This article originally appeared on Hemlock Time.
More than five years ago, I saw a movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson – The Bucket List. I didn’t have any idea what the movie was about. Heck, I didn’t have any idea what was a bucket list (Yes, that’s me many years ago).
If you were like me then, you may ask, “So Xeno, what is a bucket list?”
It is a list of all the big dreams and goals you want to achieve in your life before you kick the bucket. Now, there went three keywords that might sound scary for some of us: big dreams and goals, life, and the bucket.
“So this list is quite simple yet its weight is heavier than we might believe?” you may ask.
With that, I pose a simple but deep question for you.
“Is your bucket list truly yours?”
“Why did I never think of doing this before?” I asked myself after seeing the film. I found a piece of paper and wrote my own bucket list. However, I could not find the damn thing now. Organisation had a love/hate relationship with me. So I prepared my journal, closed my eyes, traveled back in time, and tried to recall my old bucket list to the best of my memory.
Here it is.
I might’ve missed a couple but if I didn’t remember them, that’s proof of their irrelevance.
As I looked at the list above, I could not help but laugh at it. I slowly rubbed my chin and squinted my eyes. “What the hell were you thinking?” I asked myself.
I wasn’t really thinking. That’s the truth. My old bucket list was never completely and truly mine to begin with. It was crafted by the deception of the lives of other people, by society’s standards of what success and achievement really meant, and by the own lies I told myself of what I wanted to make out of my life.
The mansion, pool, cars, and the yacht made their way on my list because society made them out to be the achievement everyone should be striving for. I wanted to go to the United States because my then current and former colleagues bragged about going there to elevate their careers. J.K. Rowling’s celebrity sparkled in front of my naive and gullible eyes as the true measure of an author’s success. They weren’t what I really wanted.
A bucket list is a beautiful thing to have. It serves as a reminder that we should focus on obtaining our dreams and goals, that life is short and we must make it purposeful and meaningful, and that the world is a truly beautiful place abundant in opportunities and adventures. That is why your bucket list must truly be yours.
If you are going to spend the rest of your life chasing dreams and goals, then those dreams and goals damn better be what you really want deep in your heart. Those dreams and goals better not be from someone else’s, or what society tells everyone to have, or lies that you tell yourself. A bucket list is a quest and not the prize in the end. It is the journey to accomplish those items in the list that will be more meaningful and not the ticking off of them. If you spend your journey trying to achieve things that you don’t truly want in the first place, you will not be truly happy once you have obtained them. You will be holding a piece of paper in one hand and a pen on the other and you will ask yourself, “That’s it. Now what?”
This is my new bucket list.
No mansion, no luxury cars, no yacht. A nicely decorated room may be nice but the colorful and varied landscape the world has to offer is more beautiful. A pool and a yacht may be cool but the mysterious seas and people-filled beaches of the world are more intriguing. A car can take me from one city to another but a plane ticket will bring me from one culture to the next.
Rowling’s celebrity is something to be envied no longer. Instead, the fact that she touched the heart of many people is the inspiration. Writing a book is not the only avenue to spread the word anymore.
I kept the bungee jump and sky dive, and added scuba dive, for I love adventure. Someday, I would like to meet my favourite authors for what would make a fan happier after reading their books?
My bucket list has changed and it will continue to do so. I’m positive I will be adding more things in the future for I will not limit the possibilities of my life. I will also be refining it should my desires change for it must always be in tune with me. Now, I know the answer to my own question and I will ask you again.