40 things to do before 40: A bucket list for 39

I’m turning 39 tomorrow, and as a late-diagnosed autistic (I just found out about four months ago), I have been re-examining my life has I knew it. I recently realized that there is a whole slew of things that I have been missing out on, either because I was trying to fit in, trying not to be perceived, or because I was dealing with the anxiety that comes with spending a lifetime masking who you really are. I do have a considerable amount of anxiety that has kept me from doing a lot of things that I would probably have enjoyed.

So, I’ve put together a list of 40 Things I Want to Do before I Turn 40. A sort of bucket list for the last year of my 30s. I’m going to pend the next year doing them and sharing my experience. There’s some small things like going out to eat by myself—I’ve never eaten in a restaurant by myself—riding on a motorcycle, going to see an opera, getting a tattoo. Then there are some bigger things, like I’m scared of air travel, so I have traveling on an airplane on the list. I’d also love to see NYC and ride on a subway. Things that I’ve always wanted to do but either haven’t allowed myself to do or haven’t had the time or opportunity to do. Or have just generally avoided because I was trying really hard not to be perceived.

Now that I’m unmasking, there’s no more room for excuses. I’m free to be me, to live my life the way I was born to live it. So, these are the 40 things I’d like to do before I turn 40, in no particular order.

1. Get a piggy back ride

2. Get a tattoo

3. Meet a cow in real life (and make friends with it)

4. Learn Spanish

5. Learn ASL

6. Take a ceramics class

7. Take a drawing class

8. Take dancing lessons

9. Go dancing (at a club)

10. See a ballet

11. See an opera

12. Ride on a motorcycle

13. Ride in a hot air balloon

14. Ride on a subway

15. Ride in an airplane

16. Sing Karaoke

17. Act on stage

18. See a movie being filmed

19. Attend a convention (e.g. Metrocon)

20. Attend a bonfire party

21. Build a snowman

22. Attend a masquerade/costume party

23. Host (or attend) a formal dinner party

24. Kiss in the rain

25. Get a professional massage

26. Go skinny dipping

27. Write a song

28. Bench 135lbs

29. Deadlift 205lbs

30. Visit California

31. Attend a wine tasting

32. Swim with dolphins

​33. See NYC

34. Have a book on the top 100 list

35. Learn guitar

36, Take a pole dancing class

37. Ride on a sailboat or yacht

38. Take a girls’ trip with my best friend

39. Eat alone in a restaurant

40. Do a cartwheel

I’m shooting to try one new thing from the list each week. If you want to keep up with my progress, I’ll be sharing my experiences here and on my social media accounts. Join me for what I’m hoping will be my best year yet!