What Life Do You Want to Live?


I’ve been contemplating life as a whole lately. Why is it that some people have such an easy course to row and others such difficult ones? As I was driving home from visiting my parents early in evening I came upon an intersection with a panhandler who was missing one arm. I searched in my bag for something to give him, I prefer to hand out food over money, but by the time he would have reached my car the light turned green.

Death often makes one contemplate life. A friend of mine recently passed away. She was thirty-six years old. Her death was expected, she was suffering from an incurable disease, but her passing was still surprising.  Thirty-six is simply too young to die.

A few days after she died a mutual friend sent me this text message “She just wanted to settle down, have kids, help people and create art. She knew what she wanted and couldn’t get there and the some of the rest of us have struggled with so many more choices.”

That sentiment keeps ringing in my head. Our friend knew what she wanted out of life but her disease prevented those wishes from coming true. What do I want out of life?

Before answering I tried to think back on how I would have answered this question as a child. Did I want to be a teacher, a journalist, a lawyer? Many of the decision points seemed to revolve around a profession. Yet here I am in the year 2013 staying home to raise my child. Suddenly how I earn an income is not nearly as important as who I am and who I want to become.

When I reflect upon this question I don’t think about an occupation at all. I don’t think about the objects I wish to possess or the home I wish to live in. I think about the person I want to be. I want to be honest and open. I want to show the people I love just how much they mean to me. I want to find contentment in the every day moments that make up our lives. I want to remember that life is fragile, that this may be the only chance we get and that I don’t want to waste it being resentful or angry.

Whether we like it or not personal relationships make up a large part of our every day lives. I want to fill my world with people who fill my soul. I can’t pick and choose all of the people who I interact with on a daily basis but I can change my attitude toward them. I can ignore the drama and search for the good, even when it is so difficult to see. I also need to remind myself to accept the things I cannot change. That one is particularly hard for me.

Above all else I want to feel grateful for this life that I have been given. I want to remember that there are many who are not as fortunate as I am.

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