25 Adventures – A Birthday Bucket List

25 Adventures – A Birthday Bucket List

*written July 3, 2020*

Welp. It is my 25th Birthday.

Birthdays are either one of two things – an unforgettable day with an exorbitant amount of anticipation leading up to it

or

a day that’s just a day. It marks a new chapters but not a lot of hub bub happens.

I hate planning a day for myself. I live for surprises and I am pretty sure my love language is through actions and words. (This girl don’t need no expensive gifts, just a planned, happy, little, moment…)

Anyways like many throughout the world, this year’s birthday has been thrown for a loop with the worldwide pandemic. My quarter life day of celebration will always be remembered thanks to a little virus that, unfortunately, means I will be most likely be spending at home without friends a family around. It is OK. But still a little sad.

So today I am going bask in the beauty. I will eat sushi and red velvet cake. I will not work. I will talk to family and friends. Then I will probably end my day eating more cake and watching the new Hamilfilm ūüôā While I wish I could be traveling somewhere or have all of my special people with me, it will still be a special day.

To top it all off I want to list 25 Bucketlist items for this next year of life.

  1. Go on a solo trip – I know that’s a lot, especially now, but ya girl has that travel bug and cannot wait for the world to be safe again.
  2. Travel to a new country – I missss international travel. This bucket list item will always be on every list that I create
  3. Travel to Utah (see friends and family again)
  4. Apply for Grad School – more on this later…..eeep
  5. Get in to Grad School – extra eeeeeep
  6. Pay off my Student Loans (all $12,000 that’s left)
  7. Make $25 from my own business – I don’t know what this is yet. Is it this blog? Is it music? Something new that I cannot even comprehend?
  8. Run a half marathon – I am on my way to a 5K…. a half marathon is doable right?
  9. Lose 25 lbs
  10. Touch my toes – I have not been able to do this since before puberty. This will change
  11. Do the splits
  12. Feel happy being alone – this one is cryptic, but loneliness seems to be a theme that is at the forefront of this new chapter. I want to change that.
  13. Sing on a stage
  14. Sing an opera aria and BE PROUD OF IT – believe or not, after years of undergrad training and performances, I have never felt that.
  15. Arrange a song and have it performed
  16. Go on a date
  17. Cook more
  18. Be more ethical in my purchases (secondhand clothes / clean beauty / locally made)
  19. Read and write more
  20. Spend one hour less on my phone each day
  21. Use essential oils more consistently in my day
  22. Go to therapy consistently – AKA find a therapist
  23. Change my perspective of myself – it is currently very degrading and hyper critical. Not okay.
  24. Depend on and trust myself
  25. Love more freely

Some things are specific, some are cryptic. Some are silly and some are deeep. But I believe that if I intend on spending the next 365 days of my life with these little goals in my head, they will all happen. I am so grateful for my little day. I am so grateful for my life and I hope to add more to it, be my best self and help others in the process. So here’s to the next chapter in Becca’s life.

And don’t forget : Black Lives Matter / Breonna Taylor was murdered / racism is real / vote / love is love / wear a mask / respect each other/ we can get through this together

Thanks for the Adventure, 25.

My Scary Bucketlist Goal…

My Scary Bucketlist Goal…

With #worldmentalhealthday last week and the latest trends of #mentalhealthawareness I have felt the pull to share my personal experiences and thoughts on it. That was part of my list of original intentions of why I started this blog. (See my¬†About¬†page…)

But in all reality, I have been TERRIFIED. I have had posts planned and half written for months. I have been scared of any sort of backlash – legitimate opinions that I am not qualified to share because I am privileged with wonderful friends and family. My struggles are no where near as terrible and painful as someone else next to me. I have been scared of sharing what I feel is one of my biggest weaknesses, and the thing that I have been most ashamed of the past couple of years.

The truth is: I know what it’s like, for me, to not understand why I am feeling so sad in such positive and exciting circumstances. I know what it’s like to jump from overjoy to depression in the matter of moments. I know what it’s like to not be able to breath from anxiety. I know what it’s like to not be able to eat because my insides are curled up from panic. I know what it’s like to have panic attacks where I am physically sore for days after. I know what it’s like to sob. I know what it’s like to be in the dark. I know what it’s like to question my worth and value due to my mental health, which can be hard to explain to others.

Fear is one of the biggest attributes of my life and when I see friends and myself shying away from potentially incredible moments because of fear I’m usually the first one to say, “Go for it! Since it’s scary it will only be more worth it!” but that is much easier said than done. But I’m going to do it and make it part of my Bucketlist…

Do one scary thing.

It is a Bucketlist item that will always be re-added to the list, because there will always be something scary to do, share, say, sing, live, attempt, etc. Once this, sharing my mental health journey, is not as scary, there will always be something else to add.

So take a listen to those closest to you. Understand that you won’t always understand, but are willing to share love. Be a listening ear and be willing to share. Whether that be with yourself in a journal, to a close friend or family member, or a therapist (highly recommended!)

Please comment, message, share! I know connecting with others always helps me (so I may be being a little selfish in wanting to make more internet friends ;)) so please message away!

Follow on my socials at:

Instagram –¬†@beccaanneclarke¬†and¬†@thanksfortheadventureblog

and Facebook

Thanks for the Adventure

Thanks for the Adventure, Scary Bucketlists….

July in Books

July in Books

As part of my Bucketlist goal #2, which you can read about HERE, I have been delving back into the world of books. I want to share which ones I have loved and hated and all of the in-between this past month.

You can also keep up to date with what I’m exploring on my¬†Goodreads¬†and my Instagrams¬†@thanksfortheadventureblog¬†and¬†@beccaanneclarke¬†!

So here is my #Julywrapup in books!

THE STRANGER BESIDE ME: TED BUNDY: THE SHOCKING INSIDE STORY by Ann Rule

Taiwan -4.pngThis was a hefty read. Over 500 pages of information and heavy emotions. It took me a month to get through it but totally worth it. It was absolutely fascinating. I have seen quite a few documentaries and thought I understood the darkness and mystery surrounding Ted. Ann Rule offered so much insight and information. It was beautifully written and easy to read despite the length, subject matter, and the immense amount of facts. But more importantly she brought so much emotion and light to the victims. Highlighting how terrible it was to loose those girls. Gave them a voice. Thank you Ms. Rule for sharing your side of the story and putting so much work and effort in telling the story of all characters to this story: including police forces, detectives, journalists, lawyers, judges, the families of the victims, and of course those who perished at the hands of Ted.

” ‘Conscience doth make cowards of us all’ but conscience is what gives us our humanity, the factor that separates us from animals. It allows us to love, to feel another’s pain, and to grow. Whatever drawbacks are to being blessed with a conscience the rewards are essential to living in a world in other human beings.” ¬† ¬† -Ann Rule

PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE by Jane Austen

A classic, obviously. And a favorite of mine since I was in middle school. I HAD to read it Taiwan .pngagain to bring back the magic of reading. I wanted to get excited about the characters and completely transported from this world and after such a hefty commitment to¬†Stranger…¬†I needed it. Jane Austen just got it. She understood the human conscience so well therefore her characters are so relatable. The human emotions she describes are so accurate. It has been years since I read it last, and before I had dealt with real love and heartbreak but boy, she got it. I related to Elizabeth more than ever, and found quite a bit of comfort in Victorian England. Anyways, I loved it as always.

‚ÄúElizabeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were not. It was necessary to laugh, when she would rather have cried.‚ÄĚ ¬† ¬†-Jane Austen

‚ÄúElizabeth’s spirit’s soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said she.
‘I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?’ ¬†‘I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.‚ÄĚ ¬† ¬†-Jane Austen (SPOILER… my favorite part….ugh)

Taiwan -3THE GUNSLINGER (DARK TOWER #1) by Stephen King

I did not like this one. At all. I read over half and had to stop. It was very slow and overall felt like a young man’s fan fiction. Apparently it’s like a “prologue” to the rest of the series, but it just did not have my attention. This was my first Stephen King novel, so I was sad to be so disappointed. I will though make sure to read at least one of his other more popular ones. So give your recommendations!

 

 

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

This was a, “It was good. I didn’t LOVE it. Probably won’t read it again.” I can see why itTaiwan -2 has won awards. The story was interesting, and the writing overall very well done. For the longest time (like the first half of the book) I couldn’t figure out whether it was a historical, dystopian, or plain Jane fiction. I did eventually feel connected to the characters, but there was not an overwhelming need to know what happens to them. It would be a good book to start conversations about culture, humanity, and how humans view each other. I’m glad I read it, and I would recommend it but not an absolute “stay on my bookshelf” read.

“I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they’d once belonged to the sea.” ¬† ¬†-Kazuo Ishiguro

“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast, And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The currents too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart.” ¬† ¬†-Kazuo Ishiguro

I AM MALALA: THE STORY OF THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND WAS SHOT BY THE TALIBAN by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Taiwan -5.pngEver since seeing the documentary of the same name and hearing about her story, I have wanted to read Malala’s memoir. Overall, what an inspiration. I think it is important to be aware of the world, other cultures, as well as other people’s struggles. It brings into perspective what is actually important in life and how lucky we are. I admire Malala’s bravery and dedication to what she has decided is her life’s purpose. Education is important and should be given to all. Violence and discrimination for power should be stopped. It was not the most engaging read, but inspiring. She gives a look into her beliefs, religion, culture, country, fears, joys. Yes, like many others, would relate it to¬†The Diary of Anne Frank.¬†Malala is on the top of my list of inspirational people on this planet.

“Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” ¬† ¬†-Malala Yousafzai

“Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.” ¬† ¬†-Malala Yousafzai

“We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and sensitive loving hear. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which we see a world of colors and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the words of love.” ¬† ¬†-Malala Yousafzai

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate

Loved loved loved this book. This was by far my favorite read all month. So many Untitled design-23gorgeous passages. The mystery is engaging all the way through. The human relations are real and beautiful. I liked the switching between time and characters. The message of love, family, and courage thrives all the way through and leaves you inspired at the end. I caught myself squealing, laughing out loud, and crying throughout. The historical significance is interesting, sad, and important to acknowledge. Overall such a good story and book and I will recommend it to everyone. As well as keep it on my shelf..

“I shush my mind, because you mind can ruin it if you let it.” ¬† ¬†-Lisa Wingate

“Life is not unlike the cinema. Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand. No matter how music we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.” ¬† ¬† -Lisa Wingate

“A woman’s past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she chooses. Her¬†own music. To hear the tune she must stop talking. To herself, I mean. We’re always trying to persuade ourselves of things.” ¬† ¬†-Lisa Wingate

So here you go…a July summer month in books…here’s to the next month!

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Thanks for the Adventure Books!

Bucketlist update: 11/52

Thanks for the Bucketlist #2

Thanks for the Bucketlist #2

Next Item on the list…

Item #2

To read 52 books in one year

It seems like a lot. Which it is. But I want something difficult, and almost unachievable. If I don’t make it, there is always next year. Now for an explanation. There is meaning behind every dream…

I LOVE reading. Always have. I don’t remember when reading clicked for me. I’ve always been able to recognize words. I remember sitting in my booster seat in the back of my parent’s red Saturn, driving down the street and seeing signs. I would challenge myself to see if I could recognize every word. I remember reading my book out loud to an older kid on my school bus and not recognizing the word “island.” But then feeling so proud of myself, knowing the word every time after. It fascinated me, words. Then stories. I would start a book and get engrossed in the stories and characters. The books I was choosing got longer and longer and the challenge to see how fast I could get through a book began. It was exciting.

I remember when “Chapter Books” became my biggest accomplishment. My favorites were the¬†Junie B. Jones¬†series and¬†Magic Treehouse or the¬†American Girl Doll book series. Then I started figuring out genres I enjoyed. Mostly Fiction, especially Historical Fiction, and of course Fantasy. (What kid in the early 2000s didn’t like Fantasy? Harry Potter ruled the world.) As I got older more genres were added to that list. Romance and Literary Classics were at the top. Now it is memoirs and Non-fiction with dashes of the original favorites.

My required reading assignments never were homework to me (even the papers in college). ¬†I would always read ahead and have to remind myself constantly to stop to answer the worksheets that went alongside. I would win awards for reading the most pages, or gaining the most “points” from the computerized book tests we took.

My favorite time in elementary school was when the teacher would read aloud to the class after lunch. I will always remember The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo and sitting in my 4th Grade class with Mrs. Helvy.

In high school I spent two whole summers searching every discount book shelf for books on the AP Literature list. My Mom would carry the many pages of listed books in her purse. Then I read as many as I could to “get ahead.”

Books and stories saved me. Many times. They saved me from boredom. They saved me from feeling inadequate or not cool (surprisingly…) They gave me a way to connect to people, even adults, by being able to share common interests or a love for a classic children’s novel. They also saved me from loneliness.

When I was 13 my family made a sudden move from California to Utah. It was the middle of the school year with no warning. I remember the day we left our home in CA we stopped at a Barnes & Noble on the way to the expansive freeway. My Mom had promised to buy me a book, which was rare as libraries are a thing and books are expensive, as a reward for helping pack and not fighting too much against the move. I chose Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Admittally I loved it. I read probably the first 100 pages on the drive, completely taken away from my current situation that I despised. The main character also was moving, in the middle of a school year, to a new place with no friends. There was not much more comparisons after that, but I loved the book. I loved the world. It also gave me something to talk about with other girls that I was meeting at my new school.

Summer came and I had found very little friends in my month and a half at my new Utah school. I had church acquaintances but no one I felt close enough to consistently make plans with outside of weekly youth activities. I was also the only girl my age…Boys were gross at 13. But I did find the library. Weekly, my Mom would drag us kids out of the house, or I would ride my bike in the 100 degree heat to the library. I would scour the YA section, usually picking random books from the “Newly Released” section based off of their covers. I loved long series because they would take longer to get through, and you got more time with the characters. I would usually check out 3-7 books at a time and drag them home in the plastic trash bag the librarian would stack them in.

That entire summer in my small, air-conditioned room with the radio on to the local pop station I sat on the navy blue, corduroy, pull-out couch that was placed under the front window. I read so many books that summer. I also listened to quite bit of Linkin Park and Katy Perry. But those books saved me for ultimately a very lonely 3 months.

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Books and stories have saved me from anxiety. I feel those panicked feelings bubbling and I listen to the speeding thoughts going through my head. When I pick up a book and allow myself to dive in completely I feel calmer. I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time, as I do when I watch Netflix or browse Facebook. I am discovering a story, a world, and people.

In my opinion some of the most admirable people, specifically women, are authors. Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Louisa May Alcott, J.K. Rowling to name a few. They all challenged the world by creating stories. Not only are their books a joy to read and the characters important to me and so many others around the world, but their own personal lives are inspiring and relatable. Do you know anything about Louisa May Alcott’s life and her personal views? Rowling’s struggle to find herself? You should. It doesn’t matter when they lived, what genre of literature they wrote, or even why they decided to write. We are all human, and words are one of the best ways to share our personal humanity to others. Thankfully authors are brave enough to share those words.

Stories are the reason I was driven to performing. I like to think that books started that. The amount of individual stories are innumerable when looking at plays, musical theater pieces, operas, art songs, and song cycles. Themes cross over multiple genres and over  centuries. As a performer, I can find myself in almost every character I have encountered. There is a thrill when discovering a story that is paired with incredible music, or some beautifully written dialogue. Then to share it using every skill set imaginable is a whirlwind.

Stories can show us that there is a way to survive and live. Through the good and bad. Our entire lives are compiled of our own individual stories. Which is why I think they are worth sharing. You never know who you can have a connection with. And somehow seeing moments in our lives especially difficult ones as stories they seem smaller, simpler, but significant.

After I finished college, dealing with mental health and a slew of changes in my life I could feel myself wanting to go back. To bring back a simplicity into my life. Books came back. They have allowed me to slow down. I have found the feelings of being engrossed in a world that is not the one that I am sitting in, which I have missed. There are moments where I feel as if I am the same girl who sat on that pull-our couch 10 years ago. I have the same insecurities and fear of being lonely.

I want to discover more books, stories, and authors. I want to finally read those novels that have been sitting on my bookshelf for years. I want to share these stories with you.

So here’s to the next item of my Bucketlist. I don’t think it will ever stop. I will always have some sort of reading goal.¬†I technically started in May, but have procrastinated sharing because it is scary to share…

Join my challenge, see what books I am reading, and what I think of them at my Goodreads!

Thanks for the Adventure books!

Thanks for the Bucketlist #1

Thanks for the Bucketlist #1

I think Bucketlists are important. Not only is it a list of goals, but it is a list of goals that can be as unrealistic as possible. I believe having goals are an integral part of life. Yes, having goals to reach success financially, emotionally, spiritually are all important. But a Bucketlist is a list of goals, well actually dreams. Lots of mini and big dreams that simply bring you joy. It is a list of anything.¬†A list of things you want to see. A list of seemingly unachievable accomplishments. Some are simply reckless with no reasoning behind it. But at the end of it all, if you don’t achieve them that’s ok. If you do, it is worth celebrating. It is worth celebrating having a list of things for you.

When I “graduated” college (more on that later…) the commencement speaker was Ben Nemtin, best-selling author and creator of the show¬†The Buried Life. He spoke of finding success, of course, but also doing the things we want to in life despite feeling “buried” by the day-to-day parts of life. He spoke about having dreams and sharing those dreams with those around you. Them most importantly, persisting… All the inspiration required in a speech to thousands of college graduates that somehow still has resonated with me a year later.

Read his full speech here. (Highly recommend!)

So here on this little website I will start sharing my Bucketlist and hopefully sharing my celebrations as I start ticking off each of these new goals and dreams.

Item #1 is:

Consistently post on my crazy little blog once a week for a year

It’s going to happen. I promise to not talk down to myself if it’s not the same day every week. I will share the good and the bad. I will do my best not to worry about what others think. I will not compare myself to other “bloggers.” I will aim to share positivity and joy. I will share every adventure. I will simply do my best.

Join me in starting a Bucketlist!

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Thanks for the Adventure Bucketlist…Here we gooooo!