Before I Date, Round Two

A while ago, I wrote a piece called “Before I Date” for the Odyssey and I was recently reading it again. It’s been a couple years since I’ve written that list and I’ve found that many, if not all of the things on that list I wrote two years ago are things I’ve accomplished or are things I’m on my way to accomplishing within the next year or so. This has compelled me to write a new list as I wait.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t date before having accomplished this entire list. It’s simply a list of dreams I want to accomplish as I go. I think it’s so important to foster dreams and see them come to pass. I believe wholeheartedly in the idea that as we continually go after the things we want in our lives, we’ll find the people who are running the race right alongside us. 

So, before I get too much into it, here’s my new list I’d like to accomplish “before I date.”

Attend the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in Greenview, California in 2020.

This has been on my “to-do” list for a couple years now since following my favorite author, Annie Downs, pretty closely. She and several of her writing people recommend attending the conference to learn and grow in skills pertaining to writing. It’s a conference that will give me time and space to write, learn, and hone in on what it is that God has called me to write. If anything, I want to have my current project finished before applying in the fall and then bring it there for editing and directional help… Maybe even use my time to connect with agents and editors. 

Preach a Sermon

I joke about this one a lot. Like so much so that it’s become a normal thing for me to crack a joke about it. I never thought seriously about actually accomplishing this one. But recently I’ve come to the realization (for the billionth time) that I do have a voice and that maybe I have something to offer in regards to sharing with the body. While I still figure out what my main message is as a human being, I also have been looking into stories in the Bible that could potentially help me in writing some sermons to share in the future.

Build a Prayer Ministry Specifically for College Age Kids in the New Hampshire Area

One thing I am really passionate about is prayer and another is the college-age group. I love youth, but there’s something special about getting to know people in the prime years of figuring out what they want to do in their late-teens and early-twenties. I believe wholeheartedly in the power prayer offers and how empowering it is for men and women. I believe it has the power to shift atmospheres and encourage far greater potential out of people, and that’s why I believe in doing it with others and alone. I’d love to start by creating a prayer ministry with my group of friends in a small way to see if something might be viable to start for the younger college crowd down the line.

Make Writing my Full Time Job

This is the big one. I cracked back in January during the beginning of the year when I realized that a lot of the stuff I’ve been putting myself into are things that I’m not really passionate about or things that don’t feed me and give me life. Throughout my life and my childhood, writing has always been “the thing.” I know starting something like writing takes hustle, but it also takes putting in the unseen work that is writing. For example, writers and bestsellers don’t just become overnight, it takes years and years of persevered work, some doubt, and a boatload of wondering. I want to make writing my thing and I am slowly on the road to getting there. 

Experience New York City for more than a Night

They say you can’t fall in love with it unless you’ve experienced it for at least a day. I need more than twenty-four hours to garner whether I can love this city or not. I want to go and spend time there, maybe a long weekend, just to walk the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, maybe even see Times Square and Ground Zero. I want to sip on coffee and eat pastries and walk the Brooklyn bridge. I want to do it with a group of friends or one; sometime soon, maybe this year, maybe in a few years. But only when I’m positive I can really experience it and appreciate it for all it is.

Keep Traveling to One New Place Internationally Every Year.

This year, I’m headed to Brazil. Last year, I experienced Iceland, and the year before that, Scotland and Rome. Once the travel bug gets you, you can’t get rid of it. As I’ve mentioned in several blog posts before this one, traveling is something I value and something that teaches me more and more about others and myself. I get antsy if I don’t fly after six months. I think trying to get somewhere new internationally once a year is doable, and that’s why this goal is here. I’d love to go on a solo international trip to France or maybe even to Greece one day. I would also love to redeem Edinburgh — Scotland in general — which I also believe is a doable task within the next few years or so. 

Establish A.C. Perennial as a Business

This is what I know: Most people always tell me that I know myself so well because of what I write and share on social media. Many have recently started asking me the question “how did you get here?” That question, along with figuring out my personal “why” is the hook to making this thing what I’ve always dreamed it could be. I’ve always been passionate about encouragement and seeing people grow. I love to listen and help others realize their full potential. This starts by recognizing my own and walking in that. I could really see this becoming a business centered around helping people get to full self-confidence and expression in that confidence and that is what I always imagined and hoped it would come to when I started this thing a year ago, but for now, it starts by continuing to do the unseen work. I know the reward comes later. 

There’s my list! Big and small, but really rather ordinary if you ask me.

If you’re single, what do you want to accomplish before you date?” 

If you’re married, what are the things you simply want to accomplish? 

If you’re dating, how are you walking toward the things in your heart that light you on fire?