May you live to be this old and happy...
But the hard truth is, you might not. You could die tomorrow. I mean, odds are, you probably won't. But what if you did? Would you be doing what you're doing right now? Would the people you love really know you do? Is there maybe that one thing - that one secret thing - you've always wanted to do you'd regret you didn't?
I'm an ordinary person who lost several young friends to tragedies and developed a real fear that I might not make it to the happy age of Elaine Stritch in the photo above. At first, it sucked. I was scared all the time. I'd have weird visions of my loved ones dying unexpectedly. I felt paralyzed by the possibility of death around the corner. Plus, it's pretty damn grim. But one day, I woke up on a beautiful Tuesday morning and grimaced because I had to trade the sun for a cubicle. The thought crossed my mind: If I were to die tomorrow, what would I do today? And so I called in sick that morning and enjoyed the sunshine. I felt so alive. I carpe diem'ed the hell outta that day.
Soon after, my colleague and adventure idol Dan Fredinburg died in the Nepal quake while climbing Everest. After that, I experienced a radical shift in perspective. I realized that he knew he might die on that mountain, but that he had to climb it to truly live.
My fear of dying shifted into an insane zeal for life. I am filled with gratitude just to be alive. Remembering that I might die tomorrow has given me clarity to what's important to me, become my ultimate gut check, inspired me to make my dreams happen now. I smile more, and I tell people I love them. I'm so happy just to be alive.
In early 2016, I quit my job at Google and left behind my life as I knew it to fulfill my dreams of traveling the world and writing my book.
What started as a blog is now a book in progress and a social project to inspire people around the world to live urgently, love wildly, and enjoy life.
My name is Kate Rose and I am so happy to be alive.