Pursuing My Dreams

Joan - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 12, 2009

When you are old, beset with arthritis and confined to your bed all day, what would you regret that you didn’t do?

Ever since I was a little, I had wished to accomplish so many things. I wanted to travel the world, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, watch Les Miserables live on Broadway, etc. But none of these wishes really came to effect because I always made excuses for it. It ranged from an “I don’t have money right now” to an “I don’t have time to take Italian 101.” I was still young; I figured I’d have a lot of time to spare.

It wasn’t until last year that this mindset changed. I stumbled upon a book called ‘Tuesdays With Morrie.’ It was about an old and dying professor teaching his last great lesson: a lesson about life. “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live,” he said. In his slow decaying from his terminal sickness, he discovered what truly matters in life and what doesn’t. Through his lessons, I learned that the biggest regret I would have in the future, when I am about to die, is not following my dreams and wondering what life would’ve been like if I’d just followed my heart and been myself.

I don’t want to be the person that lives life methodically, as if the sun would come up every single day and I’d bash the snooze button on my alarm, wake up, and get on with work or school. I don’t want to lack the drive and the spontaneity, living just to get through the day and end it. For once, I was certain of one thing: I want to live life, not let life live me.

Now, I realize that everyday won’t have a tomorrow. Often, we lose our connection with ourselves. We feel busy doing things that at the time, seems important to us. We forget our deepest desires, hopes, and dreams. We lose the realization that our lives will surely end one day. Whether it be as simple as writing a novel, or maybe something extreme like sky diving, it shouldn’t be continuously put off to the side until it ultimately seems like an unreachable dream. You never know when you are going to die, so attain your dreams before it’s too late. This I believe.