The Pressure to “Live Life to the Fullest”

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I bungee jumped while studying abroad in Cape Town, SA (2014)

“Sometimes, you want to go where everybody knows your name.”

As a kid, I faithfully watched “Nick-at-Nite”. When the television show Cheers came on, however, that was my cue to change the channel. Oddly, the show’s theme song was impressionable enough to still resonate with me.

Although it’s tough to confess, I want to be Known and Loved. Perhaps, that’s a desire that everyone secretly shares. Yet, I struggle with wanting everyone to view me and my life as important. Last week, I even went through a mini-crisis during which I felt anxious about dying. What if I died before I could accomplish my agenda in the world?

  • Brighten up people’s lives
  • Make a positive impact in Detroit and the world
  • Be an inspirational educator and writer
  • Be an example of how God’s love can live inside a human being
  • and get recognized for doing so

“But Jess, what about humility?” 

I try to be humble. Inside of me, there’s just this complicated longing to make every day legendary and glorious like a bungee jump.

I’ve been wrestling with the idea of what it means to “live life to the fullest”. Truthfully, I know that life doesn’t have to be a series of grand, history book worthy accomplishments. Yet, reconciling that truth with my feelings and the pressure I place on myself is an ongoing process.

While confronting this longing, I am hoping to increasingly focus on my faith and remember that my existence alone is a gift. Awards, achievements, compliments, or social recognition could not make me any more valuable than I already am. As I am freed from the dependency on these adornments, then perhaps, I might realize my life is already abundant and beautiful.

 

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