Thoughts Part II

If you’re reading this, I apologize in advance for my mindless rambling with a sappy ending. Read at your own risk!

Since coming to Rome, I’ve done a lot of thinking about where I want to travel. This has spurred other thoughts, thoughts about the things I want to do and see in my lifetime. I started making a bucket list the other day in a notebook given to me by a friend before I left for the semester.

I am so thankful for every opportunity that I have had thus far. I mean, I’ve done a lot of things and visited a lot of places in my 20 years on this planet. I’ve witnessed a presidential inauguration, had a celebrity encounter, traveled out of the country, gone swimming in the ocean, visited both Disney World and Disney Land, ridden a roller coaster, ran up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (just like Rocky did), and seen Coldplay in concert. There are probably thousands of other things that I’m forgetting to mention, but you get the idea.

While I have done a lot of things, there will always be more that I want to see and do. Some things that I have wanted to do (but have never written down) are to take the high speed train under the English Channel (which will be happening this spring break) and to go to Finland (which will hopefully happen while I am here in Rome). Some other things are pretty typical, like wanting to start a family or own a home. Some are even a little crazy, like wanting to run a marathon and qualify for Boston.

I’ll give you a brief overview of my list. Someday I plan to live in New York City, write a book, and open my own photo studio. I would like to become proficient in another language, visit a rain forest, and go to the Olympic Games. I will someday visit the Yukla 27 memorial in Alaska on September 22nd, the date of my uncle’s death. I hope to do this with the rest of my family.

There are other things, though. Things that are more abstract. Things like finding a job that I love doing. Things like learning for bargain as well as my dad and how to be as compassionate as my mom.

But where do these ideas come from? I can guarantee that if I had written a list a year ago, or a month ago for that matter, it would have been much different.

I am constantly amazed by the impact that others have on our lives. From the music you like to the food you eat, somebody or their influence prompted you to try it out. We are all a combination of everyone we have ever met. This combination will continue to change with each passing day, as we meet new people and try new things.

Some things on my list are easier to accomplish than others. I registered for my first marathon a few weeks ago and couldn’t be more scared. It will take place on October 16 in Des Moines, Iowa. Some things on my list will take a lifetime to achieve, like making new friends wherever I go and devising my own recipe for baking a dessert. Taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone are the only ways to really live your life. I am up for this challenge.

I know that my list will never be complete. I am perfectly content knowing that my interests will change and that I will never be able to do everything that I want to do. The funny thing about life is that there are some things that you never even realized you wanted to do until you were already doing them. I think that the whole purpose of making a bucket list is to find things that you have never dreamt of doing. After all, I’ve surprised myself quite a bit in the past few years. I never anticipated going to school in a big city or studying abroad in a foreign country.

But you know what? I wouldn’t change anything that has happened so far. Life is precious. Cherish every moment and don’t waste time trying to be something you’re not.

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About Austin Sears

I'm a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in sociology and minoring in urban studies and photography. The purpose of this blog is to document my semester abroad in Rome!
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