My List of 100 Dreams

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” - John Lennon

6 min. read

Have y’all heard of Laura Vanderkam’s “List of 100 Dreams” idea? I hadn’t, but I have now, and I love it.

To me, it feels like a bucket list, but better: the items don’t have to feel realistic, or things you can only do if you put the time aside. They can be big and scary and feel impossible.

I don’t usually do things like this, but one of my goals for this year was to put myself in unknown situations more. And now that I’ve done it, I can’t recommend it enough. Let’s get uncomfy together.

Here’s my list of 100 dreams:

_Note: 1 – 42 are professional-ish, 42 – 69 are personal-ish, and the last 31 are all experiential. I’m occasionally updating with a_ ✅ when a dream has become a reality. (last update December 2019 – added 4 more checks!).

  1. Write this entire list with 100 legitimate dreams ✅
  2. Create a line of social justice-y greeting cards ✅
  3. Write and illustrate a children’s book
  4. Publish 3 books, then keep writing more ✅
  5. Keynote a conservative conference/event
  6. Record and release an EP
  7. Translate _A Guide to Gender_ into 5 languages
  8. Perform/speak on every continent (yes, especially Antarctica)
  9. Perform/speak in every U.S. state (I’m at 4950, and looking at you, Alaska — I’ll do a free show if anyone at UofA is reading this!)
  10. Give Ellen DeGeneres a hug
  11. Give away 100,000 copies of A Guide to Gender
  12. Host SNL
  13. Open a vegan restaurant/food truck
  14. Create a fun audio book version of A Guide to Gender (25K and counting!)
  15. Perform a show or give a talk at all the schools I personally attended
  16. Have a book on the NYT Best Sellers List (organically, not by buying my way in)
  17. Collaborate with three different activists on three different projects in a year ✅
  18. Earn enough money to pay all my bills doing Good (and no freelancing) ✅
  19. Appear on a Late Night show talking about something positive
  20. Create and curate an activist/artist retreat collaborative camp thing
  21. Hire someone to read [and respond to most of] my email
  22. Write a column for The New Yorker
  23. Speak at Creating Change
  24. Launch the Uncopyright Movement  ✅
  25. Serve on the Board of some cool national organization I love ✅
  26. Publish a piece in a print magazine  ✅
  27. Have the Genderbread Person translated into at least 7 languages ✅
  28. Shift my income to be primarily from writing (not speaking/performing) ✅
  29. Work less than an average 14 hours a day in a year ✅
  30. Make a documentary inspired by and following the development and reaction one of my projects
  31. Publish a book of poetry and prose
  32. Tell jokes on Comedy Central
  33. Get a studio space that I can share with collaborators
  34. Teach at a university ✅
  35. Finish writing a novel
  36. Go one week without receiving any hate mail or hate campaign related garbage
  37. Write and produce an off-broadway show (or produce one of the ones I’ve already written)
  38. Create a social justice conference
  39. Give a talk/performance in a language other than English (German, Russian, Portuguese, or French)
  40. Write a screenplay
  41. Create and sustain jobs for at least two wonderful, passionate people for a year
  42. Convince people “social justice comedian” is a thing, and that it makes perfect sense ✅
  43. Build a house for myself
  44. Learn French and Portuguese
  45. Yoga with regularity and consistency
  46. Paint a mural in Austin
  47. Become 100% debt-free
  48. Cook for friends on a regular basis
  49. Halve my possessions once more, for the last time (probably)
  50. Pay someone to do my taxes
  51. Get a PhD
  52. Find a secret place in the world where I can escape and sabbatical (and tell no one)
  53. Attend a culinary school academy type thing
  54. Brew my own beer ✅
  55. Get a puppy and love it to death (after he’s lived a long, happy life, of course) ✅(Chewbacca! & Ghost!)
  56. Drink more wine, more tea, and less coffee ✅
  57. Learn to be less afraid of money
  58. Fund a scholarship for students “who otherwise would not consider higher education an option”
  59. Get surgery on my eyeballs so I can see better
  60. Actually live in Hawaii near my fam for at least a little bit, if nothing else but to confirm my theory that I’d get island fever despite all the wonderfulness
  61. Get braces or whatever is necessary to straighten my teeth so I can chew better ✅
  62. Grow a garden
  63. Build a motorcycle
  64. Develop a family of friends in Austin, or wherever I live next ✅
  65. Live abroad for at least six months
  66. Continue finding healthy ways to mitigate the stress of this life I’ve chosen and go a year without asking for permission to smile.
  67. Spend a month with no contact with any other human beings
  68. Spend a month touring/performing/speaking every day ✅
  69. Spend a month following the 253 vows of the Vinaya
  70. Swim in the Sea of Stars in the Maldives
  71. Fly in a helicopter
  72. NYE in NYC
  73. St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin
  74. Scuba dive the Great Blue Hole
  75. Road trip around the great lakes (including seeing a movie at the Cherry Bowl drive-in) ✅
  76. Surf the cliffs of Moher
  77. Go on a safari and shoot a rhino (with my camera)
  78. Read Anna Karenina ✅
  79. Ride a train from Austin to Mexico City
  80. Visit Flores Island, Indonesia when the Lake of Old People is blue, the Lake of Young Men is green, and Maiden’s Lake is red
  81. Do a backflip out of an airplane (ideally with a parachute attached to me) ✅
  82. Ride in a hot air balloon (ideally in Anatolia in Turkey)
  83. Go to the Sasquatch Music Festival
  84. Climb the Great Pyramids and walk around the Sphinx ✅
  85. See Zhangye Danxia in China
  86. Buy a van/bus/station wagon and live/work out of it on the road for a while
  87. See Flight of the Conchords live
  88. Climb Mount Roraima
  89. Literally walk 500 miles to see someone I love
  90. Go to Burning Man
  91. Swing on the “End of the World” Swing in Baños, Ecuador
  92. Ride an elephant, ideally one named “Bubbles” (but I’m not picky) ✅[Not Bubbles, Meena]
  93. Spelunk the caves of Hang Ken in Vietnam
  94. Walk from the Shire to Mordor (or, rather, the real-life places in NZ those locations were shot in)
  95. Oktoberfest in München
  96. Walk the Tunnel of Love with a коханець in Klevan, Ukraine
  97. Experience zero gravity, ideally in space
  98. See Mike Birbiglia live ✅
  99. Attend the World Cup
  100. Visit the Himalayas and a Zen Buddhist monastery in the region

That’s it. That’s a lot. If you want to make any of these dreams a reality with me, or have a tip/inside track for one, I’m all ears.