Carpe Diem

Christie - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on September 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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I believe in the phrase “Carpe Diem” – seize the day. The phrase is well known due to a Latin poem where one line reads, “While we’re talking, envious time is fleeing: seize the day, put no trust in the future”. Every day I try to ‘seize the day’ and live my life to the fullest. I don’t believe that anything is gained from hesitation and procrastination. If you want to have something, get it. If you want to do something, do it. I would much rather regret the things I have done than the ones I didn’t do.

Ida Scott Taylor once wrote: Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering. I feel like that is exactly what we all must do. We cannot change the past, and we cannot predict the future. The only thing we have control over is right now. The things we do in the present that make us happy are what make great memories for us, and also set us up for being happy in the future. That way when we are older we can look back and cherish the memories of things we have done.

In my life I have broken bones, said things that I shouldn’t have, and gotten in trouble for making some not so wise decisions. But I can honestly stand here before you today and say that given a second chance, I would make all the same choices and do everything over again. Sure I have some regrets, who doesn’t, but nothing compares to the regret of not knowing what could have been.

For example, when my mom was younger, she always wanted to be a pilot. She would tell her mother she wanted to “fly with the birdies”. Her mother always told her it was too dangerous and she could die. For 45 years she had the idea of flying lingering in the back of her mind, but never did anything about it. This past year, she finally started taking flight lessons and one month ago, she achieved her goal and got her pilots license. She told me that if she could do things all over again, she would not have listened to her mother and done what she wanted 30 years ago and gotten her license then. She would have “seized the day” and been as happy as she is now, back then.

I don’t want to do the same thing and wait 40 years to do what I desire. I live by my own advice. If I want something, I get it. If I want to do something, I do it. I don’t let the fear of the unknown hold me back. I seize the day, every day.

In the words of Dave Matthews, “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”