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After I Turn Eighteen: The Bucket List

Andrea Balingit

19. To meet you—I don’t know who you are. Not yet. But maybe I will know, once I meet you. I will lace my fingers around yours, lean against your chest and fall asleep as it rises and falls, the steady beat of your heart as my lullaby. You will capture photos of me, of us. We will have big smiles and funny faces. You will capture stolen photos of me in between laughs, in between a rant. You will be filled with happiness when you see me smile. And I’ll be enough.

20. Ride with someone, in a motorcycle, and cruise along as we hop from island to island, with the wind ruffling our hair. Manure, soil, and exhaust would mix with the fresh air of the province or the outskirts of the city. I would sit behind you, my arms wrapped tight across your chest. I can barely see or hear anything from the huge helmet you would let me wear but I would feel the heat from your body and that would be enough. I would feel home.

21. Learn how to drive a motorcycle, those big, shiny black ones. Zoom across the gravel and pavements, the highways and the roads, across the 7,640 islands of the Philippines.

22. Put on a backpack and travel across Europe. See the beautiful wonders of nature and the remnants the past had left for the present. If lucky, wear a medieval gown as well! Doesn’t matter what era!

23. Walk with someone on the streets of a country in Europe, maybe Austria or France. We would talk and laugh until we would be out of breath until everyone had fallen asleep and the shops had closed for the day. We would rest near the Danube Canal or the River Seine, witnessing its midnight glory. I would rest my head on your shoulder as you continue to tell stories of you, of me, of us. We would not rest until our hearts become full.

24. Learn how to swim and fully embrace the beauty of the sea. After all, I live in an archipelago that belongs to the Amazon of the Seas. I have always admired the sea, the vast ocean, and the secrets it could contain, but only from a distance. The creatures underneath always filled me with curiosity and curiosity scares me. Look at what those tentacles and little mouths can do!

25. Ride a cruise and lay on the deck, or maybe in our cabin’s balcony if we could afford one. We would see the stars change as we cruise from one continent to the other. We would look at the sky as the gentle sighs of the ocean try to lull us to sleep. We would point out stars and make stories and poetry about them, give them names until we sleep beside each other underneath the blanket of the universe.

26. Write about our travels, our love.

27. Love someone as big as the universe, give my all and everything to someone until there is nothing left in me.

28. Confess to my crush.

29. Stay up late writing you love letters and poetry and fictional stories about you and about us and the love we could have had but will never have. I would never send my love letters, never let any human gaze upon them but me. Maybe I would send them when I get enough confidence to do so, but I know my infatuation by then would have faded away and all the things I’ve written would be buried underneath my files, forgotten but the universe that had lay witness to the fact that you had caught someone’s heart, and they stayed up late, alone in their room, writing about you as they made a little place for you in their heart.

30. Say I love you out loud.

31. Get my heart broken. Must be fun.

32. Not cry when heartbroken.

33. Get over you.

34. Burn all the pictures I have with the both of us and destroy all the souvenirs and the things you gave as gifts.

35. Go outside and enjoy the outdoors to move on. Heal and not lock myself in my room, barely eating or doing anything, and spending the day bawling my heart out.

36. Stop loving someone else and hurting myself.

37. To love myself before loving others.




About the Author

Andrea Balingit is a Filipino student and writer from the Philippines. She's currently trying her hand in reaching both local and international audiences through her written works. When she's procrastinating, she can be found wailing about almost everything in her twitter @IamBUTTiful and being dramatic in her blog:

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