What if I died at 32?
That thought popped into my mind while I was trying to fall asleep a couple nights ago. (I told you I have a morbid imagination!) If I knew I would only live five more years, what would I change?
I almost laughed when I realized it. Most people would want to throw away their everyday lives and go sky-diving and experience all those other adventures they’ve been too afraid to do.
Ok, maybe I’d prioritize travel a little more. But otherwise, not much would change.
I’m married to my best friend. I’ve got a mind full of stories that keep me entertained at all times, and I have the opportunity to get them out onto the screen. I have a master’s degree in a subject that fascinates me and a new job I’ll be starting on Monday (one that will allow me to apply said master’s degree and get a regular paycheck at the same time).
Five years ago, I only had one of those. I was married to my best friend and on a career path I didn’t like. Five years ago, I had just made the decision to leave the grad school program I was in. To pursue what, I didn’t know. I didn’t write fiction; I didn’t think I could. And I had zero job prospects.
How far I have come. How very far.
Whether my life ends in five years, one day, or fifty years, I can honestly say my life has been good, especially in the past five years. I have come to know myself. I have finally accepted my interests and skills. I’ve learned how to occasionally silence my inner critic and paint those walls purple because I want to. And hide in the closet to write because I need to. And dance because I feel like it.
I paint pictures with words. I design and create. I’m a novelist. I’m an artistic soul.
And in five years, I still will be.