“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
When I graduated from high school, I made a list of the things I wanted to do before I turned thirty. The list looked like this: 

  1. Learn languages: French, Spanish, Hebrew.
  2. Live in Europe.
  3. Be the boss.
  4. Learn sports: skiing, tennis, running five miles (without stopping).
  5. Get married (have kids).
  6. Learn to play the piano.

I learned French and lived in Europe for a year. I can run five miles, usually without stopping. There has been some small movement on the skiing and tennis fronts. No progress at the piano. Still not the boss.

At that age, when I thought about the future, it was in terms of accomplishments. Now, I think much more in terms of process, about how I will be rather that what I will be. I am a perpetual student, continuously learning new things, finding new ways to be creative. I want to be one of those old ladies who shocks her grandchildren by going skydiving or winning a dance contest.

— Meg Stern