Today, I came across this list. It’s called “143 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Die.” A bit morbid, I know, but they were actually quite interesting. I’m not planning on leaving the planet anytime soon, but I took the time to go through them and simply think about whether or not I had tackled the ideas in my head before…if they were new or old questions…if they were things I can even imagine myself answering…or if they were ones I really don’t want to know the answers to. All this and more. Perhaps the one that stirred me the most (at least for now) was #27: “What is your motto for this era of my life?” I took this to mean what’s the motto for this time in my life/where I am at now. I think it’s really neat to ask yourself questions like this, even if an answer is not necessarily apparent. For me, my answer came straight to my mind.
At the beginning of my senior year (so this past fall), at the beginning of the semester, a good friend and teammate alumni, Ellie, commented on my Facebook status. I had made a post about it being my last first day of school, and how I was nervous and excited for where senior year was going to go. I will never forget what she wrote in reply. “Enjoy the heartbreakingly beautiful ride that it is.” Her words struck a chord in my heart. Though heartbreaking, the time was going to be beautiful, and from that moment, I decided to not let the days pass me by.
But here I am, on my last spring break training trip with my team, and all I can think about is how fast this year has flown by. How many moments I’ve enjoyed that I will never forget! But how many moments I will never have again! Spring Break marks that point where the semester becomes a slippery slope to summer – and while normally I’m excited for it, I find myself sitting here a bit terrified. It’s just the beginning of a long list of “lasts” that are going to be happening. I don’t know if I’m ready for it.
That’s why I try to keep Ellie’s words in my mind. I want to enjoy this ride, and acknowledge how beautiful and heartbreaking it is. I want to embrace the opportunities, strengthen the relationships, appreciate each moment for what it is – more time with people I love in a place that I love. I can honestly say that this year has been great so far, and I know it will only continue to be so. Keeping in mind Ellie’s wisdom will help to make the end of the year just as good (if not better) than the first part.
The idea of thinking about a motto that defines this period in my life makes me also question what next? What motto will be defining me after graduation? What about after I get a job? What then? Yet I step back and realize that I need to focus on now – I need to live in the moment and be present to the situation that I am in right now. Why is that so important? Because otherwise, I will be missing the scenery of this “heartbreakingly beautiful ride,” and I can’t think of something I’d regret more.
What is your motto? Do you know it? More importantly, do you actually live it out?
And a verse for tonight…I’m thinking it’s pretty appropriate! : “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-27