Buck-et list noun INFORMAL: a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.
Words and Photos by Morgan Murray
I started my bucket list back when I was going into sophomore year of high school. A list comprised of achievements rather ordinary, like seeing the Eiffel Tower, getting a tattoo, those sorts of things. On the opposite spectrum on the list, were some rather specific ideas that fourteen-year-old me could see in her future. Yet nineteen-year-old me has lost any hope that one day I will do the scoring of a film. Perhaps that's something to take off my list completely, as I haven't even picked up any of my guitars since around that same time. My bucket list exists on a somewhat dead platform (it exists but does it really?). On the left side of my Tumblr page is a section dedicated to the list of over 130 goals. Some things on that list became more sensible, like graduating high school, attending university, and getting my license. However, just like the goals on my list that seem impossible to me now, like meeting Taylor Swift, were just as distant a dream as graduating with high honours, getting into my dream university, and travelling outside of my province. But every so often, when I would cross an item off my list, one goal in particular always caught my eye:
121. Learn to love myself
I get it, its as cringe to add to a bucket list as it is to have ‘Live Laugh Love’ decal on your wall. Self worth and self love, is something many of us take forever, if ever, to have a positive outlook on. In the smack middle of being a teenager, your self worth is clearly in the pits. You get bangs, straighten the life out of your hair, and put too much black eyeliner under your eyes. You tell yourself and your mom that “it’s not a phase,” but two months later your bangs have outgrown, you're too tired to wake up every morning to straighten your hair, and you realize that the eyeliner made you resemble a trash panda. You go through numerous assemblies with motivational speakers, dragging on about what's the next step of your life, how you can do anything, and the harms of social media. If any of it sticks, it all sounds like gibberish, and no matter how much I wanted to listen and to wake up one day and feel good about the shell I exist within, nothing seemed to make me feel any more positive about myself. We can blame this notion of struggling to accept ourselves due to social media, but let's face it, this search has existed in one way or another in every generation. With magazines, ads, and any other way that self image may become distorted.
I think as we shift and change to the different molds of ourselves, we find different things to love and appreciate.
So did I come to love myself? Honestly, there's so many ways I realize that my thoughts on myself became more positive. It takes time if anything. You learn a great deal beyond high school, and though that's one of the moments in your life where you're finding yourself, aren't we always finding out who we are? I think as we shift and change to the different molds of ourselves, we find different things to love and appreciate. We should love that we have the ability to change our lives in many ways that affect how we see ourselves. The company we keep, the hobbies we get excited to work at, the places we wish we could spend forever in, all work to make us happy to be who we are.
I’m not sure when it happened, but when I checked up on my bucket list, after getting sidetracked with exams and going back to work for the summer, I found my cursor looming over #121. I felt no reason why it shouldn't be crossed off. If anything, it just made me sad that it took me so long to do so. You are you for life, and one of these days you’re going to be tired of wasting so much energy on despising the colour of your hair, how stubborn you can be, and how you’re never happy when you go out with friends. I hope you wake up one day and decide to cross whatever number it is on your bucket list off.