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Happy Milestone Birthday: 40 Accomplishments & 40 Bucket List Items



Well, I’ve been blessed to reach a milestone birthday! The big 4-0, today!!

I decided not to lament over the fact I failed to make it on anyone’s “40 under 40” list in time. Poooh!

Instead of wallowing in self pity and despair over reaching middle age, I decided to instead come up with a bucket list of 40 things I want to accomplish over the next 40 years, God spare me long life.images (3)

But first, I think I should also be proud of all the amazing things I’ve been able to do and accomplish up until this point—including many things that may likely be on other people’s bucket list.

Here are 40 of the most amazing:

  1. Camped out at Assateague Island and saw the migration of native Wild Ponies in the spring.
  2. Slept in a hammock under pygmy palm trees in Anguilla
  3. Snorkled with tropical fish at Baby Beach in Aruba
  4. Rode in a helicopter – In 2007 on my way back home to the US after visiting my native Sierra Leone.
  5. Found a Charity – I was there to deliver supplies to the poor, an amputee refugee camp and to meet with the Archbishop of a remote and rural province, and Vice President with co founder of Sierra Leone Fund
  6. Contributed to a major motion picture- Sponsor was Time Warner who I helped get permission to use the Sierra Leone National Anthem in its Warner Brothers summer blockbuster Blood Diamond about a fictional story featuring actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Honsou and Jennifer Connelly.
  7. Ran a near 200 mile relay race, the Ragnar Relay — twice with a team of college and other friends
  8. Competed in a Warrior Dash 5 k obstacle course twice.
  9. Met the President of the United States, Barack Obama  – and shook his hand
  10.  Clip Clopped in heels through the White House for meetings, press conferences, tours while working as a Washington correspondent for a political site.
  11. downloadGot carded while watching the roulette game at a Las Vegas  casino during one of 5 times I visited Sin city.
  12. Hiked  the rocky hills of the Allegheny Mountains and Skied the slopes of White Tail Mountains
  13. Got to walk onto Byrd stadium to collect my plaque as the runner up to the University of Maryland at College Park’s version of Homecoming Queen, called Spirit of Maryland
  14. Got noticed in the first place for the honor after I wrote a response to a racist hate letter someone sent me and got it published in the campus newspaper. The letter sparked campus-wide conversation in classes. Was the first time really appreciating the power of journalism, media and writing.
  15. Spoke impromptu before an audience at a Protest Rally over the campus newspaper’s inadequate coverage of black issues.  A Washington Post journalist wrote a  story about the rally which caught the attention of the person who wrote the hate letter, who figured I’d be the best recipient of it.
  16. Went to The Grammy Awards (twice) – once as the official rep for a college friend  who was nominated for an award one year and a second time just for fun. Saw Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Mick Jagger, Bruno Mars and more perform live. Was awesome and overwhelming but it made me realize how average and normal stars are and are just like us.
  17. Went to the BET Awards – Got to see all of Black Hollywood & Musical industry greats under one roof including Diddy, Rihanna, Nelly, En Vogue, Alicia Keys, Lil Kim,  Drake, the late Whitney Houston
  18. Went to a Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas – had a blast enjoying Mysterie up close.
  19. Saw a  Broadway show – Destiny Child’s Michelle Williams played  Aidah and Les Miserable
  20. Played mas  in Trinidad and Tobago carnival – the Greatest show on earth (4 times)
  21. Saw the entire circumference of the island of Grenada from a hotel on the highest hill
  22. Traveled to Europe (visited Scotland, Iceland, Isle of Mull, & toured a Scotch distillery – two of them)
  23. Scored a sought after coveted gig as an intern at the US News & World report
  24. Went to Cayman Islands the year after Natalee Holloway disappeared.
  25. Nom nom’d barbecue at a Longhorn ranch in Texas (pre-vegetarian days)
  26. Won a Spelling bee (2nd place in the 3rd grade)
  27. Went to NYC’s Fashion’s Night Out precursor to New York Fashion Week
  28. Attended a presidential inauguration and Helped Plan & execute a presidential  inaugural ball (two of them)
  29. Took a road trip to Disney World and Took a road trip to Niagara Falls
  30. Saw my favorite artist Prince from 5th row floor seats
  31. Wrote for the same news organization AT THE SAME TIME that the creators of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid  (Jeff Kinney) and  Boondocks (Aaron Magruder ) were also creating comic strips for our campus daily at the University of Maryland.
  32. Went to a dancehall in the local and gritty part of The Bahamas during post-college vacation with my giirl.
  33. Fulfilled a missed childhood opportunity by signing up and taking  Ballet and Gymnastics as an adult with a bunch of other badly coordinated, fraidy cat adults with tight joints. Was interesting.images
  34. Worked backstage at major concerts as an event publicist and at minor concerts as a personal publicist to a recording artist.
  35. Toured the Blue Mountains of Jamaica  while in country to do a presentation at a government conference on the invitation of the government
  36. Left the comforts and security of a paid job to start own business and represented non profits and businesses even before the US Supreme Court
  37. Designed and Commissioned a painting by an artist
  38. Worked at a domestic violence intake center & helped clinic attendees get temporary protective orders from their battering spouses
  39. Saw the stairs where Andrew Cunanan killed Gianni  Versace and later the houseboat where he took his own life while living in Miami the summer it all went down.
  40. Ran several 10 mile races (including the Army Ten Miler& Cherry Blossom 10 over 5 times each)

And now 40 things  on the bucket list:

  1. Secure a publishing deal and write a book
  2. See the US Open live Done –> And made a Video to prove it!
  3. Visit Japan
  4. Unplug from the Matrix for 48 hours to a week Done!
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Go to the Sundance and/or TriBEca film festivals
  7. Go to the MTV Music Awards
  8. Sing at Kareoke night
  9. Go fishing
  10. Go to Brazil Carnival
  11. Visit Australia
  12. Take a photo 365 days of a year images (2)
  13. Read the bible cover to cover
  14. See Beyonce in Concert
  15. Visit every State in the United States
  16. Walk a red carpet
  17. Ride a horse
  18. Finish promises made to people met in Sierra Leone in 2007
  19. Do a zipline
  20. Watch the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s eve live
  21. Learn how to play the piano or another instrument
  22. Learn another language
  23. Get an investor for my startup
  24. Break a  million in  app sales
  25. Take a mixology class
  26. Do a flash mob dance
  27. Learn to Code
  28. Read books to the elderly
  29. Ride an elephant
  30. Crush grapes with my feet
  31. Go to a shooting range
  32. Go to a Safari in Africa since the one at Disney World doesn’t count
  33. Visit Dubai
  34. Visit Amsterdamimages (1)
  35. Be a guest on a TV show
  36. Parasail
  37. Go to South Africa
  38. Do something amazing and life-changing for many people in Sierra Leone
  39. Throw an amazing milestone bash!
  40. Be Here – as in “Started from the bottom now I’m….,”




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Jeneba “JJ Ghatt”,is editor at, an online hub where she helps social media butterfly who empowers digital entrepreneurs and professionals to create great things online at her online learning platform Digital Publishing Academy.  She is an editor of tech blog and founded the annual 200 Black Women to Follow On Twitter List. Read her bio, then get all of her online & digital biz startup advice and tools in one spot here!

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