Before I Die

If you haven’t heard of the Before I Die Wall, the idea started with artist Candy Chang of New Orleans, LA. A close friend of hers had died unexpectedly, prompting her to think about all the things she would regret not doing, if she were to die then. In response, she created a mural that went viral around the world.

There’s nothing like dying to make you think about living. Sometimes we don’t fully live because we’re caught up in the tyranny of the urgent–things that need to get done, rather than things we want to do. So much of my adult life has felt that way, but I have learned to make time for the things I want to do. Often.

Here are some of the things I’m dreaming of and working towards.

Before I die, I want to visit the Maldives and spend a few nights in a glass-bottomed villa on the ocean. I think I would die happy right then. Speaking of oceans, I want to own a house by a warm ocean because I can’t imagine anything better than waking up and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. I’ll just have to make sure it’s a part of the ocean not prone to tsunamis. I’m a little tickled that my top dream is ocean-related, but you were expecting that by now, weren’t you?

I want to maximize my power to get wealth, owning several businesses and using them for good. Having grown up around many people struggling with poverty, with my own family hovering a mere few rungs up the ladder, I know that there is so much more that I can personally do to alleviate poverty around the world.

I want to speak for the African continent on an international level and in a variety of ways. Whether it is influencing development policy and international business, or as a creative voice in writing, fine art, design and film, I want to see a greater worldwide recognition and appreciation of the awesomeness of the African continent and her remarkable peoples. As it should be, since Africa is the cradle of life.

Before I die, I want to meet the love of my life and marry him, making our lives even more wonderful together than they were separately. I’m actually really excited about this because I have a feeling it will happen soon. So many of my peers are jaded when it comes to love and marriage, yet everyone is still looking for love. Having watched my parents enjoy a wonderful marriage and raise the extraordinary people that my siblings and I have become, I am optimistic that the same joy will be mine, and even greater.

What are some of the things you would like to do before you die? Maybe you’ve put some dreams on the shelf because they seem ridiculous or impossible to fulfill. Take them out of the closet, dust them up, and give them a chance to sprout wings. You just never know. Anything is possible. I like to think of Lewis Carroll’s brilliant quote in Alice in Wonderland, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed six impossible things before breakfast!”

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” ~Lucius Anneaus Seneca

Image: Krzysztof Szkurlatowski

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