THE BLOG

The Challenge to Truly Live

04/30/2015 04:00 pm ET | Updated Jun 30, 2015
lculig via Getty Images

Each of our lives is a unique masterpiece, made up of individual moments and events that reflect the beauty that surrounds us. We are shaped, molded, and fashioned by each of those moments we encounter: Every single one impacting the way in which we see the world and ourselves.

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But I feel so many of those moments are lost and forgotten: drown amongst the chaos of life that consumes us. We simply exist just to make it through the day without ever really living. But what happens when we come to the end of our lives, and we are forced to look back on the life we chose to live? What will each one of us see? Does it reflect what is truly important to us? Is it a life littered with moments that capture our journey's true beauty: events, relationships, and what really mattered most to us during our life?

Breathe Bravely
For as long as I can remember I have always had this ever-growing seed of desperation existing within me. A desperation to live paired with the fear of getting to the end of my life and wishing I had done more: overwhelmed with a sense of panic that I didn't truly live and most of all, didn't do enough good. As the years pass, and my Cystic Fibrosis progresses, I find that desperation only intensifying. I can't help but find myself consumed by trying to maximize every minute of every day, in hopes of capturing every memorable moment that gives every breath of my life meaning. With each exacerbation CF brings about, I find myself more aware of the world around me: trying to soak up and embody every moment. I find myself noticing such things like the color of paint on the wall, the creases on a friend's face when they smile, or the sounds of everyday life whirling about me: hoping to hold on to each moment and forge it into an everlasting memory. It's not the moments themselves I want to hold onto so dearly, but the feelings each of those memories holds and the life each one is comprised of. At the end of each day I want to know I have truly lived, that I have taken each beautiful moment and breath I have been given and not wasted any of it. I want to look at every moment frozen in time and see the beauty my life is defined by: to see how full and rich my journey has been and continues to be despite any battle I may face. It's all just part of what makes my life beautiful.

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A Challenge
I challenge you to find beauty in every breath. We all face our own battles, our own trials, and times of difficulty, but our journey itself is comprised of the beautiful moments that are made from the relationships, events, and opportunities that make our journey unique. The challenge is to get every one of us to realize each of those moments in our everyday lives, to step out of the routine chaos that consumes us and to truly live. This challenge is about all of us truly living. It's about each of us taking the time to capture those moments that bring most meaning to our lives.

When I come to the end of my journey, I want to see the beauty that filled every brave breath and made up my life. I want to hold each one of those unforgettable moments in my memory, gripping onto them as tightly as possible, but most of all I want to know for certain that I truly lived.