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I Completed My Bucket List In One Week And It Changed My Life

"There is no ready. There is only right here and right now."

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Hi, I'm Megan, and I'm determined to live my life before it's over.

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It's mostly true.

So I decided to try completing my bucket list in a week.

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You can watch the whole experience here, but let me explain:

I've kept bucket lists since I was 13 or so, always thinking of what I wanted to accomplish before it was too late.

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Is that really morbid?

I recently had this really real realization: We only have one life. I know, I know- DUH. I've thought about my mortality before, but there was something different about this moment that made it all sink in.

I realized if I didn't do what I wanted with my life, I would never get another chance. Fear of failure and mediocrity no longer seemed like good enough excuses to put off my life. It was time to get down to business.

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It's too easy to make excuses and put things off for a "better time" when things are "settled down," because that time rarely comes. Instead, I nailed down one week where I would cross something off of my bucket list each day.

After some brainstorming, I crossed out activities that would take too long (traveling out of state), or just weren't plausible at the current moment (Own a house- Who am I kidding? I'M A MILLENIAL, HAHA). Six items remained:

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1. Learn to skateboard

2. Write a children's novel

3. Get a tattoo

4. Tell my parents how much I love them

5. Skydive

6. Play with monkeys

I was ready.

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First up was skateboarding.

This was a newer fantasy of mine after binge-watching videos of adult-people and kid-people successfully controlling skateboards. I'd always been afraid to really go for it since I never felt stable (the four times I'd tried) hopping on a board before.

But I knew I wanted to do it before I died, so I dove in (tentatively).

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My goal for the day was to be able to ride from work to the Arclight (around six blocks away).

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This sounds like a simple task, but these streets aren't totally skateboard-friendly.

I commissioned my friend Steven to teach me how to ride, and the lessons began.

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We covered standing, balancing, pushing, turning, and eventually tried skating up a slightly lipped curb (that part did not go well for me).

After skating from 9 AM until 5 PM, it was time for the final test. I was nervous, but the bottom line was: I was going to make it to the Arclight regardless of if it was graceful or not.

('Twas not.)

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I pushed off and we were FLYIN'. Okay, not really, but I seriously felt like I was speeding along. There were doubts at each descent off a curb into a crosswalk, and even more hesitation at the reentrance to the sidewalk. I had to hop off and readjust a handful of times but WHO DOESN'T DO THAT, SOMETIMES, RIGHT??

Eventually I reached Sunset and Vine, and the final leg of my journey was neigh. With unheard cheers of encouragements flying my way (some people were yelling "You can do it!!" from their cars), I persevered and scooted closer to the finish line.

After some heavy breathing and erratic body movement, I'd made it.

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I was relieved, proud, and exhausted. I obviously don't believe that I'm now a master skater, but after one day and a lot of work, I'd conquered the fear that I'd be unable to simply skate six blocks! I did it wonkily, but I did it, and with more practice it can only get better.

Day 1 was over.

DAY 2. Writing a children's novel.

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I'd always wanted to write a book, but the few times I'd begun writing, I lost inspiration after the first page. For fear of it not being good enough, I cut myself off before giving myself a chance. But not this time! This time was for real, so I decided on a message, a main character, and got to doodling.

I named the book Rita Rabbit and the Invisible Injury. It's a book about depression!

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Nothing better than a children's book about depression, right?

But really, I feel like many adults sometimes don't understand mental health issues, so I thought a book for kids about an "adult" subject might be of value to someone somewhere.

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After 6 hours, I had a completed book with only two spelling errors. Ready for print!!

Because I didn't have a gaggle of children on-hand to read the book to, I gathered some co-workers and had story time (If you want to hear the reading, watch the video).

Day 2 was over, and Day 3 was upon me. It was time to get a tattoo.

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I knew what I wanted because I've wanted it for a while, but fear of pain and future regret always stopped me.

But this was the Bucket List, gosh darn it!! I needed to quell the curiosity inside me and join the tatted club.

Body Electric Tattoo in Hollywood was the spot. My friend, Mallery, came along for support, since she has several tattoos, and is also the source of inspo for my tattoo.

A bit over a year ago I was sitting at her kitchen table contemplating leaps I wanted to take in my career, fearful of the fall and unsure of if I was capable. She simply told me, "lean in."

She encouraged me to lean into the fear and insecurity, because when you really want something, it's normally worth taking the risk.

TIME TO TAT.

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I was super nervous but was resigned to my fate. I sat in the chair and braced myself (after a good time spent perseverating.)

The needle touched skin, and I was beside myself. It barely hurt. Given, it was a simple thin line, but I was shocked.

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After four minutes, it was done.

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I was relieved. It turned out exactly as I'd wanted it.

My body is ready for many more tattoos.

DAY 4! Day four was full of feelings. This was the day I told my parents how much I love them.

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All of you asking, "What, you never tell your parents you love them?? LOLOLOLOL."

Stop.

I tell them I love them all the time! But I wanted to go out of my way this one time to look at their parental faces and make sure they KNEW what they meant to me.

Dead, generally speaking, isn't super planned out. We don't know when it comes for any of us, and if one of us died before I expressly told them how I felt, that would be devastating.

I drove to their house, sat them down at our kitchen table, and laid it out for them.

I'd had several friend's whose parents recently died, seemingly out of no where, and naturally, there's a fair amount of "I wish I could tell them I love them, one last time."

My Dad laughed and said, "So... this is.... my death speech??"

Kinda.

Anyways it was all real heartfelt and nice.

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Go watch the video.

DAY 5= SKYDIVING!!!

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I didn't realize how underprepared I was. Poor child.

I was jazzed. Mom insisted she come with me to GoJump Oceanside.

It was a beautiful, clear day, and I had just spent the night binge-watching skydiving videos. I was sufficiently freaked out.

Now what they don't tell you before they jump, is that you're falling at 120 mph. I'm glad I didn't know that beforehand.

I got strapped up, debriefed on proper body position pre and post parachute, and we were last to load up into the plane.

Which means first to jump...

The thing is, nothing can prepare you for the feeling of free-falling through the sky.

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Absolutely nothing compares to that feeling, so as ready as I was to jump, my body did not know how to handle the sensations speeding through it faster than I've ever driven (and I'm a fast driver.)

Before my butt left the plane, I asked Felix, the man attached to mr/ in charge of my life, "Can we do a flip?" "We can do a flip if you want, yeah!" Felix exclaimed.

The moment we were falling I immediately thought, "I don't wanna flip. I don't wanna flip. I don't wanna flip." I managed to scream it at him at some point.

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It was exhilarating and overwhelming. I spent half the fall trying to catch my breathe and the other reminding myself to enjoy it while it lasted. I was in minor shock. I'm not sure how you couldn't be unless you've casually free-fallen from 11,000 feet up before.

Safely planted on the ground, I felt almost even more overwhelmed than when I was in the sky!

It was on the ground that I relived my journey for my Mom and the cameras. It was hard to comprehend all that had happened.

I knew I was happy, I knew the wind scrambled my brain, and I knew I didn't want to do it again for at least a year or two.

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With skydiving in my back pocket, I embarked on the final day: Play. With. MONKEYS!!

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My 25 and my 5-year-old selves were frickin' JAZZED. As a kid, I was obsessed with monkeys. Monkey blankets, monkey pillowcases, monkey pillows, pictures. My heart was a monkey.

I fantasized about being up close with a monkey one day, not behind the bars in a zoo.

I found Animal Tracks, an animal sanctuary in Agua Dulce. I participated in what they call The Monkey Experience. Five monkeys, three different breeds, watching them get bathed and diapered.

You also get to sit at a table and interact with them.

Interacting with the monkeys is a fun experience, as long as you keep in mind that contact is fully on their terms.

Stacy, the Director of Animal Tracks, pointed out that I wouldn't like it very much if I were put on a leash and grabbed and pet by strangers. They don't like that either, so I was encouraged to wear shiny, sparkly objects, and they would be drawn to me.

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The plan worked: My ridiculous garb paid off in full when Marley, the male monkey, grabbed and pulled at my elastic bracelets, and climbed up my shoulder to tug at my tiara.

It was some silly bliss.

I ended the day with Chrissy the baboon laying across my lap.

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I was overwhelmed with childish glee, stroking Chrissy's fur (with her permission) and living my best life.

The week was over, and so was the bucket list.

Through completing this bucket list, I reminded that it's never too late (or too early!) to live your life.

I feel like it's so easy to shrug off your inner most dreams and goals. I remember my thought cycle always being, "It's scary. I'm not good enough. There's no time. I'm not ready." But there is no "ready." There's never a perfect time; all you have is right now.

Reincarnation and life-after-death aside- We've only got one life to life, and one chance to do what we want.

Go learn that new language you've been putting off. Connect with the people you feel drawn to. Put yourself out there. You don't get another chance when it's all over, so do it NOW, PEOPLE.

Sit down, make a real, truthful list of the things you want to do before it's too late, and take steps to do them. I believe in you.

As for me, of course there is so much more I want to do with my life... So I made a new bucket list.

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