This article was written by yours truly, but originally published in the Westminster College Student Newspaper. The Holcad on Friday, October 9th, 2015. You can read more of the paper at Holcad.org
During my sophomore year at Westminster College, I wrote the inspirational column for the Holcad and loved every second of it. Two years ago, almost exactly to the date, I wrote an article called Learning to Juggle and Changing the World in reference to my ever-growing bucket list.
To summarize, I basically explained the importance of how you are never too young to set out to achieve your goals and how one way I tried to monitor that for myself was through an exceptionally organized word document. However the article stopped there. I didn’t talk about how difficult it would be to complete it. I just talked about its existence and my inherent desire to change the world (the last item on the list).
Earlier today, I was having a conversation with a friend, discussing the merits of being bold enough to step out of our comfort zones (to perhaps change the world) when I realized something. Were it not for some very strong influences in my life, I’m afraid I would have let a lot of opportunities pass me by.
I’d like to pretend I’m bold. I’d like to pretend I am really good at being assertive and quirky and doing what I want to do when I want to do it. Of course, that isn’t necessarily the case…at all.
And that’s where the influences come in.
Have you ever had that really cool friend who is just constantly making you feel like all you do is stare at walls? Sometimes I feel like I surround myself with those aforementioned friends. For them, I am grateful, because those are the type of people who inspire without realizing they are doing it. Those friends are the ones who make me want to actively pursue items on my bucket list instead of letting it forever be an expansive file saved to my Mickey Mouse desktop.
It’s easy to make a bucket list. Everyone has things they want to do, places they want to see, skills they want to learn (if you couldn’t guess from the title, one of mine is juggling), but it is not nearly as easy to take the initiative to cross items off.
For example, skydiving was always on my bucket list. Over Easter Break (April) 2014, my friend texted a group of us and asked if anyone wanted to go skydiving next weekend. I thought about it, shrugged, and figured now was as good a time as any.
One week later, I jumped out of a plane.
Sometimes, the best bucket list stories are the opportunities you were brave enough to say yes to. Sometimes, the most memorable moments are the little things that stumble into your lap unanticipated.
Over a month ago, I moved back into Westminster for my last semester. I looked at the college section of my bucket list and realized there was no legitimate reason I wasn’t crossing things off. After all, time was running out.
Thus the “actively pursuing” idea came up.
“I’ve always wanted to try that restaurant…” turned into “let’s go to that restaurant this weekend.”
Now obviously, as I had mentioned in my article two years ago, some things can’t happen overnight. For example, “graduate college” is one of the items on my list and obviously (even though I’m about to blink my way to graduation) time doesn’t technically work like that. But some things can.
Take, for example, this excerpt from sophomore Liz’s writing:
“Anybody who knows me will know that I’ve wanted to learn to juggle since I knew what juggling was. On top of that, I’m nearly certain if I put even a little bit of time and effort into I could pick up basic juggling fairly quickly. Yet here I am, 19 years old, and “learn to juggle” is still at the top of the bucket list. This made me again ponder: what am I waiting for?”
It’s been two years since I wrote that.
I still don’t know how to juggle.
So I get it. It’s tough. Sophomore Liz hasn’t fulfilled her inspirational column advice.
But that’s okay. After all, senior Liz is starting to take some steps in the right direction, and for that I have to thank those influencers.
To all the people who have taught me that it’s okay to step out on a limb and take calculated risks, thank you. You are the reason I’ve become bolder. You are the reason I’m much more apt to apply for the crazy out of reach job. You are the reason I even got our college wrapped up in the Close the Loop Cup clothing drive to begin with.
To every person out there who follows their dreams with unabashed ambitions, thank you. You are the people who have taught me to be an active player in my own future.
On a closing note, if anyone would like to spend a few hours teaching me how to juggle sometime this weekend, it would be greatly appreciated.