26 Gonnas for 26: Pulse Check

If remembering me after my admittedly prolonged absence is not too hard to do, you might remember I turned 26 a few months ago. In honor of that, I decided to evolve the gonnas once again into a cute little list of things I was gonna make happen in the course of a year. I’ve had the fortune of crossing one of the to-do’s off my list multiple times, but I realized that as often as I pulse check my list, you guys might be a little left in the dark. Without further ado, here are my charts, people! Please feel free to peruse them, and definitely let me know if you see signs of infection or impending death.
1. Wake up with the sun at least 180 days over the next year.
I’ve only woken up with the sun for about a week total so far, but thanks to a new job opportunity, this gonna will slowly start melting away!

2. Fly to visit my sister in Japan.
Not yet, but truly hoping the aforementioned job opportunity will be my ticket to this gonna. I can’t wait to see all the beautiful scenery in person I’ve seen in her photos so far.

3. Finish my screenplay.
I’ve made some progress here! I’m still closer to the start than the finish, but I am also further from the beginning than I was before.
4. Don’t let items I have gathered to create a project sit on my shelf for more than 2 weeks… ever.
This 26-for-26 gonna has been an epic failure so far. I have reminded myself that with all that’s going on, it’s okay to let this goal slide……. but I still can’t help but wish I had the time to stick to my guns. I have done a little better about downsizing and working on what I can here and there, but there is definitely room for improvement before next July.
5. Diagnose and solve my voice problems, then sing publicly when I have the all clear.
I have actually DONE the latter half of this goal (karaoke nights DO COUNT, especially when you sing Les Mis by yourself) without doing the first. While I feel liberated and more ready to tackle this goal, more than anything, I now know that there is absolutely a REAL problem with my voice, and I need to take care of it now rather than later.
6. Get my teaching license.
As long as I keep my nose to the grindstone (and learn to accept that a perfect 4.0 might not be possible with a full-time job AND classes), I should have my license in May!

7. Write one blog every week!
This is the one that really spurred me to update everyone since I obviously haven’t been blogging weekly. However, I have been writing a little more here and there overall, which is really what’s important to me. I think a more properly worded goal would be “Have 52 new blog entries by next year,” meaning if I have the time to write five times in one week, I will. If I have no time to write for a month, that’s okay, too.
8. Learn to drive a manual car.
My handsome teacher is currently out of stick-shifting commission, so this is on hold for the time being. 
9. Make 50 YouTube videos.
I’ve made one. ONE! I’ve got work to do…
10. Get over my fear of heights by climbing a lighthouse, ziplining, both, or more!
Whereas I once dreaded this gonna, I’m actually kinda looking forward to getting over this fear, or at least diminishing it in my mind. The question remains: what exactly will I be doing to get over this fear? Skydiving is out, but I’m open to other suggestions, y’all.
11. Teach someone something life-changing.
Hopefully I will be doing this every day in my new position. And hopefully, it’ll be somewhat tangible so I can report back here.
12. Make a Southern road trip to Texas and back.
See #2.
13. Finish writing a book with C.
We are so, so close to finishing this gonna. We have a self-imposed deadline of early December so we can distribute these bad boys as presents. It’s so crazy to think that months ago, this story was just an idea, and now, it’s almost finished!
14. Learn how to sew.
I have no idea how to even begin this one, but I REALLY, REALLY want to learn. Help?
15. Go legit camping for a weekend with J and the pups.
This has almost happened a handful of times, but life keeps getting in the way. We must make a note to ignore it for a weekend before it gets too cold!
16. Spend more time with my family.
I feel like I’ve been doing this, but I don’t think I’ll be able to properly gauge this until next July when I see the progress I’ve made over the course of a full year.
17. Do some photoshoots (at least one!) with a professional photographer.
18. Get something published.
I’ve found some contests for publishing, but so far, none of my already written material meets the criteria. Since I’m not in the position to write something brand new, the search continues… for now.
19. Raise $500 for my business, Southern Sheek.
I haven’t raised anything so far. I’ll most likely have to save this gonna until closer to the end of the year!
20. Do a Goodwill-level cleanout every 3 months until I only have what I (for the most part) need.
I have done this in off-beat ways, but there is definitely more to do before I can cross this off my list in good faith. I’ve been consigning some of my stuff with my favorite local store, as well as gathering random items here and there before loading them in bags in my trunk. I guess I need to actually make my way to Goodwill now, right?
21. Let go of toxic people in my life.
I’ve had to do some of this already, but whether I’ve really cleaned out the toxicity closet (and whether I’ve done it well) remains to be seen.
22. Make a weekend trip to a new place, any place.
I’ve made a lot of weekend trips, but none to a new place so far! Still waiting to find the perfect, cheap destination.
23. Write and send fanmail to all those people who have inspired me along the way.
I have addresses; I just need to get to writing!
24. Meet a sloth!
I actually attempted to do this with J, and my friends L and B, at a local science museum…… BUT THE SLOTH HAD INEXPLICABLY BEEN MOVED TO THE AQUARIUM, which was under construction. P.S. Sloths are great swimmers, so I mean, I GUESS I GET IT, but I really almost cried.
25. Really make 10 people’s day – five of whom I know and five strangers.
Hopefully I’ve done this without knowing, but now that I have the means to pay it forward, I’m really going to try and do a better job.
26. Be thankful and say so at the end of every day.
Despite this one seeming so easy, it’s actually the hardest for me. Most days, I am thankful and say so. But there are days when {most} everything seems so bad that it’s hard to remember to be grateful for the things that remain intact. I have been doing better lately, and I’m hoping I’ve trained my brain to stay in that spot of thankfulness.


  1. I haven't gotten diagnosed, but after singing to the top of my lungs for karaoke and teaching every day, it's very apparent that my voice cannot stand to be used louder than a quiet chatter, especially for long periods of time. Now comes trying to find a time to see the ENT doc! Hoping I can get an appointment in the next 2 weeks…

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