In April, there was a lot of pressure on me to figure out my life and where I was going. A lot of it was self-inflicted because my friends were headed off to grad school and I wasn't, and a lot of it was people constantly asking me what I was doing with my degree. It was overwhelming and stressful and I found myself slipping into a spot in my life that was needless to say, not the best. While the decision to come back to school had been decided, the glamour of becoming a student again quickly faded. The majority of the month of May I spent in my bed doing nothing. I wasn't sociable with anyone. It wasn't that anyone had done anything wrong, I just didn't feel a need to go out and do anything. I was waiting to go away on my trip to Northern Ontario so I wasn't working and I had no academic or extra curricular activities to keep me busy. For anyone who knows me, they can tell you that I'm not the kind of girl to do nothing, but after a year where a burn out nearly happened, a lot of people recognized that it was time I had a bit of a break. And at first the break was really refreshing, but come the fifth season of a show in two weeks, I quickly was losing motivation to make something of my life.
I know what you're thinking "Why didn't you get up? Call a friend to make plans? How come you didn't just go for a walk or something?" and to be honest, I really don't know. I literally was only eating dinner with my family because making a box of Kraft Dinner was effort. There was one week where I showered twice. When I drank, I became upset and relied on my friend Joseph to comfort me and remind me that I was going to be okay, that I just needed some sleep, that things were going to turn around. The two am conversations you have with people are the things you really remember when you come out of a dark time, because you're reminded that if someone is willing to stay up until you're asleep that there is at least one person in this world rooting for you.
Looking back on all of this now, I realize that I was on probably on that cliff of a depressive episode with one foot on the edge and the other quickly sliding. The choices I made weren't obviously good choices and I was enabling myself to feel terrible by refusing to help myself.
I want to emphasize that I'm not saying that "I had depression" or "depression is as easily cured as finding a motivation to do something" but one of the elders from my trip said our biggest enemy in our lives is boredom. When we get bored, we should avoid getting into the slump of doing nothing and we should go out and do something. Go for a walk, help a friend, visit our grandparents, whatever it is to make our minds busy because when we get bored, we end up in trouble. Mentally, physically, socially, emotionally.
So my motivation for making a bucket list lies in the fact that I never want to be bored. I don't want to be in a situation where I make myself vulnerable for a mental breakdown. With genetics against me (there's an 80% chance I'm going to develop bipolar disorder in my lifetime...more on this later too) I don't want to give life more chances to stop me. I want to live a life that is full, I want to be able to have children one day and tell them all the great things I've done. I want that little spark known as adventure to always be burning in my body, and I want to take on the challenges it throws in front of me.
So here it is, my bucket list. Some with explanations, some without. Happy Sunday everyone. I hope your day shines bright xo.
Amanda's Bucket List:
Give a TED Talk
Visit every province (Vancouver & Ontario done as of February 2014)
Run in a charity run and raise funds for a cause I believe in
Get my research published
Earn my masters
Earn my PhD
Attend the Brier (this is a big curling tournament in Canadian men's curling)
Own a car
Get another tattoo
See a show on Broadway (preferably Annie for childhood reasons)
Touch the red sand in PEI
Present at a CPA convention
Submit a Post Secret
Send my mom a care package when I don't live at home
Send my brother on a vacation
Travel with my dad to one of the provinces
Make someone a dream catcher
Have a family
Buy a house
Adopt a pet
Visit a Disney Theme park
Attend a winter Olympic event (preferably curling for obvious reasons)
Teach my niece a skill I have (bowling comes to mind)
This list will continue to grow. As will my dreams, my aspirations, my future, and desire to live the fullest life possible.