I’ve completed another 5 experiences on my quest to experience 30 new things before I turn 30. If you missed the first posts about my challenge, you can get caught up here:
Now for my most recent adventures, experiences #6-10:
#6: Paint Night
Location: Paint Nite, Seattle, WA
I had heard rave reviews from friends about these paint and sip nights. My mom was coming into town for a work trip so I asked her to tag along with me for this experience. For $25 per person we spent 2 hours painting and sipping on our drinks (not included!). Somehow everyone else in the room managed to have bubbly conversations but we were both so focused on trying to hear the instructor and catch up to where she was with her painting that we didn’t get much time to talk. My mother and I are very much alike and we are complete perfectionists about the things we make. I think maybe we took this experience a bit too seriously.
The big takeaway for me is that painting is easier than it looks as long as you can break a composition down into the stages of color (background followed by layered details). It was interesting to see how everyone in the room interpreted the instructions and everyone’s paintings displayed their creator’s unique vision.
Location: Lower Gold Creek Basin Trail, Snoqualmie Pass, WA
My work team was offered a day off in early March to travel as a group up to a local Ski resort. When a member of the team offered to lead a group of us for snowshoeing, I jumped at the chance to check off another experience on my list. I was even lucky enough to borrow a pair of snowshoes from a local Buy Nothing Group member.
The trail was well worn so the snow was firmly packed. The hike was around 3 miles in total with some seriously beautiful views of snow covered mountains, quietly trickling streams and a serene frozen pond.
Just after we started back from the end of the trail I noticed a dull pain in my hip from wearing the snowshoes. Since I was wearing snow boots, I decided to remove the snowshoes and walk the rest of the way back without them. Snowshoes are probably great for walking in deep or freshly fallen snow but they didn’t do much for me on packed snow. My biggest takeaway: Snowshoeing was a once in a lifetime experience for me, I won’t be in a rush to go again.
#8: Participate in the Democratic caucus
Location: Hazen High School, Renton, WA
Well, now you know which direction I lean on the political spectrum. Unfortunately, up until now, I haven’t taken my civic duty very seriously. This year’s election has been enough to scare me straight: this is not the time to sit back and let someone else make the decision for me, I wanted to be part of the process and to make sure my voice was heard.
Washington is the largest caucus state in this year’s primary contest to determine the democratic nominee for president. I turned out with 500+ others in my legislative district to discuss our views on the candidates and cast our votes for the nominee. I made the decision to volunteer to represent my precinct as a delegate at the legislative district caucus in April and may advance again to the county level in May.
#9: Spend the Night in a Treehouse
Location: The Burl treehouse, Treehouse Point, Fall City, WA
While compiling my list of experience ideas I stumbled across a suggestion to spend a night in a treehouse. I did a quick search and found Treehouse Point which is only a short distance from our house. The man who built the treehouses has his own reality show on Animal Planet called Treehouse Masters.
Booking a stay in March in the pacific northwest was already a tossup, I’m not sure why I was surprised that it rained. We spent most of the evening cozied up in The Burl, a two-story treehouse perched right along the river. It’s the newest treehouse on the property and has it’s own running toilet (unlike the other 5 treehouses). The entire evening felt like a very romantic camping trip, it was close quarters and in a beautiful remote location but we both felt a bit stiff the next morning from a less-than-ideal mattress. All in all, it was a great experience but one I don’t think I’ll be able to convince my husband to repeat.
#10: Volunteer for a Non-Profit
Location: Boys and Girls Club of King County, Powerful Voices, Seattle, WA
This certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve volunteered for a non-profit but it was the first time I volunteered outside of a sponsored event for school or work. This particular volunteer opportunity involved a committee of mostly women who attended a dress rehearsal for the Girlvolution conference. This annual conference is youth-led and the workshop sessions are presented by young women ages 14-16 and cover serious youth issues. The three workshops I attended focused on bullying/depression, autism and unhealthy vs. healthy breakups. Volunteers were asked to attend a trial run of these workshops and provide feedback about the presentation skills, content and interactive activities.
The experience was eye-opening even from the beginning. We were each provided with a handout that contained guidance for providing positive and constructive feedback for the girls running each workshop. A few key learnings taken directly from the handout we were given:
- We live in an adultist society that does not give equal weight to the voices and opinions of our youth
- There is no hierarchy of oppressions
- Girls are the experts in their own experience
- Take space to make space – the loudest voices in the room should quiet themselves to give others a chance to provide feedback
Each workshop leader chose a topic she was passionate about. Each one contained a personal anecdote, a list of goals/objectives for the workshop and a set of interactive activities to bring the participants closer to the message.
My company offers an incredible matching benefit which allowed me to log the 4 hours of volunteer time which will be turned into a $100 donation from my company to the Powerful Voices organization.
With 10 experiences completed in 2 months I’m pacing ahead for my 30 Before 30 goal which concludes on November 20th of this year. Feel free to comment with suggestions for new experiences I should add to my list!