My biggest fear in life is a life unlived. A life wasted. Opportunities not taken. Dreams not chased. I am not afraid of failure as long as I know I went for it. I am realistic enough to know not all dreams come true but to have the opportunity to go for my dreams but not take them would be my worst nightmare. There’s nothing worse than a life unlived, unfulfilled and potential wasted.
I am not so afraid of death. Though I don’t look forward to it, I know it’s bound to happen one day. I am afraid of death in the context that I have unfinished business or that I would leave my children without a mother too soon. The scenario where I am tottering about in my dotage, sitting there in my home, thinking about all the things I should have done but didn’t do and are now not able to do due to physical infirmity, fills me with dread. There is nothing more depressing than the quiet oppression of a life half lived. Like Betty Draper Francis in the show Mad Men, her life of guilded desperation sent her to an early grave (aided by three packs of cigarettes a day and copious amounts of cocktails).
I spent a great deal of time this year pondering and reflecting these life choices. I’ve had several bouts of depression this year. More than usual. I took it as a sign that the Universe is trying to tell me something. God is whispering in my ear about changes I need to make in my life. And I had better take note before it’s too late. Perhaps because I turned thirty-six this year and is ever inching closer to the big 4-0, all that’s left undone has been brought to my attention. I pissed away my twenties and part of my thirties in a series of uninspiring events. I didn’t show up for myself. I didn’t take care of myself spiritually. I didn’t look after my soul. And now I am paying for it.
I don’t have extremely lofty goals. They are all quite reasonable to accomplish as long as I set about doing them and stop with the self sabotaging. I don’t want to climb Mount Everest or Kilimanjaro or even visit the Himalayans. I don’t want to sleep under the stars in the African bush and hope to not be eaten alive by a pride of lions. I am not an outdoorsman. I am a glamp-er. I like running water and indoor plumbing. I don’t want to backpack through India or join an Ashram, again, the indoor plumbing issue. The Eat, Pray, Love paradigm doesn’t interest me either. It’s absurd to travel to three continents for things you can do at home. I want to contribute to society, to my community and to the needy. I want to travel to Europe and visit all the historic sites and be inspired by its history. I want to visit the Ernest Hemingway house in Cuba and play with the cats that live there and experience the house where Hemingway lived and worked and be inspired by his spirit or his energy to write and do something great. I want to travel America, my homeland. I want to see all of America and see how the rest of my fellow countrymen live. I want to visit Mexico, eat real Mexican food, especially the historic pre-Hispanic parts of Mexico.
I want to do charity work and volunteer in my community. I want to make my stamp in society. I want to make a positive contribution in the world. I want to be responsible for the energy I bring into the world (Oprah said this). I want the world to know I matter. When I am gone I want people to know I existed and I mattered. This crazy cat lady mattered.
I want to be financially independent and I want to run successful businesses so that I am in control of my time and not be beholden to a boss eight hours a day. I want to leave a legacy for my children and especially for my daughter, I want to show her how a lady-boss handles her business. I don’t want her to be dependent on anyone but herself. I want to show my children on how to live a full life. To live their best life, in service of others, with gratefulness in their hearts.
So far, I’ve fallen short. I’ve wallowed in the mistakes of my youth, my wasted opportunities. I beat myself up for the would have, could have and should haves, instead I should be rejoicing at the life I do have. My life of “mundane mediocrity”is just a narrative I tell myself and it’s not true.
So 2015 is almost over and good riddance. I want to welcome 2016 with a positive attitude. I want to leave all the negativity and confusion of 2015 behind and have a roaring 2016. No more shame, negativity or guilt. Only love, light and gratefulness.
Happy New Year!