No, Really. Go Live.

At 22, I feel like I have the whole world at my finger tips. My best friends and I keep planning trips all around the globe, and as far fetched as they may be, we have to make it happen. We have to see the Pyramids in Egypt, swim in the beaches of Bali, fall in love with the beats of Rio, eat pizza in Verona, listen to the song of the mountains in Austria, walk down Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, run on the Great Wall of China waving to the sky hoping someone will see us, and scream as loud as the lions do in Africa.

Why?

I know a 60 year old man who has to be hooked to an oxygen tank 24/7 because his lung (singular) needs all the help it can get. Walking becomes a chore. Staying in bed all day becomes the norm. He has lost muscle mass because he can’t do any form of exercise and all his physical efforts go into him focusing on inhaling and exhaling. Don’t get me wrong. He can still walk around but maybe just for a few meters or so. More than that, he has to catch his breath.

Just like how any other story goes, one day, he saw a picture of Machu Picchu on facebook. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and I’m sure that you, whoever is reading this, has thought “I want to see that someday!” He thought the same thing but added, “That’s part of my bucket list of places to visit that I am never going to see”.

When I heard that, I couldn’t understand what I felt. Pity? Sadness? Regret for him? Maybe all at the same time? I don’t know. But, I knew what I thought at that moment. And it is what I am sharing with you all today.

An average person has about seventy or so years to live, eighty-plus if you’re lucky. Many of us think that “70 years? That’s more than enough time for me to do the things I want.” In reality, seventy years can honestly feel like 7 seconds. One minute you’re putting on your black shoes for the first day of elementary school, the next minute you’re putting on your black dress shoes for a job interview. The next thing you know, you’re 70 years old wishing you could go see all the places you once wrote down on your list of “Places to see by the time I’m 30” or could do all the things you’ve postponed and said, “Nah, there’s always tomorrow”.

So, to answer the question at the beginning of this post, we have to make the trips happen for this reason: to not regret. I am slowly learning that once you say “no” to an opportunity, how sure are you it’ll come strolling down your path again? I remember one of my high school teachers telling us that Opportunity is this beautiful man with no clothes on (just go with me on this one), drenched in oil (no, really, it’ll make sense), and has a pony tail on his forehead (keep reading…). He appears to you all majestic looking, and you are then awestruck. He’s coming at you fast, and you have only one chance to grab his hair and go with him before it’s too late. If you missed that chance, that second, you’ll find yourself grasping for his arms, legs, but to no avail because you’ll just slip right off. Then, where does that leave you?

Those posts online that go “Life is too short, buy the shoes” make us go, “Ha, yeah right. If only I could, honey”. BUT YOU CAN. Maybe save up for it?

And it doesn’t even have to be about buying things. It could be finally jumping off of a cliff into the ocean, screaming at the top of your lungs when the roller coaster drops, seeing for the first time a wild penguin up close, or dancing in the streets late at night.

It doesn’t have to be an adrenaline rush thing either! Let’s say all your life you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook, paint, sing, or play an instrument. Guess what? YOU CAN. So what if it doesn’t taste good or your painting ends up looking like a 5 year old did it? Practice and keep searching for what you’re good at, and at least you’ll be able to say, “Haha, at least I’ve done it”.

But make sure you’re not hurting anybody or doing something illegal. Maybe don’t rob a store. Maybe… you shouldn’t curse that man for cutting you off. Opportunity isn’t waiting for you down that road.

Make your own sentence that fits you and your story. “Life is short,…” Don’t make the common mistake of waiting and then suddenly regretting. Just be smart, and really, go live.

Human Error

The inability to realize
that no matter what our
religion or gender or race
or geographic background,
we all have about 98 percent
in common with each other.
Yes, the differences between
male and female are biological,
but if you look at the biology
as a matter of percentage,
there aren’t a whole lot of
things that are different.
Race is different purely as a
social construction, not as
an inherent difference. And
religion – whether you believe
in God or Yahweh or Allah or
something else, odds are that
at heart you want the same
things. For whatever reason,
we like to focus on the
2 percent that’s different,
and most of the conflict
in the world comes from that.

– pg 77, Every Day by David Levithan

Random Acts Of Kindness

I’ve recently gone back to my endless Tumblr scrolling nights, and I saw a post that I didn’t want to forget and thought to pass it along to you guys as well. Here’s what the post said:

Have you ever come across a homeless individual and felt totally uncomfortable?

You see them and you know they are in need, but you are not sure what to do. You know that handing them money is not the best thing. But, you also see that they clearly have some needs. Their lips are chapped. They are hungry. They are thirsty. They are asking for help.

How can you help?

Here is a simple idea – blessing bags.

There are so many beggars and homeless people in Manila, from toddlers to really old people. They usually go up to your car while you’re stuck in traffic or at a stop light, knock on your window, and hope that someone rolls it down to give them food, money, or whatever else. Some even approach you while you’re just walking on the street. There are people who are a bit skeptical about the beggars because some believe that they just pretend to beg to get extra money or they, specifically the kids, work for a group who tells the kids to beg for money and give it to whoever’s in charge. Both instances have been proven, but that’s not always the case.

Whenever I see beggars approach my car or me while I’m walking, as much as possible I don’t give them money. Rather, I give them food instead. They’re very thankful after, so it really makes me feel happy to see them happy over a simple granola bar or fries from Mcdonald’s . I really have a soft spot for them!

The blessing bag (if you’ve clicked the link to the post and saw the picture hihi) is just a simple zip lock bag filled with a few crackers, toiletries, socks, and coins that you could keep a few (or a lot!) in your car and just give it to the homeless if you come across one. You can add whatever you want too – whatever you feel that they’d appreciate or really need : )

This is such a brilliant and simple way to just go out of your way to do something for someone else. And it doesn’t even have to be just for the homeless. You can do something nice for a friend, a family member, a co-worker, someone you met on the bus, whoever! Random acts of kindness can totally brighten up your day and everyone else’s!

So, that’s that! Here’s hoping that you, wherever you are, have a fantastic day ahead, and always remember to smile and just let all the positivity flow through you : )

I swear, I lived.

I fell in love with this song the first time I listened to it. It gives me the right push that I cannot give myself to go about my day. I am automatically placed in a better mood after listening to this song because it reminds me that I’m only 20 years old. Now, I don’t say that in a bragging way if any of you were offended. I literally mean that I am just 20 years old. Meaning, I have time to travel, to meet new people, to dance, to overcome fears, to build a career, and whatever else I can do.

I’ve made the mistake of trying to figure life in general immediately countless of times which leads me to panic, and I feel like I just end up looking at things instead of seeing and experiencing them for what they are.  But, I’m learning from that mistake now. This song helps me overcome that.

When I’m 80, I will utter the words, “I swear, I lived”. But for now, 60 years prior to that, I will Carpe-the-shit-out-of-the-Diem and go by the words I wrote on my college yearbook, “…no regrets, just lessons learned and a lot of fun”.