Life’s Too Short. Do Weird Things.

Vanessa Torre

People may not get it. That doesn’t matter. by Jared Rice via Pexels

I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the large, brightly lit room with mirrors everywhere and shoes silently gliding across the parquet floor. I had never taken a dance lesson before.

Notably, I am also not the most graceful person that’s ever walked the earth so the concept of me deciding to take Argentine Tango lessons on a Monday night seemed laughable, at best. Still, I did it for one reason: I just thought it would be fun. It was. It still is.

I get a lot of hare-brained ideas. I have a natural explorer in me. I’ve realized my least favorite question for people to ask me is, “Why would you want to do that?”

I don’t necessarily understand the question. Why does anyone want to do anything? Do I need a reason? Forget reason.

I’ve been running 80 miles an hour for the last two years. I’ve gotten a lot done but there’s one thing at the bottom of my checklist of things to do that I haven’t gotten to. Simply, live life. I want something more to show for my years than clean closets.

This year, I’m doing weird things. I made a long list of what I want to do this year for no particular reason and it sounds exceptionally fun. It delights me. In no particular order, it includes:

  • Taking archery lessons
  • Learning how to bake French Macarons
  • Taking aerial Lyra lessons
  • Taking a pottery class
  • Learning how to brew beer

I understand that doing twists and turns in a large hoop anchored to the ceiling doesn’t sound like something most people would do, let alone a middle-aged woman with zero flexibility. I might get some strange looks when I tell people I did it. Who the hell cares?

I’ve let other people's expectations hold me back from things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m over it. I turn 46 years old next month and I’m feeling compelled to live every year pulling as much from life as I can. I’m going to drain it dry.

It doesn’t matter to me that they’re not things a professional, single mom in her mid-forties should do, like getting yet another tattoo because I’ve given up caring about what anyone thinks I should or should not do to my skin.

I couldn’t care less if something I want to do sounds silly or if every single thing that I have listed that I want to do this year seems to have no relation to each other. They don’t need to. They make sense to me. That’s all I need.

I want to collect a series of experiences so at the end of my life so I can look back as an old lady and laugh about all the crazy things I did.

Once I opened myself up to the idea that I could do just about anything, life’s become a little bit more fun. I walk around looking for things to do. I’m wide open to possibility and experience. It’s made me a significantly more positive person.

I don’t want to pass anything up. I’ve rediscovered a strange sort of childlike wonder about the world. This life is precious. I’m no longer satisfied with the status quo.

I’m in the middle of learning another language well into my 40s. My goal is to visit Italy in the next two years and I want to be able to speak the language when I go there.

This dog is not too old to learn a new trick. I don’t subscribe to that philosophy.

I figure that I have eight hours of my day that I’m not working or sleeping. I don’t want to fill them up with activities that don’t bring meaning into my life. I don’t want to spend it with people who don’t bring joy to my life.

Life is short. I want to do weird things. I want to go to places I never thought I would. Cuba. Kilimanjaro. Prague. Peru. The world is full of wonder. I want to find it. All of it.

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

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