't accomplished yet. Like getting my BS. So now I'm 26 and the funniest thing is that I am fine with my life just like it is. There are goals that I would have liked to have accomplished by now but I remind myself that I am working on accomplishing those goals and for right now that is good enough. Best of luck with the "Year of Amanda".
P.S. You are very brave allowing others to add to your list:)

Lindsay said...

I love the Year of Amanda.
Good job picking a leap year!

I freaked at 25, too. I'm glad to see I'm not alone. By the way, 26 isn't so bad. Take that from someone staring 27 in the face and falling to it next week. Actually, looking back, 26 would be my year - it was the best one yet.

Good luck with everything and make the best of your year!

Brent said...

Okay, so you have my attention. What's on the list? You can't tease me and then leave me hanging. I can only guess the kinds of things on your list: learn to Yodel, sing in a marching band, win the lottery just once. I'm just happy to hear you have decided to take your life up a notch. You decided to not settle for life as usual, rather you chose to take it by the horns and make it happen.

Great job!

Dave said...

Great posting, Amanda! It's always a good thing when we realize that we could be doing more with our lives than we are.

I have to admit, part of why I found it entertaining was b/c it reminded me of the Seinfeld episode in which George Costanza decided he was going to have "the summer of george"!