“I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys “R” Us kid…” How many times have you sung this little ditty in response to someone mistaking you for an adult? I may be a tad closer to forty than thirty now, but I’ve often said that I refuse to grow up. I’ve come to learn this week, though, that there is a difference between growing up and allowing yourself to embrace your inner child as a responsible adult. There’s something to be said for figuring out what it is you want to do with this life, and then actually going out and doing it.
On Wednesday morning, I learned of the death of long-time friend Derek Miller. Derek had been battling cancer for several years, and decided with his wife and physician back in November to suspend treatment. He wanted to live the rest of his life on his own terms – in his own way. I admire him for that. I’m not sure I would have the courage to do the same thing.
My initial reaction to the news of his death was sadness, much like the rest of our community. I also became angry, railing at Fate or God or whoever decided it was “time” to take such a young and GOOD person from this Earth – from his family and friends. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, though, a different thought took shape. I began to ask myself what it is I can learn from Derek’s life and his too-soon death. After all, aren’t we supposed to learn and grow from every experience we go through?
It’s time to grow up. Stop wasting your time drifting through life. I’m not only talking about your education and career. Figure out the things that are truly important to you. Decide what you want to do with your life and freaking do it already. Who cares if you fail? At least get your butt out there and try. Forget waiting for someday to get here so you can learn to para-sail or program or whatever else it is you keep putting off. Someday isn’t ever coming, my friends.
Don’t waste your life. Go after your dreams, even if they seem impossible. Reach for the stars, push yourself beyond the limits you think you have and just generally light a fire under your ass. Work hard, play hard and let that inner child have fun along the way.
Live your life.