forty before twenty

I decided not to make any vague resolutions for myself this year. I decided to not for a few reasons. I do certainly I have some big goals for this year and this summer, but I have personally found goals like ‘be healthier’ or ‘make God center of life’ to be, well, a little gratuitous. One of my struggles has always been being unncessarily hard on myself. I mean, I was getting upset with myself for sleeping in till 11 on weekends when I was getting, on average, about 4-5 hours of sleep a night during the week or questioning why I wasn’t more stressed out on a consistent basis. And trust me, I was stressed enough. So in regard to vague New Year Resolutions, chill the hell out is my only one.

But, I enjoy lists. I make myself a to-do list every week because I always conveniently forget to do things if I don’t. So I made myself a list. Forty things I want to do before I turn twenty. I thought about making a mini for when I turn nineteen this summer or making one for the whole year, but felt like I needed a little more time than that. I had a mini freak-out when I realized that I’m turning twenty next year. Twenty years old! I know you old farts are gonna remind me that you’re double that, plus some. ;) But, go back to being twenty and remember how old this is.

So this is my list. I turn 20 on June 26, 2012. I’ll be blogging everything and tagging them all with Forty Before Twenty, so stay tuned.

1. buy an instant camera. done. 

2. go on a roadtrip with friends. done. 

3. publish a zine. done. 

4. take ten photos of strangers. done. 

5. start a business with me. done. 

6. go to ellis island. done.  

7. see a broadway show. done. 

8. take photos in silver city, idaho. done. 

9. volunteer somewhere. done. 

10. be a vegan for two weeks to a month. done. 

11. take portraits of grandma and grandpa. done. 

12. create my own photography website. done. 

13. get a medium format camera. done. 

14. read a jane austen book. done. 

15. go salsa dancing. done. 

16. go to the bruneau sand dunes. done. 

17. embroider something. done

18. take photos of mama. done. 

19. bake a loaf of bread. done. 

20. visit a new east coast state. done.  

21. learn to crochet. done. 

22. throw a pretty party. done. 

23. go roller skating. done. 

24. try african food. done. 

25. buy rainboots. done. 

26. paint a series of paintings. done. 

27. revisit and photograph my childhood neighborhood. done. 

28. take ‘random objects’ photos. done. 

29. have an art picnic. done. 

30. go to a country music concert. done. 

31. buy a bikini. done. 

32. create a mini stop motion film. done. 

33. build a blanket fort. done. 

34. stay in a junky motel. done. 

35. sew something. done. 

36. leave a note for a stranger. done. 

37. submit at least twenty things for publication. done

38. go on a no-soda challenge for a month. done.  

39. make someone happy-cry. done. 

40. photograph this list.

{ 35 comments… add one }

  • Alecia May 22, 2012, 6:08 pm

    I love this list, it is so awesome! I have been thinking about doing something similar….although I think I’m a little late to do a huge list before 20 (July 1st of this year) maybe I’ll go with 21.

    • Carly May 26, 2012, 12:45 pm

      Hey, look at this! I turn 21 on July 2nd of this year. Whoo!

  • Hannah March 4, 2012, 12:53 am

    Pride and Prejudice is a great choice for your Jane Austen book read!

  • Kat August 29, 2011, 12:39 pm

    I love this list. I definitely remember how old 20 was, but ever since turning 25, I tend to forget my current age. 31? 30? I’m always a year off. We also have the same birthday! How exciting! I loved it when I was a kid, because we’d be out of school so that meant not only did I have warm weather for my party, but everyone showed up because we were on vacation.

    Have you seen Midnight in Paris? I’m not sure it’s the greatest film ever, but I love that he is reminded that there is no better time than the present, no matter how great the past seems. That’s why I love your lists. It’s a concrete way to focus on the future instead of getting lost in old memories. According to Ted talks, apparently when we plan future events, we are trying to recreate old memories. Brains are funny. Maybe that’s why it’s both scary and exciting when we do something new, because we have no idea what to expect. So thank you for this inspiration.

    Oh, and there’s a book out there titled “What I wish I knew when I was 20″. It’s mostly career related, but it has an interesting spin on “failure”. Have fun finishing this list! :)

    • karahaupt August 29, 2011, 5:38 pm

      I saw Midnight in Paris and LOVED it. Thanks for the encouragement on my list, Kat! I’ll have to check out that book. <3

  • Kara M August 5, 2011, 8:47 am

    I’m reminded of how much I missed out on when turning 20 and so wished I’d done this! 30 now and have done some of these but so love it! and Love your hair and passion – the name Kara is not wasted on you :) LOVE IT! Spontaneity live on!

  • christina February 7, 2011, 12:33 pm

    41. Visit Christina for tea, shopping and crafts.

  • Penicillium January 31, 2011, 3:22 pm

    They seem to be be funny resolutions !
    Being vegan is great, reading a Jane Austen novel too and the no-soda challenge made me smile…
    So, have lots of good times !

  • [email protected] January 15, 2011, 11:19 pm

    I am a fellow list-maker, and had fort-making on my list for 2010. I highly recommend it, it is hugely funtastic. Enjoy instant camera-ing also, I love my polaroid and instax mini. Love reading your blog Kara!!

  • Thinkie January 15, 2011, 2:48 pm

    Good luck and have fun! I have found that the hardest things to accomplish that you put on a list like this are the ones that depend on others or on stuff that is (partly) out of your control like how much money you have to spend, so I would advise you to focus on those first!

  • Katie January 15, 2011, 3:38 am

    Great list Kara! Looks like you have some fun times ahead. 20 is an awesome age so enjoy it while it lasts :)

  • Haley January 14, 2011, 8:35 pm

    Oh good Lord. You just reminded me I turn 20 this summer. BLAH. You are SO right. This feels SO OLD. :(
    But really – enjoy your last year of being a teenager. :)
    I read your blog, and I feel like you are accomplishing SO much, and you’re a whole year younger than me! It is my DREAM to live in NY while I’m still young… and you are living that! Its ridiculously cool.

  • Jillian Dailly January 14, 2011, 4:27 pm

    great list! i have a 30 before 30 list that I just wrote recently, I have a few of the same items on mine!
    Good luck!
    Jilly xo

  • Samantha January 13, 2011, 11:14 pm

    this is the best :) I was thinking of things I wanted to before I turn 25 the other day… which is 3 years away, but it feels like a turning point from right here. I love all of these, and I cant wait to see you document them :)

  • Amy Lapi January 13, 2011, 4:36 pm


  • Michelle Clement January 13, 2011, 4:04 pm

    *Such* a rad list, miss Kara!! Have fun checking all these good things off! I need to make my own list – I’m turning 26 tomorrow! (egads!!) lol. :)

  • Katie January 13, 2011, 3:54 pm

    Ah this is a lovely idea! I turn 20 a month after you, this post has made me realise, it’s really not that far away! xoxo

  • shaina January 13, 2011, 2:45 pm

    i totally love lists like this!! and you’ve got some fun things there. i can’t wait to see how your list progresses. thanks for sharing!!
    and 20 is so old!! im gonna be 25 this year and that feels even older!! ;)

  • Katie Beth January 13, 2011, 1:29 pm

    #15: Go Salsa Dancing. The best ever. If you’ve ever done swing dancing, you’ll catch on quite quickly. I actually went into a social salsa dance having only learned the basic step and enjoyed my socks off! Just make sure to wear heals. Trust me. It’s easier that way. :)

  • jek January 13, 2011, 11:23 am

    aw Kara! I just started my list and we have a few of the same things! heehee…pssst…may I mail you something?

  • zelina January 13, 2011, 9:47 am

    that’s an awesome list. i will be following this.

  • Mindy January 13, 2011, 7:50 am

    this is really funny.
    i’ve been following your blog for awhile now, & love it! i hadn’t commented until now.
    i love that your list is so much like the one i made for myself a few weeks ago.

  • Genevieve January 13, 2011, 7:39 am

    Awesome list Kara! You will look back on these years as some of the best of your life (and maybe sometimes the worst, haha), so enjoy every minute of it and yes, record it, you will really appreciate it later!

  • laura January 13, 2011, 5:41 am

    beautiful list :) I’m 27 and I recently did quite a few of those things (i’m currently photographing 50 strangers, have made it to 26 thus far!) and went roller skating last Sunday, it was fun! Really want to learn to crochet and take pictures of my childhood neighbourhood too. Hope you achieve the list! And of course, 20 isn’t old at all!

  • Angela Spangela January 13, 2011, 4:39 am

    Amazing list!!
    I *might* be compelled to borrow a couple of yours throughout the year.
    Have fun and enjoy being 19, and 20!!
    I’m only 23 but I miss being a teenager like whoa!

  • kendra January 13, 2011, 1:11 am

    As an old fart (I’m looking at 40 this year) who wishes she had a record of year 20, I hope you’ll decide to make a mini for this list! I’m making one for my 40th year. Simple, consistent format for each month and already put together so I don’t have to think about anything other than writing in it and adding a few photos. Here’s a link to it. When you’re 40, you’ll treasure a book dedicated to turning 20!
    I adore your list and love that you already think so deeply about life. : ) But please skip over #34!

  • Michele H. January 13, 2011, 12:18 am

    Love lists and yours is so cool! Your #38 is my goal this month. Going on day 10 of no soda! So far so good:)

  • elise blaha January 12, 2011, 10:27 pm

    so rad.
    and twenty is old – in the best possible way.
    21 is fun too. :)

  • emily o. January 12, 2011, 10:15 pm

    I like doing these types of lists instead of the whole ‘resolutions’ thing. I’m working on my “27 before 27″ Now please excuse me while I go hyperventilate about turning 27 next year….

  • Elle January 12, 2011, 10:10 pm

    This is an excellent list! Best of luck and have fun!

  • tiny twig January 12, 2011, 9:47 pm

    i turned 25 this summer and felt like that was old, too. i think maybe it’s the semi-biggies that make you feel like that?

  • Jessica DeAngelis January 12, 2011, 9:46 pm

    this is a great idea! and such a wonderful list! you are so inspiring! thank you for that.

  • Katya January 12, 2011, 9:36 pm

    I turned twenty last December and GOSH! I feel really old. When I tell older people what I feel about being 20 they look at me with such a weird face that they freak me out.
    It took me a lot of time to accept I was going to be 20 and I still can’t accept I’m this old. So yeah, I feel ya.
    Yay for lists! :)

  • Kara H January 12, 2011, 9:33 pm

    I sure hope so! Looking forward to some fun times with you this next semester! :)

  • Patty January 12, 2011, 9:28 pm

    I think you can totally accomplish a lot on your list!! Love it.


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