Happy Monday! I’m not trying to sound melodramatic or scare you, but you’re dying. In fact, some of us get so busy dying that we don’t realize it until we finally kick the bucket. Don’t all of a sudden drop everything and figure out the meaning of your life (which is probably too much for a mere blog post to ask of you), but consider this: some day in the future you will no longer be alive and someone close to you will pause in front of your grave and give the abridged version of your existence on Earth. What will they tell those gathered about you? That you were employee of the month more than anyone else at Acme, Inc? That you owned 6 different pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes? That you always had the latest version of the iPhone?
They won’t–or at least, I hope they won’t. Instead, you will be remembered for the company you kept and how you made the people you loved smile and laugh. You will be remembered for the things that made you most passionate in life, that drove you to get out of bed every day. You will be remembered for the amazing acts of kindness, of creative brilliance, of simple, salt-of-the-earth humanity that you gave to the world.
So leave your mark, and leave it somewhere that won’t erase it quickly. I am traveling because it is something I have loved and wanted to do since I was born. Not everyone has a case of wanderlust, but everyone has a passion for something that goes beyond merely existing and living through a daily routine. This great commencement speech summarizes it pretty neatly: There is always next year, but at some point you start running out of next years. There are so many things that eventually get in the way of whatever it is that you really want to do. Eventually, I will probably return to the USA to start a career (with luck and hard work, something that inspires me and helps me to learn something new every day). I want to start a family someday and even though I will probably never be 100% ready, have a child or two of my own. But for right now there is next year and I have an open, clean slate in front of me.
I want my eulogy to leave people with the certainty that I lived a fulfilling life, not one tinged by regret and the knowledge of wasted chances, and I want other people to think that about yours too. It might be Monday, but make it great somehow, and if you’re not doing something that makes you happy, either have a plan to change that or look at the bigger picture and remember how you got there in the first place. Seize the day.
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