In light of recent events (aka the horrible incident that happened in Colorado around midnight last night) I have decided it is indeed time to talk about life, this journey, and what it means.
To be quite honest with you, I think everyone is fully aware that life is short, but a lot of people take that for granted. Far too many people also take life way too seriously. As annoying and overused the phrase “YOLO” is, it is extremely true. As far as we know, you do only live once, so make it worthwhile. Life is too short for regrets, so even if you do regret something, put it behind you and move on. Stop thinking about and living in the past. Live in the present. Live in the present, because this is where you are now, this is the youngest you will ever be again, and frankly, if you don’t you will probably wind up regretting these moments too. I have made a lot of decisions in the past where I am not like “well shit I should have never done [or said] that” but then I put it behind me. Screw regret. It’s just our mind’s way of haunting us.
I was talking to one of my friends today about work, telling him how busy I have been all week working overtime to get everything done that needed to be done. He’s usually not serious - always the one making jokes and the one we go to for a laugh, not advice - but he said something serious and seriously true - “you have the rest of your life to be an adult. You’re in your prime, have fun and do what you want”. That’s something we tend to forget. We’re so busy with school and/or work that we forget to be a kid sometimes. We forget that this is our time - with no kids, no bills to pay, no worries other than school and work - to have fun. This is our time to be adventurous, to stay up all night and have a movie marathon just because we can, to make our dreams a reality.
That’s what this whole bucket list thing is about. It’s about taking things that seem impossible and so far out of our reach, and make them possible. To make our wildest dreams come true. If you would have told me when I started high school that by the time I finished my first year of college I’d have started rowing, driven a four-wheeler, and most importantly, found friends who I can be my complete self around and not care what anyone thinks, then I would have told you you’re effing insane and should probably check yourself into a mental institution. Five years ago I worried about so much - what people thought of me, how my hair looked (god forbid I went au natural), what I got on every single test and quiz, how I acted. I thought I had to be perfect. I think part of it is how I was raised. I love my parents, but there came a point where I just stopped listening to them. I didn’t rebel, but I realized that my parents are the parents that push me to do more and strive for more - nothing is ever good enough. I realized that I could never make them (or anyone) happy if I didn’t first make myself happy. The more I focused on my own personal happiness, the more happy my parents became as well (shocker, shocker right? haha).
This whole incident at the movie theater in Colorado is a horrible reminder of how short life is. We never know when God will decide it is our time to go - whether it will be tragically or naturally. He has a plan for each of us (sorry I’m not sorry for the God-talk you non-believers out there, but this is my blog, I’ll say what I want ;] ) and no one, not even doctors, know what that is. It’s like the infamous case of a doctor telling a patient they have x amount of time to live, and then they wind up living longer. No human knows, only God does. I’m not in any way saying God’s plan for James Holmes was for him to be personally responsible for the largest shooting in U.S. history, killing a dozen people and injuring dozens more, but I am saying people are taken from us all too soon sometimes, because loss teaches us a painful reminder - one that we need. No one goes to a movie theater thinking “Hm, maybe there will be a mass shooting tonight.” There was a 6-year-old, 4-year-old, and 4 month-old baby in that audience. If my parents had taken me to a midnight premier of a movie when I was 6 and I got to wear a costume to boot, I’d have told every kid I knew and every kid I saw. I would never think of something like that could ever happen. As if kids weren’t scared enough of the world, add witnessing a mass murder. I can almost guarantee those kids, along with many other witnesses are going to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The world? Yeah it’s kind of a mess. But of course it is. I researched this guy and it sounds like he didn’t really have many friends, and when he got to Colorado to get his PhD it sounds like he didn’t have any. He went on a downward spiral. He had no friends there, his grades dropped, he started to withdrawal from school, and he started to buy guns. Humans need friends - psychology will tell you that. It’s kind of hard to believe, but in all honesty if he had some friends in Colorado, there’s a chance this tragedy would not have happened. The same goes for the Virginia Tech shooter. There is a recurring trend here, which really gets me thinking about friendship. Everyone deserves a friend. Even just 1 good friend. My friends keep my feet on the ground, and the same could have rung true for those 2 men. But instead, these days (along with many others) will go down in infamy.
“Life is too short to stress yourself with people who don’t even deserve to be an issue in your life.” -Anonymous
Went to college and as it turns out the person I became best friends with owns four-wheelers. So of course when I went to go visit her over Christmas break, she took me four-wheeling and let me drive. Then made fun of me because I was so cautious, but hell, there were a lot of trees around haha sorry I’m not sorry. It was still awesome.
With our 1st year of college behind us, I think it’s safe to say we both left our comfort zones and tried something new.
For me, a girl who hadn’t been in athletics since my freshman year of high school, I became a Division 1 athlete. In high school I had reached that point in my life where I just said I was done with sports. Growing up I was always involved with sports, so to my parents this came as a shock. I always had that feeling like something was missing from my life though. When I got to college there was a meeting for the rowing team - no strings attached and more importantly, no experience necessary. If you wanted to get involved and try it, that was great, but you could also decide it wasn’t for you. After the meeting, I definitely had a feeling it was something I needed to try. After my very first practice on the water, I was hooked. That’s the thing about rowing - it just gets you. Obviously it’s not for everyone - 4 am alarms, 5:30 am rows in 30 degree weather (rain or shine…well more like blackness as the sun has yet to come up), a body that is constantly in pain no matter how many stretches you do to try to relieve it, lactic acid buildup in your muscles (particuarly your legs) from pushing your muscles to near failure, no social life, every hour of my day is schedule, and in case morning practices weren’t enough there are always those infamous 2-a-days - yeah, this is what I have come to willingly put myself through.
I would definitely say I learned a lot about myself via rowing. Never in my life did I ever think I could do this. Rowing is just as mental as it is physical. You have to be trained to learn that your mind will tell you to stop, but your body will keep going, you just have to push through the hell. Yeah it sucks when my entire body is in an extreme amount of pain, but it feels awesome after when you’re on your rowing high (and when you get to eat a bajillion calories a day because rowing is one of the highest calorie-burning sports. It’s just my excuse to eat all the time and only get semi-judged for it.)
As for Audrey, she auditioned and performed in a play - something she said she would do in high school but never got time for. And she also ran a half marathon…in freaking Disney World with the characters along the sides cheering the runners on. Lucky bitch. But I can’t speak too much for her because we go to different schools so lord only knows if she tried anything else new (oh and she brought her best friend some cuppy cakes to one of her races near Audrey’s school hehe yeah she’s my favorite person :p )
We constantly add stuff to it, but here’s what we have so far:
- Go skydiving
- Go wingdiving in the Netherlands
- Swim with dolphins
Go to the zoo again [done] Go to the aquarium again [done]
- Travel to Australia
- Swim with sharks in Australia
- Travel to Germany
- Travel to London
- Go surfing again
- Go in a wind tunnel
- Take a road trip
- Travel to Canada
- Shoot a gun
- Inspire someone
- Be a good role model
- Go SCUBA diving again
- Go snorkeling
- Make a big donation to charity
- Meet someone famous and have a conversation with them
- Go to the Olympics
- Go to at least 1 FIFA world cup game
- Make a difference
- Send a message in a bottle
- Get a dog (Marissa)
- Run up the Philadelphia art museum steps like Rocky
- Give a stranger a $5 bill
- Say “yes” to every yes or no question for a day
- Drive a boat
- Learn how to sail
- Fall in love
- Get married
- Go to a world series game
Go to collegeand graduate [1st part done] Graduate from High School [done]
- Attend a PSU football game
- Run a marathon
- Do a triathlon
- Do the polar bear plunge
- Meet a famous athlete
- Go to Seattle
- Pet an elephant (Marissa)
- Go cliff diving
- Peaceful protest something
- Backpack through Europe
- Speak in a bunch of different accents in a conversation to confuse people
- Eat breakfast at Blue Moon Cafe
- Climb a mountain
- Learn how to do a snowboard trick (Marissa)
- Take a spontaneous trip
Go to a midnight premier of a movie [done]
- Have a food fight
- Try luge and/or skeleton
Tailgate [done] Go to an Army-Navy football game [done] Get into college [done]
- Flip into a pool
- Try trapeze
- Run around in the snow with shorts and a t-shirt on (Marissa)
Get a picture on a boat and have the caption say “I’m on a boat!” [done]
- Successfully get off of a ski lift (Marissa)
- Stay overnight in the ice hotel
- See Macklemore in concert
- Travel to Atlantis
- Go to Sundance Film Festival
- Dress like a hipster for a day
- See the Northern Lights in person
- Go to the color-by-number museum in PDX and submit my own “artwork”
- Climb the Sydney Bridge in Australia
- See the Great Barrier Reef in person
- Travel to Greece
- Be in 2 places at once
- Go to the trampoline park in Denmark
- Dress up as Harry Potter characters for a whole day (other than Halloween)
Go to Georgetown Cupcakes and (of course) get some dang cupcakes! [partially done - had the cuppycakes, Audrey went, Marissa didn’t]
- Get a tattoo (Audrey)
- Donate blood (Audrey)
- Get a book published
- Reenact the “THIS IS SPARTA!” scene from 300
- Don’t use 1 arm for a day (not trying to be offensive with this one so please don’t take it the wrong way - it’s just a way to help us realize how good we have it and how we should appreciate what we have)
- Go to a Dropkick Murphys concert
- Watch rehabbed turtles be returned to sea
- Let a floating lantern up into the sky
- Stay at the Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji
- Cheer on random strangers in public
Say hi and wave to random strangers in public [done] Try something new at college [done]
- Try Archery (Audrey: Complete - Marissa: Not Complete)
Drive a four-wheeler [completed]
"This is your ‘one wild and precious life,’ and it’s up to you to decide what to do with it. Nothing should be out of reach.” -Jonnie Penn"-The Buried Life book
So last summer, TBL tweeted our friend Nate’s TBL-inspired blog. He has an amazing and inspiring story and this is basically his journey back to health and back to being a normal teenager. So I think it’s about time I post his website if any of you want to read it :)
And to the buried life: thank you guys so much this meant the world to him to have the people that inspire him most post this and recognize him, and it meant the world to me to have my best friend, who has gone through so much, be probably the happiest/most excited he had been in long time and feel like all the crap he went through was worth it. You guys helped to keep him fighting through everything, and you guys helped him be here today - happy and healthy and on his way to his next adventure (college) this fall.
Yep. This happened and I feel like a boss, but i’ll stop quoting lonely island songs :) (even though they are pretty awesome haha)
I picked up rowing in college, took 1 of my pictures from a meet, and posted it to facebook with the caption “I’m on a boat”
Win? I think so. Another list item off the list? Definitely.
I actually crossed this one off in the summer, but hell, college is time consuming. Seriously you don’t really know until you get there just how freaking time consuming it is. Conveniently, my little cousin had her birthday party at a zoo, so I got to cross off a list item without even really trying…for once. :)
This was probably one of the most fun bucket list items. Ever. No joke.
In Disney World we did this, and it became sort of a game. We’d wave to people and say hi, and if someone waved back We’d cheer and shout “THANK YOU!!!!!”
Probably the best reaction was from a guy our age. We waved and said hi, as usual, and then he walked over and said: “Hi!!!! Do I know you?” Of course we said no and explained what we were doing and we had a quick conversation with him, and if he is reading this (slim chance, we forgot to mention our little “project”), then sir, you are awesome.
I (Marissa) also saw one of the extras they called out from the audience for the Indiana Jones and said “HI! YOU DID GREAT IN THE INDIANA JONES SHOW!!!!!” He was flattered.
Probably one of my favorite days in the park.
Did I mention we are very enthusiastic people? :)
For senior week, we went to Disney World with some friends, and to help cope with our depression of leaving the happiest place on earth, we walked right into a big crowd and started cheering the people on. We yelled things like “WOOHOO! YOU GO INTO THAT PARK!” “GO! GO! GO! HAVE FUN!” and so on. The confused and “what kind of freaks are these people?” stares made it even better, and crossed another item off the list. BOOM.
Okay, okay, so it wasn’t midnight. It was still one in the morning and I’m still crossing this one off the list, because it was close enough, I arrived at midnight, and it was AWESOME! haha
Saw a 1:00 am premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It was AMAZING and depressing at the same time because it marked the end of an era :(
The theater was packed, I drank 24 ounces of coffee beforehand and couldn’t stop shaking until around 5:30 am , my friend shouted “WHO’S EXCITED?!” in between some of the previews when it was quiet, and everyone freaked. People were dressed up (I went as Hermione), I stayed awake for a full 24 hours, and through it all Audrey was asleep at home because she had to get her wisdom teeth out the following morning. Sucks, I know.
Oh and did I mention I saw it twice on opening day? It was so good I saw it again that night. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should go see it. Seriously. :)
Okay, so Audrey was lame and had to work. I crossed this one off with another friend. May i just add it was the 1st time I have ever driven out of state, and the 1st time I drove for over an hour (glad to know I have had my license for 2 years).
Took a road trip to visit friends at the beach and stay the night. By the time we got our bathing suits and sun block on, and our butts down to the actual beach it got all cloudy and started to rain. Fun stuff, I know. Haha but at least it was sunny the following day and at least we crossed off another list item! (Of course I forgot my camera and the one on my phone was broken, so no picture or video for this one)
Well, it’s only been forever and a day since we updated, so it’s about time to do so.
We wrote countless papers, pulled some all-nighters, became caffeine addicted due to said all-nighters, made some really awesome friends along the way, and we are now gradumacated! Schwing! (Wayne’s World anyone?) Well we actually graduated over a month ago, but hey, it’s been a busy summer, and now that we’re off to college in less than a month, I figured it was time to update this tumblr with everything we have crossed off over the summer.