Wait, I haven’t lived my life yet!

That moment when you realise that death is real.

As we ascended into the air, it was like any other flight I’ve been on, dozens of times. Goodbye Phnom Penh. Within 15 minutes of take-off, the plane starts to shake. And then it starts to really shake. Without warning, the plane starts to drop, I grip onto the armrests and I scream. Looking across the aisle at my new friend I made on the Project Gen Z trip, we sense each other’s fear and she reaches out to hold my hand tightly. I close my eyes and for what feels like an eternity meshed into 3 minutes, I started to recite the Our Father. I’m not religious but I somehow remember the words and recite it 3 times.

The plane starts to settle. I start breathing again and look around. Everyone is shaken, some are in tears. Well, except for this little girl two seats to my right. Not any older than 4 years old, she sits there with her oversized headphones and she’s still staring at the small screen in front of her. She’s not crying or scared, she’s indifferent. Perhaps at that age, she is immune to the fear of death.

I remember the first time I experienced severe turbulence. I was 21 heading to New York, alone. It was so extreme that the bags in the overhead compartments fell out onto the aisles. When we landed in New York, 11 hours later, the whole plane cheered. I remember how petrified I felt, with tears rolling down my face and thinking that I was way too young to die because I hadn’t lived my life yet.

Overtime my fear of turbulence and flying went away because I told myself that if I were to die in a plane crash, there was nothing I could do about it. I’ve lived a good life and I should go gracefully. So it was a surprise to me that on the flight on Saturday, I experienced such intense fear about death. For a split second, I relived that I feeling I felt at 21. Wait! I haven’t lived my life yet. Please Universe, I’m not ready to die.

Odd. Now I’m 11 years older, shouldn’t I have lived my life by now? Why did I feel as though I hadn’t lived my life yet?

This must be a sign. Someone is telling me to wake up. I start to ponder about if I were to drop dead tomorrow, what would I have wanted to do?

I start to scribble: I want to paint. Paint like Allie in the Notebook. I want to watch a live soccer match, Chelsea in particular. I want to swim in the Blue Lagoon with a hot bikini on. I really want to finish a full marathon that I’ve been meaning to do for the last 3 years. I want to give a random person a hug. I want to fall in love.

Before long I realised that I was creating a bucket list. I’ve always had long to-do lists related to work but never a life bucket list. In the midst of the busyness of life and work, I forgot that life is meant for us to choose experiences and memories for ourselves too.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A person that lives fully is prepared to die any time.”

So this weekend I’m going to create a list of 100 dreams – basically it’s a completely unedited list of anything you might want to do or have more of in life.

Do you have a list? Share with us one thing you would like to tick off before that day comes, perhaps it will inspire someone else to do the same. Perhaps you want to start a list as well if you don’t have one.

Stay fresh & peachy!

Sheryl Thai

CEO | League of Extraordinary Women

P.S. I also found this site to be extremely useful for inspiration and creating a list www.bucketlist.org