This I Believe: Life is Not a Rehearsal

Alex - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

In a young boys or a young girls life, the parents are the ones that teach them the lessons of life and give advice to them about facts that their kids will tell their own kids someday. For me, however, it was my grandfather who taught me a very important characteristic that I still abide by today. Life is not a rehearsal, live life to its fullest.

When I was little, my family and I used to take trips down to Cape Cod. It was always my favorite trip of the year because I got to see all my extended family as well. We would rent this huge bacon house right on the beach and spend the next two to three weeks relaxing and enjoying the nice summer weather. One of my favorite things to do when going on the beach was climbing on the rocks that circled most of the beach. I would always go with my brother, my cousin, my dad, my uncles, and my grandfather. This was like “guys time” for us, while the ladies would roam the beach for sea glass.

It was one day on the rocks that we all sat down and took time to admire the sunset. Now, I was by no means much of a “take the time to admire the scenery” type of boy, but the sunset we saw was pretty amazing. It only seemed perfect that on this day is when my grandfather would give me the advice I still live by today. He sat me on his lap, and said, “Alex, just remember that life is not a rehearsal. When you’re older, you’ll understand what I mean.”

In a sense he was right, I had no idea what he was talking about at the time. It was two years later that I really understood what he meant. For some reason me and my brother had been fighting a lot. Just boys being boys I guess. But I remember it was my grandfather who convinced me to end it. He sat me down again and told me “Alex, in life there aren’t many second chances. If you don’t set things right with your brother now, enough time could pass that you’ll lose that chance, so do the right thing.”

I am starting to realize now at the age of 21 that life really is moving fast. A couple of things I do to live my life to its fullest is to stop and smell the roses occasionally, and to try my hardest at something the first time around.

No one can live their lives to the fullest on just school, or just work alone. I feel like there’s too much to do to in life to not stop and smell the roses. By this I mean that people need to have an outlet, something they do for fun. For me it’s sports. I need to stay active throughout the day or life is just boring. Weather it’s going to the gym or just throwing a football around, I need that time where my head is somewhere else other than work.

Next, I give one hundred percent with everything I do. I learned this after my first internship interview a couple of summers ago. I came in prepared with a resume; however I didn’t take the time to research the baseball team I wanted to work for. The interview was a disaster and I didn’t get the internship. I couldn’t re-do anything the next day that would get me the job. I had one opportunity to do it and I messed up.

So why live life to its fullest? Life is not a play or a movie where you can rehearse and rehearse constantly until you finally get it right. Life is moving a mile a minute and you could miss an opportunity without taking action right away and giving it your all. Now, I’m not saying I don’t believe in second chances. Sure, someone who is a work-a-holic can find a hobby, or someone who didn’t get the internship one year could get it the next. But who wants to wait for a second chance? Live life to its fullest before it could be too late.