This I Believe

Jessica - cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Experience Life

Life is full of suprises, sometimes good sometimes bad, but one thing that is not certain is when its going to end. It sounds clesea to say ” live life like you were dying” but you truly don’t know what that day has planed for you when you wake up in morning. Everyone in their life is going to come close to facing death sooner or later, and if you live through it you get a completly new perspective on your life. I believe that after a near death expierence people react two ways. They live safley, follow the rules, do everything they’re told because they don’t want to expierence that feeling again. Or people react in living life to the fullest and doing everything they’ve ever wanted because they realize once life ends on earth its gone for good.

The reason i feel so pasionate about expierencing life is because i came close to death when i was 15, and although it scared me I was more upset about everything I never got to do. I never got to travel the world, or make a difference. I was mad at the opportunities i never took and things i never went after because i was to scared.

I was in the hospital for awile because of a bad eye infection. It started out as a simple stye but it took a turn for the worse. It turned into orbital cellulitos which was spreading back into my head towards my brain. I was allergic to the main medicine that would have killed the infection and I had a hard time responding to the alternative medicine. The infection had pushed my eye out 2 milimiters and over 2 millimeters, and had obstructed all vision in my right eye. A moment i will never forget is when i was laying in the hospital bed and my docter called my mom out into the hallway. Of course i was listening in on their conversation and i heard the docter tell my mom that if the infection keeps up the way it is then i will probably die. The moment i heard that my heart skipped a beat and i had a flashback of every regret I’ve ever had. Unfortunatley instead of remembering all the good times all i could think about was what I never got to expierence, what i would have done differently as a person, how i could have done more, and things i took advantage of.

What killed me the most was that on the inside i felt fine. I wanted to go outside, dance, sing, jump, hop on an airplane but i had to stay in bed attatched to an IV for three weeks. I felt for 21 days that i was in a glass box just watching everyone live life and the harder I pushed I couldn’t get out. I was just stuck in bed having nothing to do but reflect on my life instead of living it. A lot of people don’t value their life until their near death, and in most cases they can’t go anywhere or do anything because they need to stay under medical care, so you’re left regretting every expierence you ever passed up.

I know a lot of people including family members that are to scared to get on a plane because of September 11 or to even go outside of Cincinnati because they’re afraid of new things and new people. If you spend your whole life trying to protect yourself from harm then you’re not really living life. Life is a hard word to define. Everyone has a different view on it. To some life could mean getting up at 6 a.m., going to work, coming home, eating dinner and going to bed and then getting up the next morning and repeating the whole process day after day for your entire life. I don’t want a life like that. There is so much to see in the world and we only get one short chance here on earth to live it to the fullest.

I can guarantee that everyone who does not put themselves out in the world are going to wish they had. When I was little I wrote a list of everything I wanted to do before I die. As time went on the list just got shoved in a desk drawer and it wasn’t until after I got out of the hospital and made a recovery that I pulled the list out again and made myself do those things. I would much rather have a short full life then a long safe one with no adventure. Many may not agree with this but if I was to die I would much rather die doing something I’ve always wanted to do like sky diving or helping out in Africa than lying in a hospital bed wishing I could have done more.

The doctor told me that the infection has a chance of coming back and next time it could come back stronger and might be harder to fight. But until that day comes I want to do and see everything I can. The next time I’m lying in a hospital bed I want to remember all the amazing adventures I had and everything in life I got to experience. Hopefully most people won’t have to stare death in the face in order to live an amazing life, but it sometimes takes an eye opening experience for you to truly appreciate what you have.