I’m 25 today. Realistically speaking, that means I’ve completed a third of my life, if I’m lucky. They keep telling me that I’m young and I have time, but with 2/3rds left to go, they are wrong.
You can die at any time, so even claiming I have 2 thirds left is wild. In my 25 years of life, I’ve completed about half of my bucket list. This includes:
2. Starting my own beehive
3. Learning how to ski telemark
4. Doing a cross-country road trip
and I will complete:
5. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
6. Hiking/camping at an ice cave (I think the only ones left are in Canada. They’re all melting really fast ?)
7. Visit Japan and ski there
8. Go speedflying
but I do have a few regrets, like
1. Not doing the accelerated MBA program at Bing. I figured if I really wanted to get an MBA, I would go to a better school. Nah, probably should have been better to get it over with. Now I’m just reading business books and wishing I had a proper education.
2. Dating someone else instead of a person I STILL have a crush on (goddamn) like 10 years ago
3. Saying “no” when I should have said “yes.”
4. Staying in just because I was lazy. Never stay in.
Life is really short and anyone who tells you “It’s okay, you are young” needs to stopppp. I feel like life is slipping away from me every day and that I need to tackle it like it’s some kind of bull. Every time I have a bout of depression, I feel like I’ve lost another month or so of my life.
Here’s something I learned when I nearly lost my life a year and a half ago: relationships are everything.
I’m not kidding. I had put my career first along with my pride and kept racking up accomplishments like they were points. High GPA, President of blah-blah-blah, working at high-class companies: all of it was garbage. Material things are nothing (although lack of clutter and good aesthetics are really important for your mental health – that was a surprise).
All I cared about, at the end of the day, were my friends and my family. All that mattered to me were the people who I loved and who loved me back. That’s when I started having some real regrets.
What have I done to be a good friend? Throughout the years, I’ve thrown people out and recycled them. I’ve turned good friends into acquaintances. I’ve forgotten birthdays, missed bridal showers, missed the birth of babies, lost touch with people I cared a lot about for the sake of my career. What does a plane ticket even cost if it means letting you be a part of something as important as welcoming your old roommate’s new baby boy into the world?
I don’t regret leaving Los Angeles. I keep revisiting it in my mind. It was such a high to be riding on some weird high horse (and marijuana), counting my accomplishments and patting myself on the back for how quickly I was moving up in my career. I miss being surrounded by art and good parties and so much opportunity.
But what I truly miss most in this world were the times I spent surrounded by good people. The best times of my life were working at Jiminy Peak in high school and being in college (all of it – even Hendrix). I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful people and I wish more than anything in the world that I could be surrounded by them always. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it. Not only have I lost touch with so many of them and we’ve grown into different people, but they’re all living in different parts of the world. I can’t cut myself into little pieces and spend time with all of them. Sometimes I try.
Please do not take your friends for granted. Don’t skip out on a baby shower or a birthday party or Thanksgiving dinner, even. Make time for the people you care about because one day, you won’t have any more opportunities. Maybe your grandparents will have passed away and you missed out on the last dinner you could have had with them. Maybe you had cancelled plans with your best friend just enough times that they’re not going to ask you to hang out anymore. That was the final straw. No, relationships are much too important. They are the essence of life.
Thank you to everyone who spent time with me for my birthday these past few days. I wish, like, 50 more people could be there. I wish all of you could be with me at once.