So this morning, I found my first wrinkle. Four of them actually; two little lines under each eye that crinkle up when I smile. After my initial thought – ‘OH MY GOD, I’M GETTING OLD’ – I decided to think of them as proof that I smile a lot. Which is nice. And then I started thinking about things that I’d like to do in my life which will continue make me smile, even if they make those damn wrinkles worse. Kind of like a lifelong bucket list, if you will.

1. I really want to visit Russia. Ever since I saw the film Anastasia when I was about six (the one with the talking bat), I’ve been fascinated with Russia, especially its imperial past. Although its tourism industry isn’t any great shakes from what I’ve been told, as soon as I’m making any kind of respectable salary I’ll be booking my flights to St Petersburg.

2. I want to get a tattoo. Something discreet, easily hidden and interesting. I’ve toyed with the idea of a feather or some script, or perhaps even both, but right now I don’t have the money for it so it will have to wait. However, if I get hitched, it will have to be hidden. Call me conservative but I’m not a fan of tattooed brides.

3. I would love to live in a Georgian townhouse, like the ones in the suburbs of Donnybrook and Rathmines in Dublin. All redbrick and three-stories-high with fabulous bay windows. There’s something ever so romantic about those houses and to me they feel like a most fitting dwelling for a writer (if I fulfill my current life’s ambition). My friend lives in a listed Georgian house but apparently it’s Baltic in the winter because of the dated heating system, so I’d best stock up on blankets first…

4. I want to write a novel. I think I wrote about this in a recent blog post so I won’t go into it again too much. But it would be a wonderful achievement, even if it only sells three copies (to my immediate family members) and it doesn’t even get bad reviews because nobody is bothered to critique it. I think that my future career will revolve around writing of some description, so writing a novel would be a pinnacle of that path, I think.

5. I want to be able to afford to buy a working wardrobe from Ted Baker. If you’ve seen their clothes, you’d understand. Two years ago I walked into their store on Grafton Street (another beautiful example of architecture in Dublin) and said to myself ‘I’ll know I’ve made it in life when I can buy my work clothes here’. For me, it’s right up there with using a Parker Pen inscribed with your own name.

6. I want to get married and have children relatively young in life, although not necessarily in that order. My mother had me when she was just 24, and although that is young by today’s standards, I would like to have started my family before I reach thirty. I don’t want to be reaching middle age before my children are teenagers. As for the number of children I intend on having, the absolute maximum is three. I can’t understand this notion of churning out five children in as many years, and losing all sense of yourself as anything other than a baby-making facility. I know it makes some people happy, but it wouldn’t be for me. As for getting married, I have quite detailed ideas of the kind of wedding I’d like (key concept: small) but that’s for another post, perhaps.

7. I want to see Fleetwood Mac live in concert, somehow. If I get to hear the solo to Go Your Own Way played live, I can definitely die happy. J and I watched a cover band last night who didn’t bother with the solo and we were highly unimpressed. It was practically a crime against music, and as such it is my mission to hear the original from the originals.

8. I would love, love, love to take a road trip around the American South. Irish people tend to visit New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and California when they go to the States and while these places are popular for a reason, I do feel that one would get the best experience of America by seeing places like New Orleans, Texas, and Nashville. I don’t know why I have this notion, I just do. And if someone could enable this ambition by giving me a large sum of money, I would be entirely grateful.

9. I really want to dye my hair purple and get another piercing. Unfortunately, my job is an obstacle to this ambition. They’re already quite disgruntled by the fact that I keep ‘forgetting’ to remove my nose stud. I have had my lip pierced in the past, which I loved, but when I got my nose pierced I took it out to avoid rocking the boat too much. But I’d love to have it done again, or maybe something else like my belly button which would be unaffected by my job. As for dying my hair purple, this is possible and I might do it for my birthday next month. Also, for some reason J is mad for me to do it so he’ll be delighted too!

10. At some point in my life, I would like to establish an exercise routine which actually lasts longer than a month so I can finally become fit. Even though I often go through periods of wanting to lose weight (plans which never come into fruition), this is something I want to do for the sake of my health first and foremost. Key to this will be to have a structured daily routine which I don’t have at the moment as I am commuting to college this year and spend much of my time in college, or travelling to or from there. But when I do become more organised, it would be great to, you know, actually exercise on a regular basis and not get out of breath running for a bus…

So there’s my rudimentary list of ‘stuff I wanna do to make my wrinkles worse’. It will no doubt be added to, extended and amended numerous times throughout my life but I suppose that’s what life is about, adapting to whatever happens and going with it. After all, I am still only 21. I’m generally quite a laid-back person with a ‘come what may’ attitude, but it’s no harm to have a little checklist of things I’d like to achieve or experience when I finally have the money and freedom to do so. And the sooner that day comes, the better.


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