35 by 36: Confession & Update

*Hitting publish without links or photos, otherwise I’ll never get this up*

The other day I texted a friend a happy birthday on his 35th, within three texts our tone went from celebratory to the general angst that’s been weighing on me all year. I don’t know what it’s been, but I’ve been listless. I’m beginning to think some of my goals just, well, weren’t right for me. On the other hand, some absolutely were, as evidenced below.

All that said, I’m not giving up. I’m just moving ahead knowing I am going to focus on more than others, and that’s okay. I’ve been totally honored to have both the SF People Podcast and Trish Ang feature my weird birthday tradition and I intend to keep it going.


  • Visit Alaska.
    I leave next week. More on my intended journey here.

  • Go to Burning Man.

    I am getting more and more excited. I just this week grabbed a ticket for the Burner Express to get there. Another adventure awaits!
  • Bike in 15 different cities.
    About where I should be on this! Finally added The Netherlands to my country list and got to bike in Alkmaar, Haarlem, and of course the bike capital of the world – Amsterdam.
  • Do 15 San Francisco stairway walks.
    No progress since January, c’mon me.
  • Visit 15 State or National Parks.
    I’m only at three, but anticipate that changing with the Alaska trip. I did finally make it to Pinnacles though!
  • Go on 15 hikes.
    I’m at six here. My favorite definitely a quick afternoon hike at Pinnacles over Easter weekend. Caves!
  • Read 15 notable books (award-winners, bestsellers) from the past 35 years (that I’ve not previously read).
    Added Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers to the list. But honestly have 13 books to go. Oof.
  • See 15 bands I’ve never seen before.
    Decided to count openers where I’m actively engaged in listening. That brings me up to eight on this front. Highlights were The Replacements (life goal accomplished), Viet Cong (ROCKED MY FACE OFF), and Leon Bridges (excited for this album).
  • Resee 15 bands.
    I’m rocking this category (ha). Added: Annie Bacon, The Decemberists, TV on the Radio, Belle & Sebastian, Lydia Loveless, Sleater-Kinney (!!!!), Jesus & Mary Chain (Psychocandy live), and – straddling two categories – The Replacements (in Amsterdam!)
  • Visit 15 different San Francisco Parks.
    I’m at six with the addition of Huntington Park. Summertime exploration is in order!
  • Learn about/travel to 15 Bay Area towns.
    My learning isn’t so great, but you can legitimately say I’ve spent at least an hour in Oakland, Hayward, San Rafael, Berkeley, Emeryville and Mill Valley.
  • Visit 15 breweries.
    My recent travels helped me catch up on this one. I’m currently at seven. Added: Barrelhead Brewhouse (SF), Woods Brewery (Oakland), Guinness (Dublin), Brouwerij t’ IJ (Amsterdam), Jopen (Haarlem) and Night Shift (Boston).
  • Attend 15 separate performances or lectures.
    I think I need to be more specific on this in the future. Being a part of the design community and going to lectures is part of my professional life as well, but it does count. I’m currently at 12. The ones that were NOT design-related include Mr. Burns at ACT, a Women Bike SF Maintenance Ride & “How To”, and a Cal Academy Lecture on The Neuroscience of Zen.
  • See 15 visual arts exhibitions.
    Again, my travels really helped with this! I’m at 12. My favorites have definitely been Ai Wei Wei’s At Large on Alcatraz, the Van Gogh Museum, de Appel in Amsterdam, some of the works at the Amsterdam Art Fair and the really cool ArtZuid exhibition in Amsterdam.
  • Learn about 15 typographers and their works.
    Sadly with the passing of Herman Zapf this week, I learned quite a bit in his obituary. I do need to read up on living type designers as well. And still stick to my little book report idea. Need to set aside time for this!
  • Abstain from alcohol for 15 consecutive days.
    I successfully did this after SF Beer Week and I felt so amazing.
  • Publish 15 blog posts about travel.
    Just the one about Alaska, but need to write up my three notebooks worth of Europe adventure!
  • Publish 15 blog posts about food.
    Only up to three, definitely need to do more.
  • Publish 15 blog posts about art (music, film, visual/performing arts, etc.).
    Two about film, that’s it. GET ON IT.
  • Go on 15 set up dates.
    Only went on two. If I go on five I’ll be impressed.
  • Go to 15 events at 18 Reasons.
    Up to five on this. Most recently I went to Oregon Wines with Amber and Mary Ann…lots of fun!
  • Go to 35 classes at the gym.
    I have been really bad at tracking this, so I think it’s actually higher than the 17 I’ve tracked, but I’ll stick with this for now.
  • Send mail to 35 different people.
    Again, REALLY bad at tracking. So far it’s 9 recorded, but I’m sure more. I do have a random mail day in my future though.
  • Run exactly 35 miles each month, no more, no less.
    I actually met this head on in both March and May, without rule bending. I’m up to 164.25 for the year. Basically, I’ve decided to bend the rules so my unmet miles will be run on my annual December runstreak.
  • See 35 films in the theater.
    Ooof. I’m at an unacceptable eight. I’m not counting two shorts screenings I went too, although I may have to by the end of the year.
  • Walk to work 35 times.
    Horrible at tracking. It’s a rough seven at this point. Need to get on this one too!
  • Eat 35 different ethnic dishes.
    SOOOO bad at tracking. I did have Indonesian food in Amsterdam, so that’s new all-around.
  • Learn 35 words in German.
    No vocab yet, but starting to learn recognition from this amazing playlist my friend Gloria made for me.
  • Talk to 15 different friends on the phone for 35 minutes.
    I think I’m only at three here. Blergh.

No Progress

  • Do yoga for 15 days in a row.
  • Create 15 YouTube videos.
  • Reread 15 books.
  • Reduce my debt load by 35%.
  • Increase my savings by 35%.
  • Learn and photograph 35 endemic California flora and fauna.






About Meghan A.

creative & professional creative professional | communications, content & community | nasty woman | adventurer & inspiration seeker | bicyclist & feminist | walk san francisco board | current: Adobe Typekit Product Marketing Manager, former: TYPO SF magic maker
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