Go On, You Know You Want To
Yesterday, a friend went to a safari park, and as he beheld zebras and giraffes and whatnot, he said, he kept expecting someone to jump out from behind a tree and start singing Circle of Life. I told him he should just go ahead and do it himself (he’s a Disney fan and I could totally see him doing it 😀 ).
It reminded me of that time I was in Paris in 2014. I was crossing a bridge as darkness was falling and I just thought: “@*!# it, I’m gonna sing On My Own.” And I did! 😀 I was all by myself too and genuinely quite miserable. I didn’t sing it very loudly or anything, but loud enough that I actually have a recording of it in my iPad. Which nothing short of torture can induce me to share with the rest of the world! But, yeah, I did it. No regrets.
What I do regret is not getting up to dance at a pub in Inverness. We’d heard lively music as we were passing by The Gellions Bar — the Scottish folk band Schiehallion was playing — and so my sister and I went in. A couple of local guys started chatting us up and when I mentioned the music, one of them said, “Well, come on,” and nodded towards the dance floor. I didn’t get up, for a bunch of reasons, but now I wish I had. Sure, I have 2 left feet and I probably would’ve made a fool of myself but, I mean, what’s the worst that could have happened? Less than absolute adoration from people I don’t know and would probably never see again?
Life’s too short to place too much importance on things like that.
No, seriously: life is short. Perhaps now, more than ever, I’ve become quite conscious of mortality, my own and that of my loved ones. Viewed through the lens of finiteness, it seems to me more than ever imperative that I make the most out of life. And, sure, that means major things like finally getting around to writing a book or treating my parents to a two-week trip on the other side of the world. But making the most out of life, for me, also means doing the small things that I’ve always secretly wanted to do, like, oh, pretending to be a samurai, or shooting a real arrow from a real bow (and getting good at it!) or hugging a horse after a ride. And, yeah, even spontaneous things that might seem silly or corny if you give it more than a moment’s thought, like reenacting The Lion King on a safari or Les Misérables in Paris. Just something that will make me laugh and make me say, at the end of my life, “Well, that’s that. I did it. I lived.”
Do you have something you always secretly wanted to do but haven’t done yet? Or something that you wanted to do on the spur of the moment — but you held back and now wish you didn’t?
If it’s something that doesn’t hurt you or other people, I think you should go for it.
You know you want to.