This I Believe

Rose - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

All the Days

I recently read a quote by the late Irish novelist Jonathan Swift, who said: “May you live all the days of your life.” Even as I read it, I realized that that simple phrase caused a seed that had been growing for thirteen years to burst – suddenly, vibrantly – into bloom.

I believe that, as Jonathan Swift said, you should live all the days of your life. You only get so many days on Earth – 36,500 if you’re lucky – and I believe that each one should be memorable in some way. You could make this happen by trying a new food, making a new friend, or embarking on an adventure, but you should try to live every day. Don’t procrastinate on things just because you can. Go out of your way to make each day an adventure.

I was raised trying new things and learning to love new experiences. By the time I was ten I could list the ingredients in pâté, tell you what it’s like to live in a yurt, and recommend some excellent museums in the greater London area. I have known of my love of adventure and new experiences my entire life, but it was only when I read Jonathan Swift’s quote that I put words to the tune of those loves, so to speak, labeled my belief, and started to come out of my shell.

While I may have grown up adventurous and eager for new experiences, I have always been an introvert, a genetic trait that I inherited from my dear mum. I get nervous in large crowds if I don’t have someone to talk to. I love spending time by myself, and sometimes prefer it to the company of others. And I used to be terrible at striking up conversations with strangers. The thought of actually approaching someone I didn’t know and attempting to ingratiate myself with them terrified me.

And then I entered high school. I had just ‘put words’ to my belief and realized that starting another year being shy and quiet completely defied it. And so I embarked on the greatest challenge yet – I would talk to someone new in every class, and not just swap names. I would have a proper conversation. I would live every day. And by the end of the first couple weeks of school, I had made more than twenty new friends.

I know now that I can do anything. I’m less introverted than before, although I still love spending time by myself and don’t like large crowds. I can give you a list of the ingredients in terrine, explain about holy basil, and recommend some excellent boutiques in Paris. I am making each day one to remember.

I am living every day of my life.