THE BLOG

What Do You Want Your Legacy to Be?

09/14/2012 11:45 am ET | Updated Nov 14, 2012

We all want to be remembered for something, to be known as more than merely ordinary, to be seen as someone who truly made a difference. We all want to be known as someone who truly made a difference, to leave an imprint on this world and to leave behind something that can make the future a little brighter.

From the time we are kids, we're told that we are special and we are destined for something wonderful, that we can take the world by the horns and that whatever we set our minds to we can accomplish, that it's our world and what we choose to do with it is up to us.

But what happens when our lives change and our legacy turns into something we didn't plan on? Things change in a moment and suddenly everything we believed, understood or desired goes out the window. Suddenly, we're faced with a chance to rewrite our destinies, to make things right no matter how bad we think it sucked before.

Being an only child and a girl, I was always told that I could do whatever I chose to do as long as I was successful and held my own. Independence was key and that was my goal, to become a successful writer on Saturday Night Live, to follow in my hero's footsteps, like Gilda Radner and Tina Fey, but when I got sick I had to rearrange everything and suddenly my life turned in the other direction. I had to recreate my destiny and so I decided to start writing my book because I wanted someone to learn from my experiences and understand that even with an immune deficiency and a learning disability, I still had to move forward and survive.

I've had a lot of time to think about this and coming so close to dying put things into perspective. I have had reevaluate major priorities in my life, who I could be around and whom was willing to stick around. It's interesting to see how perfect strangers can be more kind than one's own family.

I want to be remembered as someone who made a difference, that a geek girl in high school can become more and to show what the other side of life is like. To continually bounce back and fight when giving up wasn't an option. I want someday for my children to say "wow, our mother's impact on the world extends to people who really needed help." I want what everyone wants, to be seen as more than ordinary.

We've all got roles in our lives, to be a good daughter friend, cousin niece, etc., but it's how we use it that makes all the difference. If we really try and really want it, we can actually change the world. Maybe it's the hippie gene inherited from my father, but I truly believe we can make and break our own destinies.

What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered? Have you have something that caused you change your entire belief system?