This I Believe

Matt - Wheaton, Illinois
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature

I Believe the Best Time To Go To the Beach Is At Night

I believe the best time to go to the beach is at night. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy digging my feet into the warm sand, relaxing in the sun’s golden rays, and letting the rhythm of the tide wash over me just as much as the next person. Though, out of all of my beach experiences, my fondest memories have always occurred after the sun has set under a starry sky.

Every summer a small group of friends and I leave our hectic lives and go to a secluded lake house in the woods of central Michigan. Each trip we take is basically the same as the year before; despite each trips lack of individuality we never become jaded because we are reminded every night on the beach how special our time together really is as we gaze up into the starry sky.

Every night as we stare into the vastness of empty space I can’t help but question my generation’s generally accepted philosophy of “living life the fullest.” I understand the generally meaning behind it, but it’s seems to be more of an excuse than a philosophy. For example, recently a close friend of mine told me she wanted to try cocaine despite recently kicking an addiction to meth. I asked her why on earth she would do something so stupid just when she was starting to get her life back on track. She replied simply “I’m living my life to the fullest, maybe you should start to do the same.” Apparently I haven’t been living my life to its fullest potential even though I knew every night on those beaches that I was living my life exactly how I wanted it to. I knew when I looked up into the sky that I wouldn’t change anything in the whole world at that moment even if I could.

I think why I don’t understand the “living life to the fullest” philosophy is because it seems like the people who embrace it the most are notorious for making poor decisions. Apparently in order to enjoy every moment you have you need to abuse substance and put yourself into harm’s way on a consistent basis. Though when I spend nights on the beach I’m completely sober and out of harm’s way and I know that I will always remember those moments. I know I’m living my life to the fullest.

In my opinion living life to the fullest has absolutely nothing to do with what you do, whether it’s getting trashed every weekend or star gazing on the beach. I think living life to the fullest means if someone asked you if you could be anywhere, doing anything, you would say I’d be right here doing what I’m doing right now.