A Bucket List of Reasonably Tangible Things

Written by Shefali Dorepalli

I am a hopeless romantic. I border on painfully optimistic. I am somewhat of a perfectionist; I love my lists. Which means that sometimes when things go wrong or not as planned, I freak out a little. Okay, maybe I freak out a lot. My friends say Amy Santiago is my spirit animal. My ‘Which Brooklyn Nine-Nine character are you?’ Buzzfeed personality quiz, which I did during a nice old procrastination sesh (even perfectionists have their vices), said the same.

Which brings me to the topic of bucket lists. For as long as I can remember, I have refrained from making one. I think this is because of a constant need to tick things off my list as soon as I can. I feel like bucket lists have an aspect of finality to them. Even though it is just a matter of putting your thoughts on paper, I feel as though having one make those dreams, those whims, real—as though your castles in the air are turning into real castles faster than you have the time, money, and energy for. But, in the spirit of facing my fears, I am writing my very own bucket list, as anxiety grips me, of the most tangible things I have dreamt of.

  1. Get my driver’s licence
  2. Learn how to surf
  3. Work in an Earth Sciences lab
  4. Dine at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant
  5. Buy my mum a boomerang
  6. Watch The Godfather trilogy
  7. Get on the Game of Thrones bandwagon
  8. Learn to play the piano
  9. Visit the Great Barrier Reef (and return without shark-inflicted injuries)
  10. Adopt a cat and name her Chamomile
  11. Adopt another cat and name her Luna
  12. Adopt a significant other, so I’m not the crazy cat lady
  13. Go to a theatre workshop
  14. Get my nose pierced
  15. Get a tattoo
  16. Prioritise my mental health
  17. Win one of those lucky-draw contests (who even wins these things?)
  18. Indulge in my millennial avocado obsession
  19. Buy a house
  20. See The Lumineers perform live
  21. Learn the lyrics to Alphabet aerobics and impress people with my mad rap skills
  22. Visit Oviedo, Spain
  23. Find and improve my style of writing
  24. Perfect my Graham Norton impression
  25. Do a house swap like Iris and Amanda on The Holiday
  26. Get over my fear of failure

So, there it is, my little bucket list. To be honest, it didn’t seem as daunting as I thought it would be. I realised that there is no finality, no guarantee, or reality associated with bucket lists. It’s just transcribing the uncertainty in your mind onto paper. In the end, I guess it’s that uncertainty, that thrill that comes with knowing that life is full of opportunities just waiting to be seized and savoured, that make bucket lists so endearing.

Read more of Shefali’s work in the Forward edition of WORDLY.

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