This I Believe

Matthew - PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts
Entered on May 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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I believe in never taking a moment for granted. I was given the chance to live on this earth for a limited amount of time and I believe in making the most of it. Around the globe there are so many things to experience and enjoy and I feel like I should take full advantage of this. Whenever something fun comes up, I always feel a strong urge to try it, and afterwards I rarely regret my decision. Of course, in order to maximize the length of my life I have to weigh out the dangers with the things I want to experience. A perfect example of this is jumping off a cliff into water. If the water is deep, my landing is clear, and the height is not too drastic I’ll never turn it down. The feeling of free falling and the adrenaline flowing through my body for those few seconds is like no other. Whenever I miss an opportunity to experience something new or enjoyable to add to my life I always feel like I’ve missed out and wasted some of my limited and valuable time. Whether I’ve wasted of a few minutes, to hours, or even a day, it all counts.

At a very young age my great aunt Roe and uncle Tony babysat me nearly every day. From when I was about four years old to around eleven I would go to their house almost five days a week for the majority of the day. Roe and Tony would take me to the mall, fishing, sledding, the movies, golfing, you name it; they taught me everything they knew. No matter what season, we always had something new and fun to do everyday of the week while my parents were at work. I learned how to swing my first golf club with my aunt and uncle, as well as hit my first house with a golf ball. But fishing was the best; we would go at least two times a week.

One of the last times I went with them we started off with very few bites on the line. It was buggy but overall a nice day to be out on the lake. As we sat there waiting for the fish to bite I began to notice our surroundings. Although we weren’t catching any fish, just being out on the water and watching the reflections of the scenery on the surface of the lake made our time worth while. As we were about to pack up and leave, my pole jerked in half and I could feel the pull of a BIG fish. Reeling was strenuous but at the same time the most amazing feeling, when the fish finally came into our sights we stared at it in awe for a few seconds before netting it. It was a rainbow trout that measured the length of my arm to the elbow, if you can’t picture this it was probably about a foot an a half, which seemed big at the time. To this day, that fish is the most incredible fish I have seen with my own eyes. The scales were vibrant in rainbow colors and as smooth as anything. We headed back to the house to cook it. I can still remember the taste in every bite of that fish. At the time, that day had been a really good day, but if I were to go back now I would have never wished for that day to end.

My uncle Tony died a few years back and I will never get to go fishing with him again. I would give anything to relive those years and not for a second take it for granted. After he died it made me realize that no one lives forever, even a hero like my uncle was to me, and time on this earth should be used wisely, not to live a moment in regret.