Live Like You're Dying

January 23, 2011
Little kids always have the biggest dreams in life of what they want to do when they are older, or this big invention that they are going to make, or sometimes hoping to be in the world record book. But whatever it is later in life they start to loose that hope. Sometimes I wish that I still kept the dreams from when I was a toddler. But they faded away. So, I’ve decided that I don’t want my hopes and dreams to just slip right out of my hands. Life is short, and I don’t want some of the most fun things in this journey to slip away, so I am going to make a list of what I want to do before I die. “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today,” is a quote that reminds me to always shoot for the stars and that no matter what anybody says, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals, except you.
In this whole recipe of life, everyone sometimes needs to let loose and live like their dying. Ever since I was little I was such a dare devil. I would always want to do things that sometimes my brothers were too scared to try. I was the most confident little girl filled with ambition. I would want to go higher and higher on the swings, and faster and faster on the speed boat until it was straight up. I wanted to be a mountain biker when I was two, go to the skate park with my brothers and their friends with my own skateboard at three, and take over the world at four. While most little girls would be building sand castles, I was dying to swim all the way out until I couldn’t see an ending. However, this side of me has slowly drifted away. But there was one thing that I would cry forever about when I was little. Rollercoasters. Not that I didn’t like them, but I would have the biggest fit because I was too short and young to go on the biggest rollercoaster, even with an adult I wasn’t allowed. So one thing I want to do before I die is to help contribute to building a rollercoaster so I will always keep that child side in me.

Passion can apply to anyone. This powerful compelling feeling can be a feeling of love, or a desire of something. When someone has a passion for something they commit to it 100%. Taylor Swift is a young artist who commits to singing and playing the guitar. She was a small town girl secretly writing songs at night, and making up her own notes on her guitar. She didn’t have all the friends in the world, so she would observe other kids at her school and write about the troubles they were going through. Also about when she would get constantly bullied. Soon she was finally recognized for her talent but they unfortunately did not agree to sign for her.. But no matter what anybody in the world said to Taylor she wasn’t going to give up even if it took years. Later on she got signed and is now one of the most recognized artists today. Whether you are having a good or bad day, scared or fearless, embarrassed or feeling crazy, heart broken, or in love, Taylor has a song for it. She isn’t afraid to pour out her life and heart to the world. She isn’t afraid to be herself, which is something I love about her. Taylor Swift has inspired me in so many different ways. One specific way is, she has brought the idea to me that learning how to play the guitar is something I want to do in my life.

Not only do I look up to Taylor swift, but someone else I know personally. She is partly my sister, and partly my cousin, Maggie. We both don’t have sisters, and are extremely close, and so she fills in as a sister to me. She is very smart as well, like my cousin Kate. Maggie is 21 years old and is in college, and plays the guitar. From when she could get her hands on a guitar she immediately wanted to play. Ever since then she has been an amazing player and I soon hope someone will recognize her talent to write and sing her own songs along with her guitar. Maggie has contributed to me wanting to play the guitar, because I know that later in life I would be thinking back and wishing I took up the opportunity now.
Inspiration is something you need to achieve your goals. It’s that thought in the back of your head telling you to keep going. It’s something or someone that you admire, and sometimes even changes your life. Inspiration can come from anything, depending on the person. It could simply be that one sentence someone says that really connect to you, or maybe seeing someone else reach their goal, which makes you want to follow them in achieving your own goal.
There is that saying “giving is better than receiving” which makes me think about how it really does feel good to help people and seeing that joyfulness on their face, or doing something out of the ordinary for someone. When I think about this topic my cousin Kate comes to mind. She is one of the very influential people in my life. Her whole life she has been an extremely intelligent person with the most amazing personality. Added on to this, she is one of the most caring people I know.

She is 30 years old and for her past four years of that portion, she has been living in Guatemala. She joined the peace Corps and traveled there with the group. But they only stayed together for about the first month when each person soon branched off into getting their own place to stay, starting her volunteer job, and along with that every step of the way helping the people and community. Kate speaks fluent Spanish to communicate with the people there. While she was there she sent cards to her family and friends. My family frequently got cards from her because we are particularly close with her. I read each one of them in amazement. She was building homes and helping children, but also having to keep her life on track by walking six miles to her job, which was a job at one of the environmental associations. She gave up a part of her own life to change other people’s life in Guatemala, and mine too. Kate has made me think about one thing that I want to add onto my list. I want to travel around the world making stops at communities in need of help and just like Kate did, try and help others lives.


Living life to the fullest is something I always try to keep in mind. Experiencing something you never thought you would do, doing something that you have to think twice about, and generally having fun while you can. One person that definitely lived her life with excitement until she couldn’t anymore was a woman named Kerri that my family was friends with. She was a very active person and loved to run, just like my mother. One thing that amazed me is that she would do triathlons and all different marathons and competitions. I remember Kerri being one of the most enjoying people to talk to. She would tell stories that I couldn’t believe, and she could tell them for days. In her house was a special room. When I walked into the tiny room and I saw shining gold. They were trophies, plaques, ribbons, books, and travel guides to where she had done all of her competitions. I was amazed! I slowly examined all of them reading the backs of each one. When I read them it made me want to do a triathlon myself.
My family and I gradually started to have to go to her house when we wanted to get together. This is because it was getting hard for Kerri to go places. The reason is that she was diagnosed with ALS. This illuminated her from doing the things she loved and being active which was very hard for her. We visited her more frequently to keep her company. When it got worse she had to get a live-in to help her get by each day. It didn’t seem to get any better when I realized she could barely move her body anymore, which turned into barely able to talk. Soon I learned that life really is short when Kerri sadly passed away. Although we were terribly said about the incident, she made me learn something about life; to take your chances every time you can and to experience everything in life and to dream like you were a little kid again. In memory of Kerri, I want to do a triathlon in my life.

I have made a list of other little things that I want to do before I die: go bungee jumping, design a pair of shoes, visit Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, try every fruit in the world, go to a Wendy Williams Show, and other fun things. Also to contact my best friends from when I was young in Pennsylvania, and overcome all my fears. Some of my long-term goals in life is to graduate college, then travel around the world, then get married and have a family. Overall, what inspired me to even think about this whole idea is a show called The Buried Life. On the show they have a bucket list of what they want to do before they die. Along the way they help a certain person cross something off their list of what they want to do before they die.
“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” This explains that we should always take a risk and don’t be afraid to jump then fall, and then get back up again. Life is about the journey not the destination, so in that case what you make out of the journey is how you will get you to your destination. Along the path I want to make every little step exciting and memorable. By: contributing in the building of a rollercoaster will remind me to always keep the child side in me, travel around the world and help the ones in need, learn how to play the guitar, and do a triathlon in memory of Kerri. Writing this paper made me realize how going out into the world and trying new things really is one of the main ingredients in this recipe of life.





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