Sometimes I get really sad thinking about how temporary life is. I look back at photos of myself when I was younger, pictured with people whose names I’ve forgotten. I think about the full life my great-grandma Patsy lived and how she left this earth at 106-years-old. I think about the places I’ve visited and the memories that will stay just that, memories. I think about the romantic relationships I’ve had and how I thought I’d never find anyone else who could give me butterflies. I think about my precious Molly and how she left me, not unexpectedly, but way too soon.
I also think about wading in the Mediterranean Sea with my sister on our European adventure. I think about how I felt like I could fly when I jumped out of an airplane. I think about singing karaoke onstage with actors and actresses from my favorite TV show. I think about all of the moments I’ve lived that weren’t captured on Snapchat or on my camera, the moments that I can only relive in my head.
It baffles me how fleeting life really is. Even this time I spent typing these words and thinking these thoughts will already be gone after I hit “Publish.” What upsets me about it is that people only realize how temporary life is after something tragic has happened. After a death, receiving bad news, getting diagnosed with an illness, getting in an accident…these are the things that scare everyone into living a better life and living it to the fullest. I’m definitely guilty of this too. It shouldn’t be that way though. We shouldn’t wait for something bad to happen in order for us to realize how great life is. We should live in the happy moments. Reminisce on the good times and continue to create amazing memories. Don’t wait for the other shoe to drop before you start living your life.
When I think about my journey, it’s easy for me to remember the tough times, to define my life by the major setbacks I’ve had. To define it by every job I left, every friendship that ended, every accident I’ve been in, every failure I’ve encountered, every relationship that didn’t work out. But that’s not how I want to remember my life. I want to remember how I felt the day I found out I was getting a little sister. How proud I felt hugging my dad after I walked across the stage to receive my diploma at Louisiana Tech. How elated I felt going to my first ever music festival. How I fell in love with Molly when she nuzzled my hand. How something as simple as a bottle of wine can turn strangers into friends and friends into family. I want to start defining my journey by the moments that bring me joy and remind me how beautiful life can be.
Life’s journey can be ugly sometimes, but there’s no reason you can’t fall in love with it. Over 130 years ago, C.H. Wente immigrated to America in the hopes of creating a better life. Five generations later, Wente Vineyards’ Chardonnay continues to be one of the best-selling varietal in the country. Can you imagine beginning a journey now that continues to be built upon five generations later? It would be impossible to do that if you only focused on the things that brought you down. Perseverance and the pursuit of happiness and your dreams is what makes you embrace the fact that life is temporary and reminds you to take advantage of each passing moment.
What would you do today if there was nothing standing in your way?