Plenty of Time

Today’s post is a pretty serious one for two reasons: 1) I wrote this awhile ago and I forgot to post it but have been meaning to 2) I haven’t written the last part of my Japanese adventures yet because it takes me forever and I’m traveling this week.

Something I hear constantly from people when I tell them my plans (especially all my travel plans or my goal to run a marathon in every state before I turn 30) is: “What’s the rush? You have plenty of time.”

For example, as of right now, it looks like I’ll be visiting 8 countries in 2014. I’ll be running, God willing, in 12 new states. That’s not very many for some people, but it’s a lot for most, and it’s a lot for me. Not everyone understands my urgent need to do so much so soon. “You’re young! You have your whole life to {do xyz}!”

Admittedly, I approach things rather frantically. I would describe myself as an obsessive person in nearly every sense of the word. My need to travel, do, see, and achieve everything is born partially of my own personality and partially because I’ve always had a very acute understanding of how short life is. I first started having dreams about my own death when I was 4 and was fully obsessed with the concepts of life and death by age 7, thanks to the movie Dragonheart. In an effort not to make myself sound even more insane, I’ll stop this part of the story here.

All I know is there is no such thing as plenty of time.

Eleven years ago, on February 15th, 2003, a good friend of mine died tragically in a horseback riding accident at a horse show. We trained with the same trainer and showed in the same classes. I was supposed to be at the show that weekend, but I had hurt my back and couldn’t jump. She was beautiful, funny, goofy, loyal, and loved horses more than anything.

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Meggan

A long life is not a guarantee. A good friend’s son was killed last week in a car accident, and he’s several years younger than I am. It’s crazy to think about. Putting things off for years on the assumption that you have those years is, in my opinion, arrogant. Can we always drop everything and do exactly what we want to do at every moment? No. To do so would be pretty reckless. But if we have the opportunity to do something we’ve always dreamed of, even if it’s a little inconvenient, I think we have an obligation to do it. Just because something is scary or hard or different doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. Life is too short, even if you live for 100 years, to let opportunities to make a difference in the world, travel, start a family, get your dream job, volunteer, or whatever pass you by.

That’s why I do things the way I do. To understand me as a person, you have to understand my fear of death. It’s not the death part that scares me, it’s the lack of life, so to speak. So I’m trying to pack as much life into the one I’ve been given as possible, because you really never know when it will be gone. I challenge you to do the same.

LEAVE A COMMENT: Has something ever happened to you that has changed the way you look at life or the way you live? What was it?

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