Yesterday I picked up on an article in the Guardian that really made me stop in my tracks, make a cup of tea and consider my life. I actually spend way too many hours doing this; working from home does afford me a lot of time for introspection. This can be both a good thing and a very unhelpful thing. It’s easy to spend an entire morning sewing with my hands, whilst my mind is buzzing around with failed plans, new plans, with a little bit of worry thrown in to keep it interesting.
And so, I read this ‘Top Five Regrets of the Dying‘ by Susie Steiner. Here’s an excerpt of the bit that meant the most to me:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
The last 18 months has seen major change in my life. I finally decided to take hold of this artistic ambition of mine and make something of it. The Connecting Thread – a personal psychogeography
was certainly a step in the direction of taking my career seriously. It was life changing, actually. I was worried about what to do after the tour ended in December 2011, but it seems that I hit the ground running at full speed ahead. More plans. Big ideas. Let’s move this forward at break neck speed because now I feel that to rest, to stop, to sit and keep doing what feels comfortable just is NOT the answer for now.
When I was a teenager living in the middle of all those fields that stretched out into forever in all directions, when I was thinking of the life I wanted to live and dreaming, I told myself I never wanted to live a mediocre existence. Somehow, without even thinking or planning, my life has been anything but mediocre. I never want to feel that I have half- lived, or that I allowed fear of failure and lack of self belief keep me from living a life that resonates. And so. I can almost guarantee that on my death bed, I will not have to worry about the Number 1. regret of the dying.
It hasn’t been easy. There have been stretches of months and months when to live a life that’s true to myself has been excruciating. I just had to believe that it would make sense on the other side.
Right. Now to work. I’ve got some pieces for a sweet little cafe in the Grassmarket to plan.