My Adventure Book

Hans Christian Anderson once said that life itself is the most wonderful fairytale. This is one of my favorite quotes, which is no surprise if you know me. As you might remember from a former post, I am a firm believer in bucket lists. For me, it’s less of a to-do list and rather a representation of someone I hope to be—brave, adventurous, spontaneous, uninhibited. My bucket list is a lot like Ellie’s Adventure Book from Disney’s Up!. “More Disney?” you whine. Yes, but bear with me!

I recently graduated from college and began my adult life working full-time. Like any newbie, there are days when I wonder what exactly I am working towards. What I want out of life. Where I will go.  The big “what next”. For the first time, my life isn’t scripted, and that terrifies me. Like plenty of people, I challenge myself to move one step closer to Paradise Falls every day. Even though I don’t really know what my dream is yet—maybe it’s becoming the next J.K. Rowling or marketing a Disney blockbuster—I am sometimes overwhelmed by the burden of making it come true. It’s a blessing and a curse, I guess. Maybe you’ve felt that way, too.

It feels sort of like this…

If you’re not moving forwards you’re moving backwards, right? That’s how I looked at college. Most days were part of an uphill climb to the next milestone on the road to successful alumna. I had this need to make something of myself simply to prove I could. The idea of mindlessly drifting along like a balloon-tethered house in the sky seemed like a total waste, and I used milestones to measure my progress in the Adventure Book of life.

Don’t get me wrong, those achievements were great! They provided so many opportunities. But those milestones seemed to me the very point of college, and now? I think I was wrong. When I look back over the past four years, those accomplishments sort of melt away in my mind. I tend to overlook the typical “highlights”—my first time making honor roll, studying abroad in England, landing an internship, my first time inside the Sooner stadium. Instead, it’s the little, seemingly insignificant things that stand out.

 Hitting the 24/7 donut shop at midnight with my friends, schooling my folks at Bananagrams, meeting up every week for the new American Horror Story episode, celebrating Valentine’s Day with my roommate, playing Mario Kart with my boyfriend until 4 a.m., waking up in my old bed at Christmas, skipping class to rewatch old episodes of Friends. Those are the things I remember most.

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Note: My roommate and I have celebrated V-Day together for ten years.

And to you, that may seem uneventful because, well, it is! But there’s a moment in Up! that sums up what I’m trying to say. Near the end of the movie, Russell is talking to Carl about his workaholic dad. He talks about the way they used to get ice cream together and count the cars as they passed by. Then, in one sentence, our young wilderness explorer perfectly captures the point of the entire movie and, incidentally, life.

As Ellie points out in her sob-worthy note to Carl, life isn’t about the destination. It’s about the adventures along the way, adventures shared with others. Perhaps I will write a bestseller or work for Walt Disney Studios, but more and more I am realizing that the most exciting parts of life are happening right now. As we speak, I’m filling the pages of my own adventure book with “the boring stuff”. Yes, adventure really is out there. You just have to open your eyes and see it.

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11 Clever Last-Minute Costumes

So, Halloween is just days away, and you’re totally unprepared. No costume? No problem!  You don’t need a lot of time (or money) to pull together a creative get-up, thanks to the Internet. Whether you’re going solo, as a couple or with a group, I’ve got you covered. Here are 11 clever DIY costumes you can put together in less than 24 hours. So sit back, let loose a sigh of relief and get inspired.

1. Medusa

Medusa

Just raid your little brother’s closet for a few toy snakes and wear your bed sheets like a toga. Bam! Costume complete.

2. Carl from Up!

Up!

Proof that a few balloons and a trip to the thrift store can work wonders.

3. DumbleDora the Explorer

DumbleDora

Punny and confusing! All you need are some bright accessories and a noteworthy beard.

4. The Hanging Chad

Hanging Chad

You’re basically guaranteed to be the only hanging chad at the party.

5. Fifty Shades of Gray

Fifty Shades of Gray

Clever, cultural and creative. What more could you ask for?

—————- Couples Costumes —————

6. Google Maps

Google Maps

For maximum impact, be sure to play “God Blessed the Broken Road.”

7. Gotye

Gotye

This one’s all about the bodysuit, folks. Seriously. Your birthday suit is not a costume.

8. Mr. and Mrs. Fox

The Foxes

If you’re too cheap (or short on time) to get stellar fox masks, just print off a coloring sheet online. They’ll get the gist.

————— Group Costumes —————

9. Tetris

Tetris

No matter how many friends you have, there’s always room for one more.

10. Mario Kart

Mario Kart

Can you ever go wrong with Nintendo? No. No you cannot.

11. French Kiss

French Kiss

C’mon. It’s brilliant, and there’s nothing more to say.

Even if you didn’t find a costume, I hope you’re feeling inspired. Just in case you’re wondering, I did not include my own costume on the list (though it was cheap and a DIY) as I’m keeping the element of surprise on my side. If you have any ideas to add, feel to share them below. Otherwise, happy hunting! I’m sure you’ll find that perfect costume in no time.