Story Slam and a look back at my 2012 bucket list

[Happy update! I’m a finalist in Story Slam Singapore’s The Grand Slam. It’s on January 29, 2016 at The Esplanade. OMGWTFBBQ!]

I went on Story Slam Singapore on October 24, 2015. It was my first time telling a story to the public since my disastrous semi-improvised The Lion and the Mouse storytelling back in Primary 2. (I refused to memorize the story and deliberately lose my script for multiple times. I thought I could wing it but I was wrong.)

Story Slam Singapore Liau Yun Qing

What is Story Slam? (via Wikipedia)

The StorySLAM is a live storytelling competition in the vein of poetry slams organized by The Moth, a non-profit literary society from New York, since 2001. Storytellers (slammers) have 5 minutes each to tell a story, based on a theme chosen for the event.

For the Story Slam session I went to, our story should be around 7 to 10 minutes. The theme was “It’s not what you think”.

At this edition of Story Slam Singapore, there was a Czech lady who was interpreting/transcribing our stories and turning them into ingredients for sauce. If you’re curious, here’s the interpretation of my story. (I will tell you #whothefuckisjoe if we every meet in real life.)

Reverse Eat, Pray, Love

reverse Eat Pray Love

At Story Slam, I shared a story about my reverse Eat, Pray, Love round-the-world trip where I didn’t achieve the the things Liz Gilbert did on her journey.

In my story, I mentioned a blog post from 2012 that I discovered recently. I talked about how the blog post made me realize that my RTW wasn’t a waste of effort because I had always wished to do it. And I talked about how if I have a time machine, I would go back in time and tell Past-YQ, “We made it.”

When I found the post, I made notes as Now-YQ in the margins. At that time, I felt it was too naval gazing to put the post up.

Now that I’ve announced to the world of my navel gazing, I might as well release it, with notes and all.

Here it is, with notes by Recent-Past-YQ and Now-YQ in blue.

Looking back at my 2012 bucket list

Bucket list

I was looking for something to write about and I stumbled upon a blog post from 2012. I wrote a list of goals (instead of dreams) in the bucket list. It’s a similar principle to having KPIs instead of resolutions during the New Year.

I looked at the list and was delighted that I’ve crossed out a few since it was posted. I’ve kept the text from 2012 and added comments in blue. Let’s have a look at it:

Ticking off my bucket list

Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten around to writing a bucket list, mainly because I was afraid of disappointing myself by not crossing out every one of the wish. [Anyone who thinks this is true, raise your hand.]

Still, life’s too short to think about me letting myself down so here are a few that I hurriedly jot down at work (and now). Not in order of importance:

  1. Go on a round-the-world trip [Give yourself a pat on the back! Checked in 2013]
  2. Learn all six official languages of UN: Arabic, Chinese, English, French [2 years but rusty], Russian [2 Groupon classes, I can’t still differenciate between “yes” and “no”.], and Spanish [1 month in South America].
    • Now-YQ: just one more language and we’re done with this! Find a class or something.
  3. Be fluent in languages I’ve learned. [Drats. No excuse to let that cabinet of Japanese and French grow mould. Though I’m pretty happy with having good enough language skills.]
  4. Go on a cruise [Oh dear, you’ve been an old lady since 2012! Checked off in 2013]
  5. Publish a book–hardcopy or e-book [You go girl! Completed in September 2015, though we still need to work on that paperback before Nov 2015 ends.]
  6. Be an inspiration to someone [Some people did tell me about this, so thank you!]
  7. Live right next to a lavender field [Someone told me that instead of thinking about moving next to a lavender field, I should think about how I can bring the field to me.]
    • Make my own lavender-scented oil [I’m ok with doing just this, actually.]
  8. Live in X-country for at least a year [Not sure if I’m very enthusiastic about this goal now.]
    • France
    • Japan
    • Taiwan
  9. Make my own ice cream [This should be the easiest but it’s still hanging around here.]
  10. Watch a musical  [Related to #11.]
  11. Watch a French musical [Mozart, L’Opera Rock was amazing.]
  12. Have and raise kickass kids  [Why this is above #16 is slightly worrying.]
  13. Skydiving [Why, Past-YQ, why?!]
  14. Travel solo [A low hanging fruit.]
  15. See the New7Wonders of the World
    1. Great Pyramid of Giza [They are magnificent.]
    2. Great Wall of China [I think it was when I was 17 in 2003.]
    3. Petra [It was a long walk.]
    4. The Colosseum [Bon journo.]
    5. Chichén Itzá
    6. Machu Picchu [It wasn’t easy but I got to Machu Picchu.]
    7. Taj Mahal
    8. Christ the Redeemer
  16. Be in a happy romantic relationship [I’m hopeful.]
  17. Do standup comedy [Did this on Sep 21, 2015. No evidence though.]
  18. Get invited on a TV show [Past-YQ, why are you so specific. Getting interviewed by Channel New Asia for attending an event doesn’t really count, does it?]
  19. Host my own travel show (I love you Ian Wright!)
  20. Be referenced on Wikipedia  [This counts, right?]
  21. Be an entry on Wikipedia (please be nice!)
  22. Have my own travelling tarot reading stall–so gypsy! [I had a tarot stall at a flea market, are you happy?]

I’m sure the list would grow. That’s why we’re alive.

Thoughts from checking things off the list

ideas table

Back to notes from 2015-YQ.

Reading the list and checking things off reminded me that my dreams have continued and followed me from the past.

There were times when I was halfway through crossing out an item (not literally crossing it off on my computer screen) that I felt like giving up. I could have given up (like the staying in foreign country thing) but I’m glad I stuck through.

There are also times when after crossing off the list. The challenge didn’t feel like a challenge and I felt like I had wasted my time.

But, as I told the audience in my Story Slam, the list made me realize that it wasn’t a flight of fancy that I wanted to travel the world. I really wanted to do it.

And looking at it reminded me of what I want to achieve in life, what I still need to reach and also to write more goals because as long as we’re alive, we should have something to look forward to.

What would be on your bucket list?

[Last updated 25 October 2015]

NOW, Write your own list of things you want to achieve

Since we’re almost at the end of 2015, it’s a good time to think of things we want to include in our 2016 To-Do list. And maybe you and I will tick some items off before the year ends.

One thing about setting these goals is that you shouldn’t set it based on what other people are doing. It should be about yourself, reaching your own peak, instead of the IDEA of someone else’s peak.

 Travel safe in life!

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.


    1. Wow, congratulation. You’ve checked quite much. :)

      I did write my list of goals, but never posted it on my blog, only on my diary.

      “And looking at it reminded me of what I want to achieve in life, what I still need to reach and also to write more goals because as long as we’re alive, we should have something to look forward to.” –>I couldn’t agree more!!

      1. Hello Yuna! I find putting the list publicly make me work a tiny bit harder to make things happen. I’m the type who feels embarrassed if I can’t finish something important to me that I had announced.
        Show us your list! :D

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