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04 August, 2013

10 things things I aimed to do before 30: a report-card

Almost seven years ago, I was trying to get into advertising.
It was a long road, and I blogged about the experience I had here a couple of years ago.

But now I've turned 30, its something I want to revisit.

The traineeship I applied for asked me to: List 10 things to do before you’re 30.

It was a great challenge, and better than those where do you see yourself in 5 years kind-of questions you get in job interviews. So today, I'm revisiting the list and seeing whether I got there.

1. Go to the four grand slams of tennis.
I love tennis. Growing up near Melbourne, I was fortunate enough to go to the Australian Open many times. At the time, I thought I'd be able to get to the other ones easily. This hasn't happened. It's definitely something I want to do and I think I'll add it to my new list (more on that later).

2. Go bungee jumping and sky-diving in New Zealand.
So here's the thing. I did get to go to New Zealand. I flew my Mum there a few weeks after the book launch and we really enjoyed some time in Wellington. Didn't quite make it to the extreme sports section. I'm pretty sure I still want to do these things, but unfortunately life has got in the way.

3. Have a beer in a Tasmanian pub with David Boon.
I'm not sure of the whereabouts of Boony these days. But I do know he's from Tasmania and that I need to go and have a beer with him at some stage, unfortunately, this did not happen before I was 30.

4. Make a public speech to 200 or more people.

You would think I haven't achieved much at this stage. I did set the bar high, but really? Fortunately public speaking is something I've enjoyed and excelled at since my career has taken flight. I quite enjoy it, and remember delivering a presentation on the Singapore digital landscape at the Mediabrands Digital summit, presenting a case-study to Microsoft's Digital Marketing conference, jumping up on stage at Unilever Vietnam and talking about creativity in digital (I won best speaker!), and one of my favourites was on a roadshow in Thailand and talking about our employer's capabilities to creative agency Far East DDB.

The room filled even more after this and there were people standing.

I still haven't got a boss-like photo of me wearing a black jacket and one of those headset microphones, but I'm working on it and have a lot to be proud of.

5. Purchase a dish-washer.
A rather immediate need at the time was having a dishwasher, but since then the houses I've lived in have had them for the majority. I probably should upgrade this to buying a house.

6. Take my family, including aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, to an expensive restaurant and foot the bill myself.
While I'm not swimming in it, there have been scenarios where I've been able to do this sort of thing for friends and family and not worry about it. I'm of the opinion that when it comes to people who are special to me, I'm going to look after them. Special shout-out goes to Sentosa Island adventures and The Ritz. Oh my, I miss you sometimes Singapore.

7. Get my three best mates, and road trip it across Australia.
Ahh, the road trip. The funny thing is, I don't think I could name my three best mates. I'm luck to have some very special people in my life and I have road-tripped with all of them. A sojourn to Mildura was interesting, a drive from Sydney to Geelong with people I was getting to know bonded us forever, and a shorter drive from Traralgon to Melbourne with my little sister was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done. I'm going to claim this one.

8. Go backpacking across Europe.
I never did the backpacker thing, but I did have the European holiday of a lifetime last year and that was a privilege.

9. Get into a position where I can read the answers to an application form such as this.
I love this answer. So cheeky yet it says a lot about my ambition. I haven't had a chance to do this yet. But have happily advised others on how they can frame their applications. For my industry, there's no such thing as over-the-top. You need to get that door open and a cover letter and resume will rarely cut it.

10. Meet the girl of my dreams!
A work-in-progress. Its well-documented that its harder to meet new people after 30, so maybe I've already met them but haven't realised yet? The other complication is that I hadn't come out at 23, and being bisexual means it could be a guy too! Oh, me.

The scorecard: 5/10
I give myself about five out of ten. Some of them I achieved a little bit, and some I nailed spectacularly. Others are still achievable and age is just a number any way.

It's been a fun exercise and I'm glad I got some of the way to achieving my dreams. I'm going to think about it a bit, and jot down the ten things I want to do before I'm 40. It's going to be a challenging and more awe-inspiring list I assure you.