I was having a hard time thinking about what to write about for my last Young Voices column. Was there any last piece of advice or information I could share that would be meaningful for the audience? I found myself pondering this recently as I sat at a blood drive having my blood drawn.
This was no stray thinking on my part; I was actively forcing myself to think of anything other than the needle in my arm. It was not the first time I had donated blood, nor will it be the last. But no matter how many blood drives I’ve been to, I am always scared when I sit in that chair. And I always make myself do it, regardless of my fears.
It is this mentality that I would like to share with you. And it is one that I find myself increasingly needing to conjure up. Having just started my senior year of college, life has gotten both very exciting and extremely frightening. I have no idea where I will be a year from now or what I will be doing, but there are many possibilities. I have goals and dreams that I hope to reach, but nothing is guaranteed in this life.
That’s why I’ve decided to live my life in the same way I experience a blood drive. I am going to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, no matter how scared I might be. I think it’s better to have tried and failed, than to be held prisoner by fear. What person wants to get to the end of their life and look back on what might have been?
People transitioning to a new stage in life will often say that they have “no regrets” about the things they are leaving behind. I don’t think that can possibly be true.
Looking back at the past three years of college, I can say with certainty that there are things I regret doing or saying. But the things I didn’t say or didn’t do are what I regret more. And that’s where the lessons were learned. Regrets teach us what we really want for our future.
Everyone, young and old, have things they want to do in this life. So I urge you to dust off that bucket list. Pull it out of the back closet or reach into the corners of your mind.
What is the thing that scares you the most? Make that your first priority. It won’t be easy, but it’s not supposed to be. Turn the regrets of yesterday into hope for the future. Dream. Love. Be brave. Don’t let fear hold you back. I leave these as my parting words.
Thank you to everyone who took time to read what I’ve written this past year. I’ve loved sharing my thoughts with you all.