by Evan Lea, Co-Founder of 44Life
Yesterday at our condo association, I looked on as two young children played games with their grandmother in the backyard. I saw the pleasure in their eyes and heard the thrill in their voices. The young girl repeatedly yelled out to her grandmother, “I NEED to show you something” with great urgency. She wanted to show the grandmother how she could hit a wiffle ball.
I looked on with a deep gaze and in that moment, I flashed back. I thought about how perceptions change, how things become duller and smaller, and how fun and excitement become more difficult to attain as we age. I reflected on how easy it is to get used to looking at something from one angle, how we can get stuck in our habits, and how we can get forget to be present in the mindless march of life.
I thought about life and what it means to be truly alive. I haven’t felt alive like those young children in many years. I thought about the pain involved in growing older: loss, grief, regret, sickness. I’ve used alcohol, nicotine, and drugs to try to squeeze more magical moments of youth from my life. The beneficial effects of drugs have faded. I realize now that through the aging process, our filter of experience changes. Our responsibilities grow, our lives become condemned with the unessential, and we settle for the futile.
I look to the lives of great ones, one particular great one, for advice on such diseasing thoughts. “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” –Steve Jobs.
I want to be a kid. I want to chase my dreams. I’m sick of the status quo, and I’m tired of living in the anguish of mere existence. I want to make a difference in the world because I know that the road doesn’t end when the final song has been sung. I regret every moment of my life where I have not pursued my passions. The only moment I feel childlike is in the moments where I chase what excites me. I will not allow this to continue. I choose my destiny, and it is to chase after all that excites my soul.