Two weeks ago during class, my teacher gave us an impromptu assignment – find a comfortable place that you’d like to write, and answer this prompt:
If you had one month to live, what would you do?
I’ve always thought about how crazy and deep this question is, but I’ve never truly tried to tackle it. Knowing that you only have one month to live is such a bleak concept, but the prompt is also ironic because it challenges you squeeze your favorite aspects of life into that measly month in order to optimize your happiness.
We were also challenged to execute this assignment using stream of consciousness writing. This ultimately means just letting your thoughts flow. No punctuation. No pre-planning. Just write whatever comes to mind, no matter what it is.
That’s what was my favorite part about the assignment. One aspiration led to a favorite memory, which led to another favorite memory. I probably won’t be able to squeeze all of my favorite ideas into a month, but it was certainly very cool to see how my mind traveled as I wrote. Without further ado, here is what came out (with some spelling and punctuation editing for the reader’s sake). Disclaimer, it is a little all over the place 😀
“If I had one month to live, I would travel with my family for one to two weeks, then spend the rest of my time at home. Even though I’ve never left the country, there are still so many places that I’d like to see in the U.S. I’ve always wanted to see a band like John Butler Trio or Dispatch play at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. I’d also like to visit other places with great soul music, like the Country in Nashville and the Jazz in New Orleans. All along enjoying these places, I would always want my family by my side. I hate being so far away from them in NC, but I’m blessed enough to have them come visit whenever I have lacrosse games in the fall and spring. If time allows, I’d love to visit Italy with my family as well. My sister has been before, and raved about it. I also took Italian as my language requirement at Carolina, and immediately LOVED it way more than when I took Spanish in high school. Italy is such a bold culture mixed in with rich history, I love it.
Through all of this travel, I’d also like to simply spend time at home. My family and I are always on the move, and I wouldn’t say that I underappreciate my house, because I definitely enjoy its beauty; I just wish that I had more time to enjoy it. My parents take such amazing care of the landscaping around my house, and the lake backdrop is enough beauty in itself. My mom makes fun of my dad and I for always standing at the kitchen sink, looking at all of the nature outside. There’s just so much to see! Even when we’ve seen it before, the beauty always takes my breath away. No two sunsets are ever the same, the lightning storms always choose a new path as they roll over the lake and light up the sky, big mama turtles make the trek to our yard and a few weeks later, their little hatchlings find their ways back to the lake. Nature truly amazes me, and although I spend most of my time outside, I’d like to spend even more of it exploring… I did it when I was younger all of the time!
We have a cabin in northern central PA that is literally in the middle of nowhere, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You just make a trip up there with however many of your closest friends and that’s it. Just you guys, some great food, tunes, alcohol and NATURE. It’s some of the best bonding I’ve ever done without knowing that we’re bonding. It was never purposeful bonding; it’s just a fun trip. Take all the technology and hustle and bustle out of the equation, and you go back to the good life – enjoying each other’s company amongst the beauty of nature.
Back to exploring, I was the youngest by a long-shot, so I always went of exploring by myself (of course my parents gave me a pre-specified area to not leave, but to me it was exploring) and I just entertained myself allllllll day. Made up fake friends, played in the creek with the crawfish and salamanders, befriended all of the dogs and took them exploring with me. There was always so much fun to be made up when it was just you and nature. I haven’t looked back and evaluated that in a really long time. My family always jokes about how many salamanders I’ve caught in a lifetime, but like why did I do it? Boredom, the thrill of catching the quick buggers, the new friend I’d make for an hour as I showed it to all of the older kids. Who knows. I just loved being alive, and didn’t care where I was going, or what I was doing; I just enjoyed being in the moment.
I think that’s what I’d like to go back to. Traveling, enjoying what you see and who you’re with right then and there. Not caring what the future brings (inevitably death) and when that grim reaper is coming. The only fact is that he will come. So I’d forget him, and remember instead, how much my family means to me, how much I appreciate where I came from and how cool it is to experience everything I have so far in my lifetime. I have been blessed, and although I’ve had my fair share of hardships, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Live it up, Friends.