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  • Writer's pictureSarah Husein

29 things i wanted to do before turning 29

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

(bold is completed)

  1. Finish the PCT

    1. Hiked a thousand miles. March 27 - June 29th. And it broke me, not finishing. Still heartbroken about this. Planning another thru attempt in 2024

  2. Hike under the waterfalls at tunnel falls in oregon

    1. August 7th <3 with moon and lowflame and recipe (early august)

3. Fall in love. I think i’m ready.

4. Scuba dive. Maybe i’ll actually do it this year. Fourth time’s a charm

5. Hike part of the pct with my parents

6. Quit vaping

7. Ride in a hot air balloon

8. Naked hike (summer solstice)

  1. hiked maybe a tenth of a mile fully naked in Yosemite on june 21st

9. Fly on a trapeze

10. See the northern lights

11. Go whale watching

12. Visit another country <3

  1. Canada! Went to toronto for the first time for my cousins wedding

13. Take a ballet class

14. Draw with charcoal

15. Get another tattoo

  1. 3/13 Josh at alchemy tattoo with Gabe :)

16. Cut my hair off

  1. Chopped off like 10 inches 2/5/2022

17.Get a trail name

  1. My trail name is loo

18. Get work in the camera department

19. Paint with oils

20. Relearn piano

21. Polar bear plunge somewhere

  1. So many alpine swims

22. Do a backflip

23. Do the splits

24. Ride a motorcycle

  1. Rode with sam in feb

  2. Went 110 with augie in july!

25. Share a tent with someone

  1. Shared a tent many times with road runner

26. Skinny dip

  1. June 24 mile 974.8. had covid. couldn't breathe. still a beautiful experience

27. Do some trail magic

28. Swim in the rain

a. Lake arrowhead. a v peaceful experience

29. Ski

  1. Skied from Dec 17-Dec 23 in kirkwood and it was so much fun! I jumped off a little ramp thingy!

As i reflect on this past year of life, of 28 come and gone, I'm eternally thankful. I had so many new experiences this year, and met some of the greatest people on the planet. I've loved, I've lost, I've nearly died a couple times... It was a year where I didn't reach my main goal, the PCT. But I had billy and eddie cheering me on, and my parents who helped me immensely.

This is 29, I want to say. This is twenty nine and my smile is bright and I didn’t eat my grapes under the table because I’m not ready, but I’m so lucky, and everything works out for me. And I get to be nostalgic for the natural beauties of 28, and proud of surviving 27, and mourn the pain of 26, and grieve the love of 25, and celebrate the change of 24, and relive the joy of being 23, and laugh at the panic of 22, and smile at the silliness of 21, and take a big deep breath for 20. And I get to look back on my twenties, as I enter the last of them, and pinch myself, because I’m so lucky, and everything will work out for me.


(lots of fanfics, lol)

The Auction


The fallout

Breath mints and battle scars




Crying in H Mart

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I’m glad my mom died

Brand new world

Someone who will love you in all your damaged glory


Fleabag (x6)

Stranger Things

Avatar the last airbender

Never have i ever

Love, death and robots

Sex lives of college girls

New girl

White lotus


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Social Network

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1 and 2


The incredibles

The princess bride


Crazy, Supid Love


The northman

In brugge

Top gun

Die hard

Midnight in Paris

When Harry Met Sally

Last night in soho

Everything, everywhere, all at once

Road runner (doc)

Walter Mitty

Lord of the Rings 1

Lord of the Rings 2

Lord of the Rings 3


Thor: love and thunder


Burden of dreams

Garlic is as good as ten mothers


Bodies bodies bodies

Everything everywhere all at once



Not Okay

Do Revenge

Mr and Mrs Smith


<<doc nyc films>>

Maya and the Wave

All That Breathes

Skate Dreams

Strange Beasts (short)

Escape Artists (short)

Holy Cowboys (short)

Requim For a Whale (short)

The Goats of Monesiggio (short)

Little women

Shiva baby

Triangle of sadness

National treasure

National treasure 2

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

(500) days of summer

Snow day

Jurassic park


The fallout


The perfect date

The duff

The menu

Little Miss Sunshine


Aug 16 | Alex lahey, the regrettes | the wonder ballroom, Portland, or


Jan 15 2022 6 pm

when I tell people I’m spending five ish months hiking from Mexico to Canada, I assume the first question would be, “why?” But mostly it’s, “by yourself??” And my dad jokes about getting me a gun and my boss jokes about getting me a taser and the grips all tell me to bring a knife and my mom tells me to bring a satellite phone, and my cousins make sure I’m bringing sunscreen, and my sisters say Don’t go, you’ll die, and the ac’s make sure I’m bringing a camera, and my friends make sure I’m bringing a journal and a waterproof pen. 70 days. A little more than two months. and I’ll bring a camera and a journal and a pen. I’ll bring a pocket knife and leave the gun. I’ll bring an extra pair of socks and the ice axe a hiker gave me from Missouri and the solar charger my boss gifted me for my birthday and cash for hitches and gators for rocks and headphones for audio books and sunscreen for wrinkles. and I’ll write about my tramily, of trail angels and hiking naked on the summer solstice, lamenting about what a good idea it was to bring sunscreen for the sensitive bits. I’ll write about blisters and missing my sisters and waterfalls and missed phone calls. and I’ll be miserable. Miserable when it rains and when my toenail falls off. Miserable when the wind knocks my tent down. And I’ll be amazed. Amazed at Whitney while the sun rises. Amazed at morning dew. Amazed at strength in my back to carry my weight and the muscles in my legs to climb every peak. Amazed at the people I meet, all with a common goal. Amazed at drunken zero days and skies free of haze. And suddenly 70 days seems so far away.

Jan 31 2022 2230

I guess I’m locking down the idea that love shared with others is temporary. Love for myself sometimes feels temporary. But I can tell myself I love you and I won’t leave the person staring back at me in the mirror. Even when I push in close until my eyes are crossed and my pores are big and I notice the one long chin hair or focus on the mole I hate. Even when I pull back and flash my eyes and bat my lashes and tilt my chin down and cheekily say, I’d date me. I’d fuck me. I’d love me. And I’ll be my own sequoia, bark marked with seasonal fires, seeds sprouting in the smoke. I’ll stand tall with roots that seem too shallow. But when I stretch my hands and reach past scars, those roots dig out wide and far, and I’ll hold myself up, I’ll ground myself down. it feels like California fire season, these last few years. Like the shock is gone, and the flames are to be expected. I curl in my bed watching euphoria, momentarily perturbed that they aren’t wearing masks in a 7-11, and it’s like I’m smelling the smoke. I drive home tired after a day on location and don’t call you, and it’s like I’m feeling the heat. I think about fires and snow and a five month hike and the unsettling ping of the thought that I might not come back, might not make it, and it’s like I’m burning in the flame. some people I’ve loved won’t come to my funeral, won’t talk about the light in my eyes or the laughter that arises rarely, loudly, in the back of my throat, or how I dance like Elaine or how I loved the rain, or how, sometimes, it was like my body and brain were on a whole different plane, and it shreds my soul that the husein who wrote by redwoods with sara won’t be shared. The sarah who loved across oceans in jars of sand or seashells on shores won’t be mentioned, wholly ignored. there was love, once. Pieces of it. given away with ribbons of whispers and gift paper of giggles, but love doesn’t allow exchanges or returns. just new gifts, different paper , heavier, lighter. On display while the old one sits in a Robin egg blue box under the bed. Thought about, never mentioned, mostly left closed.

there was love, once. Pieces of it. given away with ribbons of whispers and gift paper of giggles, but love doesn’t allow exchanges or returns. just new gifts, different paper, a bow less bouncy. Hidden under the bed in a box. Thought about, never mentioned, mostly left closed. So when I take the opal your grandfather mined fifty years ago that you shipped 8 thousand miles to my beachside door, and I try to turn it into something new to wear on my finger , and there’s mostly rock and not enough gem, I’m not surprised. I’m relieved.

April 29, 2022 20:40

Adam said he was like water. and it’s a nice thought. I feel like a stick in a river, floating down and trying to go with the flow but getting caught on other debris until a storm comes, and rushes me down. It’s been flowing recently, and I’ve been flying. My trail legs came in and I’m back in a music discovery mindset I’ve missed. And I’m thinking about waterfalls and Oregon and fresh blackberries on hikes. And I’m thinking about summer solstice and sunscreen and the mosquito bites. I’m thinking about time, and how much of it there is, and how strangely it passes on trail, and how far away we are from waterfalls but how quickly we’ll get there. And I’m thinking about which beer to bring to the northern terminus, and calling Mary to pick me up, and wondering how quickly my calluses will fade or how slowly my feet will shrink back. and if work will feel different. If I will feel different. and I’m caught on debris. building a dam of alternate timelines where I can float down a river but cling to the walls, where all I want and everything I fear happens all in the same moment in my head. I’m not like water at all. But I’m trying to fill every cup.

June 22 2022 / aug 25 2022

to whoever I end up with: I want to show you my favorite bits of America. You in the passenger seat. Or maybe we’d switch off. id take you to that spot on going to the sun road where light always breaks through the clouds and ignites the river flowing between giant green hills. And we’d hold hands. And I’d kiss you like I’m saying I love you with my lips. and I’d take you to the bend with the Tetons in the background. And we’d climb them. And swim in the lake below, and we’d float on our backs like there’s no tomorrow. And we’d hug giant sequoias in the forest and talk about lost loved ones. I’d drive you to that record store in Kentucky and we’d get fried chicken in Nashville and we’d spend hours at the art institute in Chicago. And I’d paint you. I’d paint as you write. I want a love with adventure in it. With stories over proverbial camp fires. But I also want to share the load. To do the dishes together. To clean the windshield while you fill up gas. You’d find the campsite and I’d find the hike. Or the climbing route. Or a good place to watch the sunrise. We’ll share words and some hobbies and the occasional milkshake. I’m not a person who likes doing nothing. And you’d see that. And maybe you’d be the same. Because there’s so much in the world I want to do. I have lists of goals. And if there’s no one beside me, I’ll do them alone, I’ve done them alone. but it’d be nice to have a person to reminisce with.

Aug 1 9 pm

I’m in the same campground I was at a week ago, the same as four years ago. And it’s raining and I’m thinking about full circles, and how this one feels like the labyrinth at the Quaker center. Round, impenetrable, until you find a winding pathway that says “time to heal” at the core. And that’s what this time is. so different from time ago. healing now looks like listening to the rain. and being present. Standing with my feet at the long shore instead of chasing waterfalls on dirt roads trying to distract myself from a bitter memory. This time, I’m walking through the circle. Finding its edges. figuring out which turn throws off my balance. So we do this in silence. Step by step. Gravel churning. Birds chirping. Rain pattering on ripped nylon.

Aug 31 2022 - 2148

I’ve been having a lot of anxiety recently. My heart feels like a balloon locked in a cage of needles. And idk if it’s because I ended this five month adventure of constant movement, and find myself suddenly still. Back in a city that’s loud and a job that’s intense and a body that’s suddenly become soft in ways I don’t like. and it’s weird. It’s weird to be asked how trail was when I didn’t finish it. It’s weird to be asked how I felt while I was on it because I felt everything. And it felt good, even when I was miserable. It felt good to feel, to move, to love, to process, to dance with dirt on my skin and thirty pounds on my back. But I feel heavier now, though my pack is empty. And I can’t even try to explain the beauty of it all, the gravity of it all, because words are failing me. I miss the luxury of choosing to walk up a mountain.

September 14 2022 2255

I miss this. I’m trying to bring gratitude and acceptance and peace into my post trail life. I’ll look around at the lights on set and look at my mileage of running around on stage instead of mountains and it feels weird. I wear my altras but they don’t get dirty. I carry my pack but it’s nearly empty. I see my trail friends getting to Canada and I wish I had stayed. I had found my peace. And I feel it slipping away. I feel the stress of my job like a black smoke, a mushroom cloud getting closer. but I talk about growth with coworkers and adjusting with trail friends and pushing to the front of my mind is another try at the trail, or a change in my career. I feel less certain of myself. a little lost about next steps. When grant asks me if I want to play around with the crane, I hesitate. When daisy sends me a link for an ultralight tent, I pause. it feels like a fever dream. Sleeping under the stars and smelly hikers at bars and hitching rides in strangers’ cars and cold soaking in talenti jars… but then I reread my journal from trail today, and it helps. It’s real. And as we roll on another take of scene 39, I radiate in the gratitude that I GET to feel a longing for the company of friends I met on trail. I GET to miss the view climbing down forester pass. I GET to have memories that are so beautiful to relive through late night writing sleeping on the ground. It’s a privilege to experience “missing.”

October 21 2022 0042

five years ago, I realized that the reason time passes so quickly as we get older is because we run out of firsts. first time at the beach, first kiss, first time trying albondigas or getting street tacos or seeing a movie or burning the popcorn or hiking a really long hike. but twenty years pass and the beaches all kind of blur. And I’ve forgotten the names of some people I’ve kissed. And I don’t remember all of the movies I’ve seen or the first time I tried my dad’s chicken curry or the name of my second crush. but I’m always searching for firsts. and I never want to run out of them. I look at all these people looking out at a sunset and hope that this is new. and that it sticks. That it becomes a core little memory and for a brief moment, the day felt longer. Less routine. that’s what the desert felt like for me / every day was a new bliss, new people, new places to piss and time passed so slowly. I was awake for all of it. Present. Alert. Thankful. And my roses were sunsets and my thorns were literal, dripping blood down to darn tough socks, but I didn’t really care. Because it was new. And I felt the years slipping away slower. And I want more of that.

October 24 2022 0037

Dadijan leaves for Sri Lanka in a few days. I stopped at my parents house to get some camping gear and say hi to the dog, and surprise my grandmother with a hug and a left and right kiss to the cheek. But there’s barely any contact. I ask her how long she’ll be gone and she says a long time. She probably won’t be back. She’ll come back if I get married, she says, and she wants to see that. But she’s lived a long life, she tells me, and she’s ready to go home. there’s still a lot I don’t know about her. Dadijan is great at storytelling, I think that’s where my dad gets it from. Over tea and timer if-honey toast, she dives deep into detail about walking hand in hand with her fiancé on the beach, a cold night, when a guard stops them to ask if they were married. Dadijan lied and said yes. and she tells me about learning to love in an arranged marriage, and I don’t doubt that there was a lot of love there. I tell her over a tiny little pie she saved for me that it’s going to be a long time before I get married, so she better hold out for it. And I tell her I’m thinking about hiking the trail again. And I tell her about the recent bear encounter over the weekend. And I want to tell her how much I respect her. And how beautiful she is. And that I’ll miss her. But I don’t. I just wear some earrings she gave me a few years ago to dinner and see her smile.

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