I Say Screw The Bucket List

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Are bucket lists a form of empowerment? Does being a strong woman mean going on vacation and going wild and doing your own thing—because it’s on your bucket list? I say screw the bucket list. I say make your life a bucket list. Bucket lists ruin everything because they’re loaded with two things: expectations and destinations. The same two things that ruin trips and lives. Okay, maybe not lives, but definitely friendships and marriages. 

 

Why? Because the real journey starts when you forget about both, and let the trip take you. Only when you’re able to loosen the reigns, forget yourself and your “destination” can you remember the person you really are. 

 

Only when your day isn’t filled with an hour-by-hour itinerary can you get swept into the flow and magic and wonder. 

 

These things don’t fit into structure because there’s no space for it.

 

So create space: Leave room for spontaneity. Be flexible with your plans. Be willing to drop every idea about what you thought a place—or yourself—should look or be like, so you see both for how they truly are. Be willing to look stupid and know nothing—even the most basic communication. This is how you get to the heart of a place. This is how you come home to yourself. 

 

Bucket lists hold you back from reaching and experiencing your full potential.  They’re a quick fix. They’re loaded with overpriced tourist spots with ugly marketing and empty promises that get you tanked and titillated before jetting you back home with half-remembered memories and plastic junk, leaving everything—especially you—the same, just seven pounds heavier. 

 

Then you wonder why your self-worth takes a hit on Monday, when your clothes fit different, your head feels heavy and rest and relaxation feels like the same distant memory. You wonder what’s wrong with you when you start crying for no reason, eating to numb the waves of stress and anxiety swimming under your skin before putting on the smile and pretty face for your co-workers and friends. 

 

This is what no tourist agency or tour guide or whatever they're called will tell you: You’re worth so much more than the bucket list. You’re worth the magic and intrigue and inexplainable beauty of the open road. You’re worth the awe-inspired wonder of discovering a hidden gem. You’re worth the freedom in your hair and the inspiration that floods when you let go of the plan. You’re worth the confidence of not just being a body but feeling in your body. You’re worth the knowing that comes from listening to the whispers of your heart—and letting her guide the way. You’re worth being in love with your life. 

 

Which is really just another way of saying—you’re worth being in love with yourself.