For the past 8 weeks, all I’ve wanted to do is write. I’ve wanted nothing more than to fill a page with words and share it with you. It’s what I do. It’s what I enjoy. I’ve never had a problem with words.
Things changed for me on April 15th. Since that day, though the message has always been clear to me in my mind, the words have continued to stray as I’ve sat down almost every day, keys at my fingertips, completely frozen. How do I write? How do I communicate my thoughts? Since that Marathon Monday, it’s just not been that easy to share anymore.
This morning I read a blog by a brave woman dying of breast cancer. In it she confesses her emotions to complete strangers. She acknowledges her sadness about the inevitability of her condition; the devastation of missing out on the milestones her family would reach without her; and the wonder that has changed the simplest and most mundane of tasks to become the most extraordinary gifts. After considering her words, mine didn’t seem so stifled anymore. The message she so eloquently communicated in just a few short paragraphs is a message I’ve wanted so badly to share. With one sweep of her blog, I feel a confidence in communicating with you all now. I am ready.
In truth, I related to this woman so deeply. I, too, have often pondered the world as it would move on without me and the meaning of all that I do from the mundane to the significant. No, I am not dying… yet, anyway. I am very much living. However, it’s living in consideration of what goes beyond my time in this world that helps me to appreciate the here and now so much more. Perhaps a time will come someday when I will write a blog like hers, from the perspective of a life lived rather than a lifetime ahead. But not today. Today, I write as someone who’s got a lifetime.
Back in February, my boss, battling stage-4 cancer, left me with the task to get his desk lamp fixed. When the electrician returned it to us, he pointed at the energy-saving bulb he’d installed. “It’ll last him 20 years,” he said.
I remember thinking in that very moment, what if he never sees those 20 years?
And in that moment, it became my goal to let go. To let go of any anger that had built up in me over the years. To let go of resentment for things past. To let go of fear for things to come. To live for the enjoyment and the gift of the time I am so lucky to have here and now.
I don’t consider these thoughts sad or inappropriate or wrong. I am now finding that I am lucky to have had this realization so soon in my lifetime because I now know what I want my life to be before it’s over.
I will pick out fresh strawberries at the supermarket and feel thankful to be able to taste them, rather than consider it a check on my to-do list.
I will fund-raise for a cause not merely for “charity” but to pay the favor forward to the next generation.
I will say hi to strangers not just to be friendly, but in appreciation and celebration of individuality.
I will love truly and constantly in the hope that human beings can recognize that that is all we are: human. And we owe it to ourselves to help each other enjoy this opportunity to live.
My hope is to spread love and kindness to others in my lifetime. That’s how I want to be remembered.
With that said, I started this blog entry with 28 days to go before my 28th birthday. I am hereby declaring my mission to complete 28 acts of kindness before that day, July 1st, 2013. I will document each on this blog. I am hoping that in some small way it might inspire others to do the same.
If you would like to participate, I would love to hear from you. I would love to share your acts of kindness, too. Email your acts of kindness to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will publish them (anonymously or not, up to you!) here on this blog. Project TAG. Think. Act. Give.
Tag. You’re it!