Post-mortem: My 25 Before 25image
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Post-mortem: My 25 Before 25

10 years ago, I made a list of 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25. I wrote it when I was 15 and forgot about it until just a couple years ago. And that's why I find it fascinating to see what I accomplished and what I didn't. It's really interesting to see how my values have changed and stayed the same over time by looking at what goals 15 year old me wanted to accomplish in his next decade and what present me throughout that decade actually decided to do. And to my surprise, there's actually a lot of crossover!

So, in this blog post, I'm going to go through all 25 items and tell the stories behind my 25 before 25. And be sure to check out my 35 before 35 once it's up.

1. Sky dive āœ…

After my college orientation, I convinced my parents and brother to drive me out to Skydive Orange and jump out of a plane at 6 a.m. to commemorate the occasion. It was an awesome experience that I definitely would do again with anyone who asked.

2. Rock climb āœ… (?)

I'm counting this one because I've now gone bouldering and done a level III rock wall at a climbing gym. That's basically the same thing right šŸ¤·\u200dā™‚ļø ? Welp - it's my list and I'm counting it.

3. Hike the El Camino de Santiago āŒ

To be fair, I wrote this list not too long after watching The Way which is when everyone and their brother started wanting to hike the El Camino. I did look into doing it after my first year of college, but Sarah and I decided to backpack Europe together instead (see below).

4. Write a novel āŒ

Nope - still might like to though.

5. Put a cover on YouTube āŒ

Close? I did make educational YouTube videos for a year, and some of them did include music I performed that other people wrote...but I'm not counting it.

6. Visit and celebrate in a Mosque āœ…

These next two were directly inspired by my Dad who always made it a point for us to experience other cultures. I'm grateful that they were enabled by some great friends in high school who I hope are doing great.

7. Visit and celebrate in a Temple āœ…

8. Bungee Jump āŒ

Am definitely going to do this at some point, though!

9. Backpack through Europe āœ…

One of the best experiences of my life. We hit 7 countries in 28 days, and it was the trip that made me realize just how much I wanted to be with Sarah for the rest of my life.

10. Visit all 50 States āŒ

I'm close! I've been to 36: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.

11. "Graduate high schoolduh" āœ…

Lol. You gotta have some grounded goals in there.

12. Run a marathon āŒ

Mmmm not sure I actually want to do this one. I don't really like running as a form of exercise. But, I do have friends who have done it and loved the experience. So, who knows?!

13. Hike all of the Engen Mountains āœ…

Some context: Engen is the town in Germany that my grandmother is from. It's a beautiful, rural village surrounded by 3 (or 4?) "Hegaus". They are the equivalent of small mountains in the Shenandoah. And, as a challenge, people walk to and hike up each of them in one day. Sarah and I cheated and took a train to one, but i'm still counting it.

14. Become a conversationalist in 3 languages āŒ

I could be snarky and say that by learning English (1) and German (2) I was able to converse in very broken Czech (3) with a lady on our train to Prague who told me all about the family reunion she was going to and bough us beer haha...but I'll just say I'm still working on this one. Hoping to add Spanish and Italian in the next few years.

15. Learn to surf āœ…

Did this in the last year! Because I love board sports, I always knew I'd like to surf. But I didn't expect it to teach me so much about patience and perseverance (and about how weak my back muscles were).

16. Ride in a helicopter āœ…

Did this with my family when we took a trip to Alaska.

17. Volunteer 50 hours āœ…

Such a low bar, and I hope to do much much more in the next 10 years.

18. Swim in the Pacific Ocean āœ…

Did this a few times over the past decade, and now that I love to surf, I hope to be doing this a lot more.

19. Shoot a gun āœ…

When I saw this on the list, I thought it was kind of off-brand for 15 year old me. But I've always been all about having new experiences. So, for my birthday right before Covid, my friends and I went skeet shooting and we all had a great time! Highly recommend.

20. Learn a martial art āŒ

I do the occasional Tai Chi routine, but I'm not counting that as truly learning a practice.

21. Do a standing backflip āŒ

Something I definitely still want to learn to do. I've always wanted to have more strength and control of my body and this goal still really represents that to me.

22. Paint a picture āœ…

Pretty cute goal that I funnily enough had not completed until my family decided to do paint by numbers together over Christmas this year!

23. Meet 100 new people āœ…

15 year old me drastically underestimated how many people you meet in college. I think I completed this on the first day of orientation.

24. Sail a sailboat āœ…

Had a blast doing this with my family years ago. I would definitely love to do this again with Sarah.

25. Go scuba diving āœ…

Did this with my family when we went to the Bahamas. I LOVED it. The ocean truly is another world that gives you great perspective. Highly recommend.

In conclusion...

It's pretty cool to see how just by living my life I completed 16/25 of these items. And it's also really interesting to see how many of them I still want to do 10 years later. I've grown a lot over the past decade, and looking back on this list has been a great way to reflect on the wonderful people and experiences that enabled that growth.

Be sure to checkout my 35 before 35 post if you found this interesting. Cheers and here's to another 10 years šŸ»šŸŽ‰!

Drew Lyton
Drew Lyton
Monday, January 17, 2022

I'm a software engineer, ex-founder and writer who cares deeply about creating a better relationship between technology and society. I'm currently writing a book about early stage entrepreneurship.


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