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The 23 List

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05/01/2013

Lauren Schmidt photo

Once upon a time in the 1990s, Blink 182 eloquently shared with the world that "nobody likes you when you're 23." I am turning 23 in approximately 10 days. Let's hope they were wrong. 

The only slightly appealing thing about this milestone (or lack thereof) is that 23 was Michael Jordan's number, so at least that's something I can fixate on for at least five to ten minutes and hope will bring some sort of luck…

Jokes aside (just for this sentence though because I would never agree to that long term), I most definitely have many goals that I want to accomplish in the next few years, and what better time to reflect on this than the lovely month that I was born in.

23 THINGS I WANT TO DO IN THE NEXT 2-3 YEARS

1. Go Back To Israel At Least Twice: It physically (and emotionally) pains me that it has almost been two years since I was last in one of the most magnificent places on earth and I am seriously yearning to go back to the homeland. Whether it is through staffing a trip, a short-term (or maybe even longer-term program) or on my own, it is truly important to me to return as soon as possible.

2. Run A 5K: Although I am just an inch short of six feet tall, my athletic abilities are limited to none. As an uncoordinated asthmatic, the idea of running a 5K seems like a bit of a joke. However, there are so many new, fun options such as the color run, which is motivation enough to try. However, this means that I should probably learn how to run without looking like Phoebe Buffay. It isn't that  far-fetched, right?

3. Go On A (Few) Road Trip(s) With Best Friends: I absolutely love road trips. I have no problem being in the car for countless hours, especially if it is with quality people. The trip in the works right now is from NYC to Cape Cod with my best friends from my semester abroad. Not only am I excited to see the cape, but also the journey will hopefully be as good (if not better) than the destination.

4. Go to Patagonia: Have you ever Googled Patagonia? If you have, and still have no desire to go, I a) don't understand you as a human being and b) do not believe you. In other words, Patagonia easily looks like one of the top 10 most gorgeous destinations I have ever laid my eyes upon and I must go. Plus, my Spanish that was once mildly decent is getting horrible, so a trip to South America will hopefully help this problem.

5. Stop Biting My Nails: Biting my nails is my worst habit and a really gross one in general. I have gotten better because you can't use fun nail polish colors without nice nails, but I need to end this habit once in for all.

6. Stay Off Facebook For at Least a Week: Facebook can be great, in terms of sharing pictures and staying in touch with old friends, but more so, Facebook is awful. From people's statuses about mundane details that I couldn't imagine anyone else caring about to wall posts that could easily be communicated through text, email, or G-d forbid conversation, Facebook is kind of the worst. Nonetheless, I am addicted to it and a week without Facebook seems both nearly impossible and much needed.

7. Go to the Grand Canyon: Ever since the Graham Canyon episode of the Rugrats premiered in the early '90s, this has been a dream of mine. If you are smiling to yourself right now, you are someone I would like to be friends with because Tommy Pickles is a boss.

8. Go to Greece: Watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I won't even say anything to those of you who wouldn't want to go after watching it because it is impossible.

9. Attend a Music Festival: I have a love-hate relationship with this idea. I love music. The majority of my college admittance essays were about my dream to write for Rolling Stone and the idea of listening to many great bands in the sun over the course of two or three days sounds incredible. However, the crowds, certainty that I will cross paths with some crazy folks, and monetary commitment makes this a toss-up.

10. Yearly Mother-Daughter Trip: Last year, I went to Vegas with my mom, two of her two best friends, and their daughters. This was a really fun trip for all of us and inspired me to want to do this more often. We are currently in the process of planning our next adventure, hopefully to Nashville, Tennessee.

11.  Read At Least One New Book Each Month: I do not read enough. I'm embarrassed to even say what the last three books I read were (except for the fact that I am currently reading The Prime Ministers  by Yehuda Avner, which is not only a serious piece of non-fiction, but a book I'd recommend). The good news is that with a lovely little invention called the Nook, reading is so much easier.

12.  Actually Make The Recipes I Have Pinned: I am addicted to Pinterest. It is seriously the best thing ever (besides Twitter and Buzzfeed). With that being said, the amount of recipes I have "pinned" is closely reaching 200 and I think the amount of recipes that I have made has not surpassed two. You do the math-I have a lot of cooking and baking to do!

13. Get Over My Fear Of The Dentist: I seriously hate the dentist more than anything. I have anxiety even writing this. I need to get over it. Now.

14. Finish Decorating My Bedroom: I moved into my apartment in December. Ask me if I have bought my sham pillows, put actual pictures in my already hung-up picture frames, and fixed the disaster that is my closet? Of course not. Watching the entire series of Boy Meets World, reorganizing my kitchen, creating new cocktails, and watching Pitch Perfect  once a week is obviously  the most productive way to spend my time. Hopefully this one will only take two or three more months, rather than years.

15. Take Ulpan:  I want to be fluent in Hebrew. As of now, even with four semesters of Hebrew under my belt, I doubt I could carry on a conversation that lasted more than a minute or two.

16. Fall in Love: This is cliché and I am completely aware of it. Additionally, this is probably the goal I have the least control over. I guess I can start by actually paying for a JDate account and adding more to my profile than my height, one picture, and that I don't want to meet anyone who smokes cigarettes. Progress.

17. Go Camping:  Maybe it's because there is something amazing about sleeping under the stars or maybe I just am having trouble thinking of legitimate goals? Either way, a camping trip definitely makes the list.

18. Find an Organization I Really Love and Volunteer There at Least Once a Month: This spring, I participated in Leads, which is a program through JUF's YLD. We had a seminar about volunteering and it made me realize that even while working for a nonprofit, my hands-on volunteering time could stand to be increased.

19. Go One Straight Month Without Exceeding My Mint.com Budget: For the sake of my bank account, this one is a must.

20. Organize My iTunes Library: Right now, my iTunes is chaos. Whenever I download new music, I just add to this chaos. Because of this, I always end up listening to Pandora. This leads me to use up my free Pandora hours each month, which leads me back to my iTunes that is still a mess. Maybe I should just use Spotify?

21.  Publish an Article in a Major Publication: I love writing. I miss writing. I want to write more and I want people to read what I write.

22.  Try One New Restaurant a Month: Chicago has a great food scene. Not embracing it just seems plain wrong.

23.  Create My Retirement Fund: Out of all the things I procrastinate doing, this is probably the worst of them all….

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