Life is a gift that we all acquire the day we are born and we can do with it whatever we wish. Be forewarned, though, that tomorrow is not promised.
And time only flows in one direction.
I have experienced many things in my thirty-six years. Some things have enriched my life more than others but everything I’ve been through has turned me into the man I am today. And the things I experience from this point on will continue to mold me as I get older.
Here are a few things I believe everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
I’m truly blessed y’all. I’ve been to quite a few destinations and each one has opened my mind to different cultures, foods and scenery. Had I never done any traveling then I would know nothing about the beauty of walking through the picturesque Eivissa in Ibiza, Spain. Or waking up on a lawn chair in Bangkok after a wild night of partying. Or even standing on the crest of a beach in Cancun looking out over sapphire waters. Travel brings new perspective. It cleanses away everything you thought you knew about a destination by giving you tangible experience that you will either use to go back again or use to mark it off on your list and keep it moving. I recommend everyone take at least one major trip in their lifetime. Preferably to an international location but if your pockets can’t afford a long expensive flight there are plenty of really cool places to visit here in the US. Some of my favorites in no particular order are Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Chicago. And for an international trip you’ve gotta go to London, Cape Town, Berlin, Amsterdam (oh Hell Yes!) and Buenos Aires.
I know, I know. Karaoke is super cheesy and corny, right?
Karaoke is fun as hell, and I’ll tell you why. You get to perform in a room full of drunk people who won’t boo you no matter how bad you are. Plus it teaches you the importance of not taking yourself too seriously. I’ve been to Karaoke Night’s at bars where some people would get up and sing so well you would have thought Patti had just arrived or Luther snuck out of the grave for one last performance. And then on the flip side I’ve heard some people assault my ears with voices made out of razor blades and glass. Either way, in both instances, the singer got up, performed and then sat down. They didn’t think about it they just did it. It’s fun. It’s a release. It’s entertaining. You should at least try it once because even if you don’t sing you’ll be amazed at some of the shit you’ll hear come out of people’s mouths. And that’s always a good laugh.
I can not stress this one enough but here’s the main reason why I feel as though this is very important.
Your job values you (hopefully). You make a definite contribution to your organization (hopefully), and people like you (hopefully). That’s all well and good. But a job is only supposed to comprise eight hours of your entire day. Some of us work after hours, or come in on Saturdays or just become so bogged down with the responsibility of our positions that taking any time off seems unfathomable. “What if something happens?” you ask yourself. Or your quick go-to response for why you never take any time off is “You don’t understand, I’m busy at work!’
Are you too busy to tell your job to go fuck off for a day or two? Hell, no one should ever be that busy to the point where they can’t take any time off at all. And I don’t mean taking a vacation where you use all of your days at once. I mean just having a day for yourself. It is so very necessary to remember that your job may be important but if you’re not taking care of yourself to relieve some of the stress that work and home life can bring then you’re not doing your job any justice by dropping dead from a heart attack. All of the stress and all of the strain you’re putting yourself through won’t matter to them because they’ll just find someone to replace you and move on.
Let that marinate while you select your next day off.
Try Something New
Whether it’s taking a class or trying out a different hairstyle you should never turn away an opportunity to incorporate something new into your life. Listening to new music exposes you to artists you’ve never heard of. Trying new foods expands the horizons of your palette. Hell, even watching a new television show can open up your world because it introduces opportunities to discuss episodes with other people. You’d be amazed at how something as small as trying something new can reap huge rewards. For example, a few years ago I decided to try something new by starting a blog. Here I am now writing content for my own blog as well as building my resume by writing for a few additional blogs to get my name out there. And it’s only the beginning. Trust me, you don’t want to remain stagnant and complacent in an old routine.
Live, Love, Laugh
Life is short and none of us are immortal. We don’t have expiration dates stamped onto our bodies so we don’t know when it will end or how it will end. But to focus on that one fact is counterproductive because, ironically, the opposite of death is life. So LIVE. Follow your dreams. Laugh when its necessary. Love your family and your friends more than you love the things you own. Fall in love as many times as necessary until you get it right because being hurt builds character and makes you stronger. Let your voice be heard but always be mindful of respecting other people’s opinions because no two people are alike. Your life is your chance. It is your opportunity. It is the only shot you have at touching the lives of those you know by your example. It is the only chance you will have to embrace the reality of breathing, walking, dreaming, fighting, fearing, loving, hating, learning and living. Don’t just exist. Live.
These are just a few of the elements I use in the recipe of my life, and you may use as many of the ingredients as you wish. Yet ultimately, your life can only be seasoned by you. Please add as much flavor as you possibly can.