30 Before 30 Challenge

Hello Readers,

I’m starting a new chapter in life. As in the life of every gay man there is a turning point. It is that moment when we realize that we are no longer the one everyone stares at when we enter a room. It is also the day we notice that we are now the one’s buying younger guys a drink at the bar. Sadly, it is even the day when we would rather go home after work on a Friday night instead of out with friends. Gasp! What’s that you say? The day of which I speak is none other than our thirtieth birthday. On this date, and often just before it, we gay men realize we don’t have any clue about what we are doing with our lives, and as time is slipping past us, we suddenly panic. Why do we panic? Because in our teens we discover puberty, and if we are lucky enough to “come out” in our twenties we are just now trying to figure out what we want out of life. Billions of questions start to circulate in our minds. Are we happy at work? Is this career fulfilling? What am I passionate about? Am I too old to start over? What’s my next step? How much is this going cost me? Why am I still single? Can I build a good relationship? Monogamy or not? Do I want kids? Will my sex life end? Marriage or partnership? What’s most important to me?

With the threat of this momentous birthday less than a year away, there is a sudden concern that I am running out of time. While I know that in life there is no time limit. That I should not be rushed into feeling a certain way at a specific time, like there is a checklist which needs to be marked off. I panic. And when I panic, I make plans. I am a planner. There I’ve said it, and I have no shame in hiding it any longer. What a relief it is to finally be OUT about it. No pun intended. So with this being said, I have decided to make a checklist for myself of things that I want to accomplish before I turn thirty. My list will consist of thirty items I think every gay man should do before he turns thirty, and why I have chosen to do them. Hence the name of this post. Why not, right? There is so much ugliness out in the world today, why not create something positive for myself? Think of all these things as ways to challenge, uplift, and inspire yourself to be the man you have always wanted to be.

  1. Start something over. While this may seem a little non-descriptive, I think everyone can relate to a point in their life that they wished they had a do-over button to push.
  2. Say something you’ve always wanted to say, out loud. Whether this means that you are finally coming out to your parents, or just declaring a secret crush, there is no better time than the present.
  3. Discover a new hobby. Discover new hobbies like Oprah hands out prizes.
  4. Experience a religious service outside of your own traditions. After all the things the church has said to you or about you, find solace in a new religion, or become at peace within yourself.
  5. Volunteer for something within your community. Believe it or not, there’s more to life than just you. Give back, and make others feel better too.
  6. Recycle something old, into something new. Put your HGTV binge watching to use and design something fabulous!
  7. Seek answers to a tough question. “To be, or not to be? That is the question.”
  8. Conquer a lifelong fear. I’m not just talking about killing a spider with your stiletto heels now either…something really scary!
  9. Gain knowledge in things unknown. Nobody has all the answers. Do something just because you can.
  10. Reread a book you were assigned to read in school. If you are not already too old to remember high school…a classic tale just might mean more to you now.
  11. Witness an amazing natural phenomenon. It’s a bird, it’s a plane…
  12. Purge things that cause you pain or negativity. Sometimes letting go is only the beginning.
  13. Write about your travels. You have been a lot of places and seen a lot of faces. Paint us a picture with your imaginative words.
  14. Invest in your future. Save. Save. Save. Put it away for a rainy day.
  15. Save a life. As a boy you wanted to be a superhero, now is your chance. Grab your mask, and cape and suit up!
  16. Perform a random act of kindness. And don’t be throwing no shade either…
  17. Think outside the box. Tick, tick, boom.
  18. Witness a legend. If you are as big a queen as the divas you idolize, then you must see their names in lights at least once.
  19. Teach or inspire greatness within someone else. Calling all you drag mothers…
  20. Take a class. All your life you have been forced to learn things you never gave two shakes about. What do you really want to know about?
  21. Start challenging yourself in new ways. This could very well be your only physical challenge. But, in order to live a better life you need to put down the twinkies and get up off your butt.
  22. Ask for help.  As Cher would say, “Snap out of it!”
  23. Discover an old passion. You have been in a rut, paying back student loans and have now forgotten what really makes you happy. Take a break.
  24. Join a club or group. It’s time to be social.
  25. Talk less, listen more. You might discover something about yourself or others around you.
  26. Make a commitment. Whether it’s “I do” or “I do, tomorrow” you should put a ring on it!
  27. Reach out to someone you wish you hadn’t lost touch with. It’s nice to reconnect.
  28. Organize a friend’s weekend or road trip. Friendships last forever, so don’t miss out on little opportunities.
  29. Love yourself. As Rupaul would say, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”
  30. Create something that will outlast you. Give them something to remember you by. And leave them wanting more.
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