When I was almost 25, I suffered what I thought was the greatest heartbreak of my life. I broke up with my first love and I was lost. I didn’t know who I was without him because people often greeted me by saying his name right after. All of my dreams also involved him or so I thought.
On my own in his home city and not mine, I decided to write down all of things I didn’t do because I figure he or my parents would disapprove. On the top of the list, get a tattoo and write a book.
On a clear Saturday, my roommate at the time and I drove to one of the oldest tattoo shops in the little Italy section of Providence, RI. We both got inked. I chose a black panther clawing it’s way out of flames because I felt it embodies what I was going through at the time. When I look at the Santa sweater I chose for day 9 of my Christmas countdown, it reminds me of that day.
When I got home, I decided it was time to live where I wanted: New York/ New Jersey. And, there was no better time to start writing a book. So, I quit my first job at a TV station in Boston and did both things. However, in the years since, like a lot of people, I stopped look at my massive life to do list (bucket list) and I’ve been going through the motions each day with a few exceptions.
I only really thought about my list again when I realized my mother was dying. Before she passed, I asked her if she had any regret or missed out on anything in her life. She said, “no. I would’ve liked to have seen Australia but otherwise I had a great life. I saw the world, bought a home, married the love of my life and had great kids who a doing well the world. I cared for my mother whe she was sick and got to kisss my dad goodbye. I’ve endured enough pain. I just want to rest now.”
Her words echo in my head every day as I figure out what make my life to do list as I go forward. She was at peace when she passed at 69 because she’d accomplished the things that made her happy. I don’t know when my time will be up but I do know I want to have few regrets/ missed opportunities like my mother. Don’t you?
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