Thursday, November 5, 2009

Goals For an Epic Life

Ann and I were having a discussion a few weeks ago about whether we wanted to live epic lives or not, and the two of us agreed we both would absolutely prefer epic. However, in sharing what this would entail, we came to discover our definitions of "epic" differ greatly. Ann had a much more human approach, very civilized, involving children, helping people, etc. I have no such ideas about an epic life. To me, it's about seeing and doing things extraordinary, things your average person will never do. I don't need recognition to feel that my life is epic, either. Just the thrill of experiencing something I know is rare enough to make it spectacularly special.

As if this was a theme some forces in the universe were pushing me to explore, I had another discussion with someone else about goals. When I stretched my brain, I couldn't come up with terrestrial goals that involve family life, career ambition, etc. My desires have little or nothing to do with the American Dream, marriage, making money, raising children, being a part of my community, or any such "normal" goals. Everything on my list of things to do are bucket-list-type ideas. However, rather than waiting until I'm looking at the end of my own life, my list of things to do are my actual goals in life, things I am actively working on accomplishing here and now. What I do for a living is less important to me than it would seem. I need to not work a 9-5 job and have enough flexibility and disposable income to work on my goals, and if that's possible, I'm happy doing just about anything. It's not about what I do for a living, but how I live my life outside of work. There are 128 hours in a week beyond the 40 most people work, and those are the hours that matter most to me. The 40 at work are just a means to an end. They have nothing to do with who I am or what I want.

So, what do I want?

I've compiled a list of 50 of my goals, goals that could change or could be met, and I thought I'd publish these here so that I can't forget any of them. I might, periodically, scratch them or add to them, but this is the list of what I want to accomplish in the near future.

1. Ride an elephant
2. Touch a glacier
3. See all the National Parks
4. Hug a giant redwood
5. Learn to swim
6. Swim with dolphins
7. Watch baby sea turtles scurry to the sea
8. Chill with penguins
9. Get a photograph published
10. Start a veggie and herb garden
11. Spend the night on a ship
12. See Machu Picchu
13. Travel across country by train
14. Drive Route 66
15. Do the Pacific Coast Highway
16. Go backpacking and overnight camping
17. Scuba dive in a reef
18. Go on a safari
19. See the Northern or Southern Lights
20. Visit a castle
21. Take a gondola ride in Venice
22. See the fountains of Italy
23. Paint my room
24. Go spelunking
25. Wander Stonehenge
26. Visit the Taj Mahal
27. See the ruins of Ancient Greece
28. Find a source for raw milk
29. Go to the Frank Frazetta Museum
30. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
31. Trust someone completely
32. Watch whales
33. Eat in a restaurant alone
34. Kayak/canoe
35. Visit a developing country
36. Visit the Galapagos Islands
37. Go through a set of locks
38. See Victoria Falls
39. See a polar bear in the wild
40. Participate in a protest
41. Attend a lumberjack competition in Alaska
42. Learn some basic car repairs
43. Get in my car, drive, not knowing where I'm going, and stay gone for days
44. Stay in a houseboat on Lake Powell
45. Stop being so scared
46. Help dig up dinosaur remains
47. Volunteer with a wildlife rescue organization
48. Visit my dad's grave
49. Go gem digging
50. Find happiness

If I can do half of these things, I will consider my life epic.

If you feel like it, share in the comments what it would take to make your own life epic. I'd love to hear all about it.


Rachel said...

Wow, your epic and my epic and Ann's epic are all different!
What would make my life epic would be to travel the stars, visit planets, travel through time, go on archaeological digs, discover how our ancestors did things, work on movies/tv shows... yeah, that'd be nice. :) Oh, my main goals I really really want to do! I want to completely replicate a panther, make it a robot, using titanium for the skeleton, and make it so realistic people would have a hard time telling the difference. Also, make a human replica using completely artificial materials, just to mess with people.
I like your list, lots more realistic. And Glaciers are friggin cold! >.< You should definitely go to one.

Leelu said...

Whereas I absolutely don't want an epic life. "May you live in interesting times" is a curse for a good reason. :)

That said, why is visiting your father's grave epic? It seems a fairly mundane task, even with the emotional baggage.

Happy Villain said...

Isn't it weird how "epic" can mean so many different things. Ann actually told me I'd succeeded with my blog, which I laughed at, but it felt nice to hear. Yours are really awesome and I'd love to see your goals when you attain them. :) Good luck.

Well, being clones is epic, is it not? And the grave thing is a trek because it's on the side of a mountain in Caney, KY, so while not epic, it's certainly a challenge. I didn't mean that each goal is epic, but the sum of them feel that way to me. While I've accomplished a number that are no longer on my list, I still have so many that getting halfway through would be epic to me. Oh, and as you might have guessed, there are some I can't put on a public list. :D

Rachel said...

You should write a list of things you have done :D

Leelu said...

Well, that does make sense: a trek out to the mountains and a hike would make for an epic visit.

Being clones is only epic if it has negative repercussions, like media attention and scientific curiousity. ;)