For as long as I can remember, I have had a plan. I planned to pass my national primary school exams with flying colours and get into a good high school and do well in my exams and go to a good university and get my degree and get a husband and 2.5 kids and a picket fence. No one ever told me I would have to live to get there or that the best laid plans often come apart simply because life happens. Nobody warned me that it was about the journey and not the destination. I have only recently started savouring the journey…pausing to take it all in. How I wish I had learnt this lesson sooner. I’m only in my twenties but I feel like I already missed a lot. Luckily for me, I’m young enough to make a meaningful change.
Watching my mother die was the source of many lessons but the one that stands out the most for me is this one. She put her life on hold for everyone else: her siblings, her children. She didn’t do nearly enough for herself. She didn’t date. She worked her fingers to the bone. I love my mother in ways words can not fully express. When I think about her death, what breaks my heart is not only that she is no longer here, but that she never had a chance to live. I wish she had dated. I wish she had laughed more. I wish she had been less tired. I wish she had stopped for one day, to just be. I have found myself in a situation like hers where i must look after my siblings. In honour of my mother I will fulfil my duties to my family, because that is what she taught me. I will also live because she taught me that too without ever meaning to. Live, love, laugh, be ambitious, succeed, make babies, have sex, make your mistakes, embarrass yourself, impress, grow, hurt, heal, give, fall, get up, shop, wear red lipstick, cry, smell the roses, notice the blue sky……but do it all at once. Its called living.
Its not just about getting to my destination but also about living on the way there, after all