First and foremost, I am not dead so please do not call my mom and offer your condolences (although, if you want to send some flowers or food and donate money to a worthy cause in my name, feel free to do so!)
I am not dead but if I was, you would probably say lots of nice things about me, even if you hated me and thought I was the nastiest thing to exist. If we talked a couple of times in high school or middle school, you might make a sappy Facebook post in hopes of getting some likes and attention. If I killed myself, my family would become advocates for suicide prevention for a few months. If I was struck by a drunk driver, my friends would sign petitions to never drive under the influence, but pick up the bottle to drown their sorrows.
People would be upset over my death for a short period of time, but would fail to celebrate the accomplishments of my life. I have often thought of what would be said in my obituary or eulogy, not because I wish to die but simply because I wonder what impact I have truly made on my time here on Earth.
Of course, I want people to say nice things about me when I die and can no longer represent myself, but I want the words to be genuine. I want to be described by words such as kind, helpful, and inspiring. I want to positively touch as many people as I can in my lifetime. I want to change lives and act as a positive role model to the people I encounter.
If I do not live as much of my life as intentionally and adventurously as possible, I will be filled with regret when faced with death. I will be honest, I do often catch myself slipping away from living my best life possible, but I am human and I am flawed. I try my hardest to try new things and take on new challenges, not necessarily as a way to inspire others or make a positive impact on others, but to help me achieve a life of minimal regrets.
How would it feel if the nicest thing your loved ones can say in your eulogy is “she was always really well dressed” or “he drove such a nice car”? To the people of this world who value material things and appearances over being a source of love and joy to others, please consider your choices and know that they will not be fulfilling at the end of the day. I can almost guarantee you that when you are old and gray (or maybe even young and unexpecting), and you are lying in a hospital bed surrounding with those that you love, knowing that your heart only has the capacity to pump for a little longer, you will not be looking back on life and thinking about if you wore nice make up or had the most expensive shoes. You will be thinking about all of the great things that you did (or didn’t) do with your limited time here on Earth. You will be thinking about the times when you let your hair down, jumped in the river, and experienced life to the fullest. You will be thinking of the people who meant the most to you. You will be thinking about the legacy you will leave by the impact that you have made on every life that you have touched.
Stop sweating the insignificant things that distract you from what is truly important. It is okay if your freshly straightened hair gets wet or you ruin your new shoes. Take the jump.