Filling the Pages

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Inspiring words, no matter your age. And although I cannot yet say that I am examining my life from the perspective of 20 years ago … I believe I am far enough to say that I wholeheartedly agree with him. Ideally each one of us would look back on our lives and feel no disappointment whatsoever. But realistically, when we do look back—if there is any disappointment present—it most likely lies within the things we did NOT do rather than those we DID do.

The opportunity we did not explore… The path we did not take… The dream we did not chase. The place we did not go… The thing we did not say…

On the night before I went off to college, I sat on my bed journaling. I was thrilled about all of the things that were in front of me. It may sound cliché, but I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. The world was my oyster. Places to go, people to meet and experiences to have. Trying to capture my excitement in ink, I wrote the following: “I feel as though my life is rolled out in front of me like a warm and welcoming stretch of highway. I cannot wait to see where it will lead! Soon these things will be over and the pages of this journal will be full and everything will be a memory.”

I am twice as old today than I was when I penned those words. I am grateful that I grasped that concept when I was only 18 because those very pages are now full of some awesome memories. But I just can’t believe how quickly they filled! As we age and the restrictions of responsibilities creep in, it becomes more challenging to adopt Twain’s philosophy, but it’s not impossible. I believe that his words are not only for the young. As long as we’re breathing there are pages left to fill. Starting now… Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.