We were at a stop light, and I was sitting in the backseat of my Mom’s mini van staring at a gas station when I realized I was going to die.
I was probably eight or nine years old, and we had just been talking about the death of a neighbor, when suddenly it hit me: I was a human. I was finite. I, too, was going to die.
I’m not sure why it happened then, while I was watching people pump life into their Toyotas and Volvos at Shell. But after that moment a shift happened in me, and I felt it. It started out as desperate fear of the unstoppable, but this feeling soon melted away into determination. If I only had a limited amount of time on this earth, I was going to make sure I soaked up every second of it.
Since then I’ve done my best to live fully at every moment. Sometimes I am better at it than others – I’ve had my share of weeks where I’ve done little else besides go to work, exercise, and perform other tasks of daily living. But then I shake myself awake and remember that this whole living thing is kind of a big deal, and I should take advantage of each day I’ve got.
A few weeks ago I had another wake-up call.
I sprung out of bed one morning and realized that my birthday was only a few months away. I was turning 23. And I only had seven more years until 30.
Now, let me be clear: turning 30 is by no means a death sentence. I’ve never been a 30-something, but I hear it’s the next big thing. In fact, I’m pretty convinced that life can be meaningful and exciting and full at any age. It’s not 30 I’m afraid of.
What I am afraid of is turning 30 and feeling that I wasted my 20s. There are so many things I want to do in life, and I only have an uncertain number of decades in my pocket to work with. I better use every single one, and use them well.
So I decided that I was going to make the next seven years of my life the best yet.
Using the strategies I’ve developed over the course of my short life for living best, I plan to lean into my days and weeks and years, and never take them for granted.
I’m excited to document it all here! It’s going to be extra sweet to share this journey with you and hear how you make the most of life.
What wisdom have you gained over your life course for living well? I’d love to hear your thoughts!