One of my good friends asked me after my last post if I’m writing my blog for myself or for others. If I’m just writing it for myself, then why share so many personal details about my life in my first post? If I’m writing it for others, why was my bucket list merely a list of places I want to go without any real emotion or reasoning behind it? I appreciated his honesty and have since been asking myself the same questions. Why am I writing? Why am I sharing what I write?
The truth is, whilst I wrote my first post in the hope that a small number of people might read it, I was overwhelmed by the response it received and amazed that so many people found my story inspiring. I felt a sense of freedom in writing about my situation regardless of whether it was read or not. It meant that my weaknesses were out there for the world to see and a small chance that somebody in a similar situation to me might get some sense of hope from my words. Through thinking positively and sharing my thoughts, what had previously been a burden to carry had become something entirely different.
Like most people, I have bad days just as I have good days. Last week held a number of these bad days so I chose to work on something for myself to help me through; my bucket list. I found it hard to share any sort of emotion relating to my list as I wanted to live up to my first “inspiring” post and writing positive feelings on a day I wasn't feeling so positive was extremely difficult. I am somebody that generally thinks optimistically and tries to make the best out of bad situations but at the same time I’m human, and have to accept ride out the bad days among the good.
To answer my friends question; I’m grateful that people want to read my blog and have been able to relate to my story and use it as something to aspire to but I also find writing as a form of therapy so my posts might not always contain what people want to read. They won’t always be informative or inspiring and might not be of any interest to those who can’t relate. I appreciate those who keep reading despite this and are still able to find something of value in my stories. My original reasons for starting my blog haven’t changed:
1. To connect with anyone in a similar situation to me and to share my experiences
2. To raise awareness of this rare type of stomach cancer and gene mutation
3. To give me something productive to focus on during my recovery
4. To use as a forum for me to work on my "bucket list"
5. To list things I've already done in my life that I loved and want to share with the world
Reasons for my bucket list
I've been told that people might be able to relate more to my bucket list if I explain why I want to go to each of the places I've listed. The difficult thing with this is, there aren't necessarily reasons for each of the places on my list.
I’m a strong believer that happiness comes from experiences rather than material possessions. Whilst like most girls, I occasionally splurge on things such as clothes or makeup, the majority of my purchases are out of necessity. Where I struggle to save is by spending money on social occasions such as dinner or nights out with my friends. Another of my biggest weaknesses has always been concert or festival tickets. I found my love for live music at the ripe old age of 14 when I attended my first festival. I spend my money on these things because they are experiences that make me happy and whilst I don’t “own” anything as a result, I wouldn't take them back for the world.
This leads me to my list... Why is my bucket list merely a list of places I want to go rather than things or goals I want to achieve?
Well...what could make me happier than experiencing all of the culture and adventure that the world has to offer?
I want to eat pizza and gelato in Italy and have photos in front of the Eiffel tower. I want to get lost in another country where I can’t speak their language. I want to go on a gondola in Venice and party on the Greek Islands. I want to sail Croatia and drink beer at Oktoberfest. I want to experience the greatness of New York and the craziness of Rio. I want to meet amazing people who I will remember for the rest of my life. I want to dance for 3 days straight at Tomorrowland and then dance some more in Barcelona. I want to lie on the beach in Miami and lose far too much money in Vegas. I want to learn to ski. I want to feel the wind rushing on my face when I jump out of a plane. I want to feel the excitement of the crowd at big sporting events. I never want to stop feeling the amazing feeling I get when I see my favourite bands live. I want to see the cities and beaches of my own beautiful country. I want to fall in love.
I want to live life with no regrets so when the time comes that I have to say goodbye, I can look back and be happy in knowing that I've done everything I ever dreamed of doing. I couldn't ask for anything more than that.