BratKnee

the only social I do is media

Reflecting on my Quarter-Life Bucket List

bucket listBack in the day, I made a video about the 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year. It was a video bucket list, of sorts. I posted the video right after my 25th birthday and if I’m being honest, I never thought about it again. Which is really a theme for my life.

Since I recently turned 29, I decided to revisit said video to see exactly what I’ve accomplished from that list over the last 4 years. Rewatching the video and transcribing the points was difficult because damn was I annoying. For some reason, I didn’t come up with 25 things, which is also on brand for me.

So let’s take a look at the bucket list I laid out for myself to see where I’m at and what I should have crossed off by my 30th birthday next year.

1. Watch More Netflix

I know this was a joke, but it’s one of the only ones I can say I successfully accomplished. I’ve watched so much Netflix it isn’t funny. I should get paid for the amount of time and effort I put into it. Or I should be committed because it’s not healthy.

Even though, as I mentioned both in this post and the video, this was a joke, I’m leaving it in here because I needed to make this list as close to 25 as I can.

2. Commit to Making Videos Regularly

It took me a year to really get started with this one, but I did consistently post one video a week for a little more than two years. It was on a different channel than this video was posted on but, it was by far my most successful time on YouTube. Until it wasn’t anymore.

I miss making videos. I know I’ll start doing it again. If only YouTube would get it’s shit together, maybe it would actually be something fun to participate in again.

3. Do More Things That Push Me Outside My Comfort Zone

Could I have been vaguer? I don’t even know what I meant by this but I guess I’ve done plenty over the last four years that could qualify for this.

4. Keep Learning New Things

This is another vague one that I’m going to say I accomplished in some capacity. Over the years I’ve taught myself many things. I started learning ASL online. I’ve learned to code (minimally, but I get by). And there are a few other things that are also further down this list so I think it would be cheating to mention them here.

writing5. Write A Book

Nope. Not even close. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for at least two of the four years since this video came out but I’m no closer to having a full-length novel written than I was then.

6. Blog More

I used to blog frequently here. But then I switched my hosting company and lost the content since I didn’t know how to backup my site. But I’m getting back into it now and that should count for something, right?

7. Learn Photography

While it’s definitely taken me longer to explore my DSLR camera, I’m finally learning more about photography. I’ve gotten more familiar with the settings on my camera. I’ve upgraded my lens collection to include ones outside the kit lenses that came with my T3i and 80D.

8. Volunteer for a Charity

Of all the things I haven’t accomplished on this list, this is the one I’m most ashamed of. I’ve definitely donated more of my money to different charities and causes that matter to me, but I haven’t given any of my time.

Please shame me.

9. Run a Marathon

Hahahahhahahhaah

Need I say more?

10. Explore More

This is another one that’s left me scratching my head. I don’t know what kind of content I was reaching for when I made my list, but cool I’ve done more exploring around the town I’ve lived in for the last 20 years or so.

11. Be An Honorary Member of the Holy Trinity

Does the Holy Trinity still really exist?

12. Get in a Relationship

But if I get in a relationship how can I continue my successful career as a Cat Lady?

13. Get Fit

I did get into the best shape of my life after this video and then somehow I ended up in the worst shape of my life and I don’t know how or when that happened.

However, I’m happy to report that I’m finally back on track. I did a stint with a physical trainer but I spent more time almost passing out than I did losing weight. Instead, I’ve been working out when I can but ultimately, intermittent fasting has been the answer I’ve been looking for.

14. Do Something Reckless

Seriously, Brittany? What did this even mean?

15. Travel More

By traveling period would’ve meant I’ve traveled more. Since posting the video, I’ve been to many different states. Some were for a reason I’ll touch on later and others were for vacation.

I’m also happy to say that I’ve got more travel in the near future.

16. Write a Screenplay

Why did I set myself up for failure?

17. Inspire Others

How does one even quantify this? If anything, I think I’ve inspired people to eat more burritos.

18. Teach Someone Something New

Does teaching your mother to use her phone count?

19. Build a Community

When I said this, I was in the mindset of becoming YouTube famous. While my intentions might not have been the purest, I think that over the years, I have built a small community of like-minded people. But as a 29-year-old, I realize that by a community, I really mean friends.

20. Try New Foods & Drinks

In my quest to become one of Yelp’s Elite, I’ve definitely explored more restaurants and cuisines in my area. I even went a little crazy in New Orleans last November because why would you head to a city like that and not taste the local delicacies. (Yes, I’m talking about turtle soup.)

21. Go to a Convention

Like Pringles, I haven’t stopped going to conventions. In my video, I mentioned VidCon, Playlist Live and comic cons. I can proudly say that I have done all of that. I’ll be head to VidCon in a couple of weeks and I’ll be back at New York Comic Con in October.

There isn’t a photo booth we haven’t taken over. #squadgoals #vidcon2016

A post shared by Brittany DeMauro (@bratkneed) on

 

Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

22. Meet New People

Yes, I have encountered and befriended new people in the last four years. And only a couple of my new friends are cats.

23. Start Working Outside an Office

Well, does quitting my job count as a success? Because I did that too. More about that to come soon.

So there you have it. The (almost) 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year. It’s probably the saddest bucket list you’ve ever come across but I was young and naive when I created it. And clearly I wasn’t producing the best content when it came to YouTube videos. At 29, I’m kinda surprised I’ve crossed off as many as I have. But also, as an intellectual, I acknowledge that a lot of these things were bullshit resolutions that I would’ve accomplished whether I made a list or not.

As I’ve entered the last year in my 20s, I don’t really have much that I want to accomplish before turning 30. I’m pretty content with how life is right now so why fix something that ain’t broke?

My Quest for Good Brows

I’m the first to admit that I don’t know what to do with my eyebrows. Which doesn’t really need to be said if you’ve actually seen me IRL. I like to think I’m a low maintenance kind of girl but I also believe that a good brow helps your face. And by help your face I mean that if you’re not wearing a stitch of makeup but have nice brows, you tend to look put together. Fight me on this.

I used to get my eyebrows waxed. That is until I realized you could see where they also removed the peach fuzz from my forehead when I put on foundation. Also, waxing hurts so like why would I put myself through that.

My friend also took me with her when she was getting her eyebrows threaded. So I was like, okay I’ll do this too. It was very weird to be that up close and personal with another person while they used strings to pluck your eyebrows.

Needless to say, I now only rely on myself to keep my brows in shape. And I’m mostly failing.

A post shared by Brittany DeMauro (@bratkneed) on

For one, I have curly brows. They’re constantly doing the wrong thing and I can’t be bothered with keeping up trimming them.

Also, I wear glasses 95% of the time so you can’t really see them anyway.

A post shared by Brittany DeMauro (@bratkneed) on

Despite these things, I have an enormous collection of cheap eyebrow products to make it look like I’ve got my life together. But it’s clear that once you look at my eyebrows I’m just trying to fake it until I make it.

But I just realized my problem.

It’s the cheap products.

I love a deal. I love a dupe. I can’t stomach spending my hard earned dollars on all this fancy makeup. But I have seen the light.

The Solution

I received the Kat Von D 24-Hour Super Brow Long-Wear Pomade (and #70 Pomade Brow Brush) for free to try out from Influenster.

Two words: Game. Changer.

I’ve realized you get what you pay for.

I’ve always been an eyebrow pencil kind of girl. I’ve dabbled in eyebrow mascaras too. But I usually found that my brows would smear or melt off my face. And because of my thick, curly brows, I’d go through the products pretty quickly.

With the pomade, a little bit goes a long way. And thanks to the quality bristles on the brush, precision is pretty easy to achieve. I’ve been able to keep my brows looking like brows all day without any smearage or meltage. Which are both technical beauty guru terms, I swear.

Pomade Test Photo

Now I’m not going to claim that they have made me something people would call #browgoals, but it’s a step in the right direction. Now I just have to find my Holy Grail mascara and a medium coverage tinted moisturizer that I love and I’ll finally be able to reduce my makeup routine to just a base, brows and lashes.

*I received these products complimentary for review. All opinions are my own.*

The Favorites: April 2018

I’m not going to lie. I’m a creature of habit. Once I find something that works, I stick with it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have favorites. This month, I may have treated myself to a few new things. Things that I might not have needed and other things that have made my life considerably easier.

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.*

Canon 50mm f/1.4 Lens

I’m usually a very careful shopper. I stick to the necessities and don’t often splurge. Then my friend asked if I could take some headshots for her LinkedIn and I decided to pull the trigger on a somewhat frivolous purchase. I vowed that this year I would take more pictures, so I’d had my eye on a 50mm lens for a while. It was my friend’s request that made me finally pull the trigger (even though I didn’t need the lens to do it.)

The splurge happened when I decided to go for the f1.4 instead of the f1.8. The f1.4 was almost triple the f1.8 but I couldn’t help my self. I wanted that beautiful bokeh and I didn’t want to settle.

And boy am I glad I didn’t. Just look at how stinkin’ cute these pictures came out. (I can’t confirm if they cuteness came from the lens or my handsome boys, but for the purpose of justifying the purchase, we’ll go with the lens.)

Grigio on bedBacio in hammock
 

PopSocket

I know I’m late to the game on this but I really couldn’t fathom why you would need something like this. All I could picture me doing with it is using it as something to mindlessly fidget with.

And then I got an iPhone 8 Plus.

The phone is huge and my tiny panda hands could not handle the transition from the iPhone 6s to this.

My PopSocket has been a lifesaver and I don’t use that term lightly. Do you know how many times I drop my phone on my face? Yeah, it hurt when I’d drop my 6s but I’m pretty sure the 8 Plus could kill me. I’m not going to back that with science or experimentation but just trust me.

I’ll admit, I purchased a knock-off PopSocket first. It’s just in my nature to go with the generic. Would not recommend. Not only did the knock-off fall off after 1 day but it also didn’t feel like it could’ve supported the phone had it not jumped ship.

So basically this was splurge #2 of the month because I shelled out a whole $10 for the real deal. Hasn’t fallen off and I see no signs of that happening any time soon. (Just know I just knocked on wood after typing that.)

I was going to use the following mirror selfie to demonstrate my expert PopSocket usage, but then I realized I’m not actually using it. But I think you get the picture, right?

Bathroom Mirror Selfie

 

 Minimalist Bulletin Board

While I wouldn’t claim to be a put together person, I love to organize things. It’s a very soothing thing to get things in order. Now that I work from home, I needed a way to get organized without feeling like I was cramping my style. Sure, the paperwork can be easily hidden away in drawers and boxes but the things I need readily on hand were starting to get lost in the shuffle.

My home office is one half of my bedroom so I didn’t want it to feel too much like an office since it’s where I do most of my work and most of my relaxing. So I settled on a hanging grid that I could easily clip things to. When I finished a project, those papers could easily be filed away and the grid would still look cool. When I’m not using it for keeping my projects organized, I can decorate it with pictures or quotes or other textiles that inspire me.

To me, it feels more like a decoration than an office supply. I’m all for getting things done while looking cool.

Workspace

Oversized Reusable Water Bottle

One of my goals is to drink more water every day. I used to drink a lot more when I was working in an office because it was a chance to get away from my desk. Watercooler conversations are a workplace cliche for a reason. Now that I’m home, it’s felt like more a chore to get up and refill.

But I realized you don’t have to refill as much if you’ve got a larger bottle.

Don't Have to Meme

I’ve been shooting to drink a gallon of water each day (and more on the days that I exercise) so with this 32 oz. bottle, I only need to get up 4 times to reach that goal. If I use my brain for one thing, it would be how I can top my laziness each day.

I had to make sure I got one with a straw though. That’s my deal breaker. I know I’ll probably regret this when I’m older and I have excessive wrinkles around the mouth but I don’t think you understand how many times I spill all over myself when I drink from the mouth of the bottle or jar. Yes, I’m an adult but still.

 

Honestly, I made a lot more purchases in April than I should probably admit, so it’s hard to really narrow down my favorites. Also, I still haven’t washed the clothes I got from Goodwill so I can’t actually tell if they’re my favorite or not. If I thought I was treating myself last month, just wait until May is over. It’s my birthday month so I’m sure I’ll find other ways to pretend I have a disposable income and treat myself.

 

Here’s To Trying

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beverage-coffee-computer-overheadIf you asked me what I do, you’ll probably be shocked to see me hesitate. My heart wants to say I’m a writer but my brain wants to say otherwise. So sometimes I’ll say I work in social media, which is not a lie. Other times I’ll say I’m a content creator, which is also the truth. But why can’t I be the thing that my heart literally desires?

The answer is simple. Writers write. And I haven’t written anything worth my words in a very long time.

I’d like to say there’s no reason why I don’t write. I’d like to say there’s no one to blame. But the answers to both of those questions come to me so easily that I can’t be trying to trick myself into believing them: fear and myself.

Some people find it hard to admit things like that but I’ve always been the type of person who could easily decipher the root of my problems. The only difference between this and my anxiety and depression is that I can’t seem to move on. I know what makes me anxious. I know what makes me sad. I know what keeps me from writing. However, I can only muster up the courage to work through the former two.

And now I’m writing this.

It might seem strange because it is. I’ve rambled on for a couple hundred words about not writing but in doing so I have written. I am writing.

Why?

I’m the type of person who likes to put stuff out there so that the universe can hold me accountable. Stuff is such an ambiguous word but I mean it. For some reason, things don’t feel real to me until they’re said out loud. And sure, these words aren’t technically being spoken but they are hopefully being read by friends and strangers alike. So that’s got to count for something, right?

black-and-white-depressedI’m hoping the question, “Well what are you afraid of?” has been on your mind since I mentioned the word fear. Because I know it’s all I’ve been thinking about for the last hundred and fifty words. But who’s counting? Obviously, that person is me. The real question is why am I stalling?

As a person of the internet I know I only have your attention for so long. If you’re reading this, you’ve made it further than I thought, or maybe hoped, anyone would. Because if fewer people make it to this point, the smaller the Universe of Accountability will be. I’m basically a scientist.

Okay, so what am I afraid of?

Where do I start? I’m afraid of failing, of sucking, of burning out, of succeeding.

Did you hear that record scratch too? Good. That means I’m not completely batshit crazy.

Yes, I said I’m afraid of succeeding. I’m afraid of succeeding because if I succeed in the way I want to succeed there is a lot of weight to bear. I want to be for others what my favorite authors are to me. They’ve unknowingly shouldered the weight of so much of my baggage over the years that it’s time to pay it forward. Trying to find the right words to explain what I want to get out of writing only makes my endgame seem selfish.

beer cheers

I want people to look up to me. I want to be an escape from the real world. I want to make people laugh, cry, feel. I want to tell stories they’ll never forget. I want to be quoted in metaphorical AIM profiles or actual Tumblr blogs.

 

But then it all comes back to fear. Because if none of that happens, I’m afraid I won’t be able to see the value in the process.

However, this reminds me of a trending hashtag from years ago. It was #6WordStories and I couldn’t believe how people could say so much in so few words. I gave it a shot myself but I didn’t so much write a story as I did a mantra that has stayed with me since.

Failed attempts? At least I tried.

So this is me trying. This is me possibly failing. But in the end, does it really matter?