There was supposed to be Rapture last week.  There wasn’t, but people spent their life savings and waited for the world as we know it to end.  People tried to cram a lifetime into a day for fear that time was up for us all, a reality people with terminal diseases and chronic conditions face every day.  What causes this panic?  What causes people who have sat around complaining about life and never taking a chance suddenly try to change it at the last minute?  Furthermore, what if that moment of living was what ended the world as one knew it?  If you knew that the experience of a lifetime would cause your death would you relish the moment or risk never living?

This is not a simple question.  It’s one we would all like to say we know the answer to, but would we all have the nerve if we knew for certain what the end looked like?  If Amelia Earhart had known we’d be pondering her disappearance decades later would she have ever learned to fly?  Would Abraham Lincoln or John F Kennedy have become an accountant instead of President of the United States?  Would any of us take the chances and risks for our passions that we do?

I’d like to say I would, and there have been times when I’ve made decisions that could have lead to some terrible end for me.  I’ve hitchhiked, I’ve followed complete strangers through unfamiliar cities for a fling, and I’ve done some pretty stupid stunts on a dare.  In retrospect, maybe those decisions were ill advised, but it brings up another realization.  At some point in my life I started to fear the world instead of embrace it.  At some point I let everything cause me anxiety.  Who knows how many opportunities I’ve missed.  Gods only know how often my head jumps to the worst case scenario.

In the last few months I’ve been faced with some pretty tough decisions and realities, and I have come to the conclusion that if it all came crashing down tomorrow there will have been moments I haven’t lived because I’ve held myself back.  This is unacceptable.  This is not who I am.  This is not who I want to be on my deathbed, wherever and whenever that may be.

Because of this realization I have instituted changes.  I have been completely honest at times when maybe I should have kept my mouth shut.  I have let my heart be broken and my pride be hurt.  I have left myself open and vulnerable, and I have fallen.  On the other hand I have a new girlfriend and some wonderful memories.  I have had the opportunity to love without fear and the comfort of knowing I survived the only possible result of that love.  I have taken control of my career and refused to let indiscretions slide.  I have spoken my mind and been validated.  I have been open about my lifestyle and how I choose to live, and even if I have been negatively judged I am confident and free.  If my life ends tomorrow, I will end it knowing I have been true to myself and open to the world.  I may not yet have experienced all I want to in life, but I will have taken hold of the moments to me and lived them.  In between the mundane responsibilities and chores in life I have made the memories that will sustain me in my last moments.

My answer to the original question.  Yes, I would relish the moment.  As I recently told Hubby, you’re not a failure until you stop trying.  Never stop trying.  Never stop living.  Never stop experiencing life.  Of all the risks, don’t let the one you take be the risk of regret.

Go now! Make a memory!