Life is one big Bucket List
Wimbledon? Parachute jumps? Our columnist is certainly grabbing the single life bull by the horns
Column by Jo Gregory
After hibernating for a good few weeks, I decided to venture out and face the world as a newly single girl. I figured this would be my only time of being without work ties for a while and I don’t want to look back and think I wasted time worrying about the future and not enjoying the present and the glorious summer we’ve been blessed with.
The bucket list has been in full force starting with a trip to Wimbledon with my dad. The day was amazing, I sat next to Sir Cliff over lunch. Well, when I say sat next to, I mean he was across the other side of the room. The tournament was everything you’d expect, the quiet rustle of people before a serve, the grunts from the female players, the gorgeous service men and women in uniform showing you to your seats, the Pimms. If it wasn’t flying ant day it would have been perfection. And yes, the courts look much bigger on the telly.
Then came a spur of the moment bucket list, the one you don’t have time to think about. Whilst visiting family and friends up north I jumped out of a plane with just half an hours’ notice. I joked en route to Black Knights Parachute Centre to watch a friend, that if they had space on the plane, I’d jump. They did. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and having found myself living this new ‘I’ll try anything’ vibe it was too hard to miss. I hate heights, I hate propeller planes, but I hate the thought of regretting not living life to the full when I had the chance more. Hurtling through the air at 120 mph on a beautiful morning made my heart burst with an appreciation for life (even if a small percentage of that thought was, it might be about to come to an abrupt end). This feels amazing, this feel brave, this is living!
I’m aiming to get the bucket list to an even 100 and tick off five to ten a year. Meaning within 25 years I would have completed everything I ever wanted to do. It feels achievable when you break it down like that right? It ranges from places I want to visit, to the absurd. I’m currently Googling how to enter the Red Bull Soapbox race as we speak.
The great thing about this new-found freedom is the ability to say yes to things. I recently went to a friend of a friends for a dinner party. The evening was lovely, the wine flowed, as did the conversation. There was a mix of peeps there, some I knew, some I didn’t. Having had a lovely night, I decided not to spend the £50+ on an Uber to get me home and opted for the last train. Headphones around my neck, I said my goodbyes and then out of nowhere one of the guests decides he wants to walk me to the station. I mean, this isn’t the 1950’s and I’m a South London girl so can handle myself, but he insisted, and I took him up on his kind offer.
We made small talk but, in all honesty, all I wanted to do was power walk whilst making dance routines in my head but no. Instead I got the Spanish inquisition, which included questions like, ‘why do you still wear your wedding ring’ and then he tried to hold my hand… is this what happens now-a-days? I’m so out of the loop. Now, to be clear, there was zero flirting, I mean I do love a flirt, but we barely had a conversation during the evening, so I wasn’t sure where this came from. However, even if I found him attractive I wouldn’t go there for one main reason, the man criticised my cheese intake over dinner. Now pal, never criticise a curvy woman for her intake of cheese, especially one who’s going through an existential crisis!
My hand dodging dance routine showed me that I am in no way ready to date just yet. I’ve basically not been single since I was 22. That is 14 years of my life dedicated to someone else. Fourteen years I’ve put someone’s needs before my own. Someone recently said to me ‘don’t worry, you’ll meet someone soon’. Wow, is that really the end goal? Yes, there is the small matter of dying alone but let’s not get caught up in all that. Isn’t it better to form a solid relationship with one’s self? Forge deeper relationships with your family and friends, theatre with this pal, party with the other, take that last-minute holiday and try to make the perfect life for yourself. If love just so happens to make an appearance I shall welcome it with open arms, I absolutely love being in a relationship but it’s time to be in one with myself now.