My Thoughts: What do you really want to do before you die?

Finish this sentence: Before I die I want to...

I don't know about you, but when I asked myself to do the same thing, I got stuck. So I didn't bother. I put it to the back of my mind, to think about another day.

The next time I tried to finish that sentence I had too many answers. I want to give birth to a happy baby. I want to eat sushi in Japan. I want to run five miles without it hurting. I want to visit the family I have in Honduras. I want to speak Dutch like I'm fluent. I want to learn how to make patchwork quilts. I want to go to the Maldives. 

The following time I gave it a go I simply came up with one answer. Before I die I want to laugh more than I cry. Yes, that's it. It summarised my life philosophy in a rough nutshell and it was suitably thought-provoking and 

But then I wondered if it was really true because I'm one of those weirdos who likes crying. And besides, I actually cry a lot when I'm happy. In fact, possibly when I'm at my happiest, I cry the most.

You see my problem!?

The reason I was asking myself this question was because a ring of Before I die... boards had popped up in my local park, Sarphatipark, and a few mornings after we watched them construct it I walked down there and read the answers other people had left. It was an educational experience. From the honest ("Before I die I want to have a threesome with 2 guys") to the hilarious ("Before I die I want to see Tottenham get relegated"), the philisophical ("Before I die I want to know who I am") to the (rather understatedly) materialistic ("Before I die I want to drive a Ferrari"), the romantic ("Before I die I want to kiss Marolijn") to the generous ("Before I die I want to help the poor & sick", written in child's handwriting I want to add), and a lot of beautiful, bonkers and brilliant statements in between, I felt that the fifteen minutes I spent wondering around the boards were more educational about the human race than reading a book on the subject.

Here are some more photos:


It was also a humbling experience as I realised many of the things other people wanted to do - "...fall in love", "...live and work in Amsterdam" - I was already doing. Furthermore, I was amazed how many people listed travel or some kind of destination as their Before I die wish. It made me realise how incredibly lucky I am to have seen as much of the world as I have.

So now, back over to you.

Finish this sentence in the comments: Before I die I want to...

Here is more information about the original Before I die... project started by Candy Chang in a storm-ravished abandoned house in New Orleans and here's information about the Amsterdam project which is in Sarphatipark until 17th June 2015 and general information about the project in communities around the world

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before putting down some roots with her Australian partner and having a baby boy in July 2015. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her son around Amsterdam.
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