Photo by Pat Taylor on Unsplash

The Real Life List

I wrote a “Life List” awhile back on my old blog, somewhere between getting diagnosed with cancer and fighting it off. The list wasn’t anything special really, just something I came up with really quick to give my seemingly meaningless life some meaning.

I did a few of the things. Crossed them off my list, but I never felt connected to those tasks I had claimed to be essential to complete. They never really mattered to me.

And I begin to think about this at 20,000 ft, as I made my way back to the Pacific Northwest I had left behind only a month before. To the boy I had left behind, with my heart. Once again, I craved for my life to have meaning. To have a purpose. What was the point of fighting to stay alive if I wasn’t going to actually live?

The world looks so different from the window view of a 747. Smaller. Less scary. The big cities just flickering lights and unrecognizable shapes. The clouds below you resembling fluffy pillows calling you back to bed.

I remember thinking that the first time I rode a plane nearly 21 years ago. Sitting on my mothers lap, looking out the window in amazement. Clouds. I am flying above the clouds, I thought. Never for a second was I scared, despite my young age. No, I was flying in every sense of the word.

So I decided to make a real list. Something deep and meaningful and not just task that I can cross off. But mantras and words that I can live and breathe by. A list that will help bring me back to the person I used to be, that I have struggled to find again under the weight of my struggles.


  • Read more and remember what it feels like to get lost in the pages of a good book.
  • Yell less. Stress less. Worry less. Breathe. Relax. Roll with the punches. It is not the end of the world.
  • Put everything into words, even the things I am scared to say. Discover my voice and let it be heard. Be a writer.
  • Find a balance between doing what I love and being a responsible adult. Have the best of both worlds.
  • No matter what happens, never give up on love or hide your heart. Never let them win.
  • Become a better person. Actively. Each and every single day. Do better. Be better. Know better.
  • See the beauty this world has to offer. Travel. Explore. Adventure is out there.
  • Learn how to love myself, completely. Even the parts that I wish I could change, the parts that I keep hidden from the world.
  • Find a place to call home.
  • Say “I love you” more to those I do not say it to enough. Say it because I mean it.
  • Dance like nobody is watching. Stop giving a fuck. Stop letting other people’s opinions and judgments dictate my life. You. Only. Live. Once. So, fuck them. Fuckthemfuckthemfuckthem.
  • Never stop dreaming. Never give up on the things that I desire most. Never falter faith that it will get better.