Salt and peppered eyebrows burrow as he squints to find a reflection through the fogged mirror. With a frail hand, he wipes away the steam. Each crease on his face tells untold tales of a life well lived. Many of us sadly, will never have the privilege to earn such wrinkles.
It was 6:00 a.m when I got the call. The shaking, monotone voice on the other end shared devastating news. There had been an accident and PJ, along with another, didn’t make it. This name may be insignificant to you, but to many, he was a well-liked individual who could make anyone’s day. A life so full of talent and possibilities, all of which he never saw. At just twenty years of age, he had barely begun to live.
It is incredible how one incident can change your soul. The accident happened years ago but still, I think of him when a milestone occurs. Things that seem as though they should be a right of passage like living on my own for the first time, making the mistake of having a credit card, or using an iPhone. The joy of getting married, getting my first real job or finally buying a home. Endless experiences he never had.
People die every day. We can all think of someone who’s life was cut too short. It was on that early morning when I realized the power of death and even more so, the significance of life. I started to evaluate relationships I had with my parents, friends, coworkers and random strangers I encountered.
Death shows no prejudice. It reaches the young, old, rich, poor, and famous. It will eventually make its way to the prestigious diplomat and the lowly beggar. It finds its way to every corner of the earth and leaves a hollow mark. One day death will come for me, too. I want to be satisfied when it does.
I’ve wasted far too many days living in regret, in fear, and indebted to everyone else. I have hoped for and dreamed but have given up as soon as it got too difficult. As soon as the critics left their opinions, I shriveled in defeat.
I do not know if I will ever look in the mirror one day to see a wrinkled face. I do not know if I will ever have children, meet the president, or go on the Ellen Show. These are all uncertain dreams I have no control over. I do however have control over how I live each day. I choose to live on purpose. I choose to live with intention. I choose to live in order to change the world around me.
We are unique but somehow tied to the same moon and seconds allotted per day. What will you choose to do with yours? Whatever living life to the fullest looks like to you, I hope you live. Your passions are there for a reason. The things you think about that no one else seems to care for are meant for you to pursue.
Choose to live life on purpose. Wrinkles are guaranteed to none.