12 'Bucket List' Experiences That Will Give Your Life REAL Meaning

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The Real Life List

I wrote a "Life List" awhile back on my old blog, somewhere between getting diagnosed with cancer and fighting it off. The list wasn't anything special really, just something I came up with really quick to give my seemingly meaningless life some meaning.

I did a few of the things. I crossed them off my list, but I never felt connected to those tasks I had claimed to be essential to complete. They never really mattered to me.


And I begin to think about this at 20,000 feet, as I made my way back to the Pacific Northwest I had left behind only a month before. To the boy I had left behind, with my heart.

Once again, I craved for my life to have meaning. To have a purpose. What was the point of fighting to stay alive if I wasn't going to actually live?

The world looks so different from the window view of a 747: Smaller. Less scary. The big cities just flickering lights and unrecognizable shapes. The clouds below you resembling fluffy pillows calling you back to bed.

I remember thinking that the first time I rode a plane nearly 21 years ago. Sitting on my mother's lap, looking out the window in amazement. Clouds. I am flying above the clouds, I thought. Never for a second was I scared, despite my young age. No, I was flying in every sense of the word.

So I decided to make a real list. Something deep and meaningful and not just task that I can cross off, but mantras and words that I can live and breathe by. A list that will help bring me back to the person I used to be, that I have struggled to find again under the weight of my struggles. 

The list:

1. Read more and remember what it feels like to get lost in the pages of a good book.

2. Yell less. Stress less. Worry less. Breathe. Relax. Roll with the punches. It is not the end of the world.


3. Put everything into words, even the things I am scared to say. Discover my voice and let it be heard. Be a writer.

4. Find a balance between doing what I love and being a responsible adult. Have the best of both worlds.

5. No matter what happens, never give up on love or hide your heart. Never let them win.

6. Become a better person. Actively. Each and every single day. Do better. Be better. Know better.

7. See the beauty this world has to offer. Travel. Explore. Adventure is out there.


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8. Learn how to love myself, completely. Even the parts that I wish I could change, the parts that I keep hidden from the world. 

9. Find a place to call home. 

10. Say "I love you" more to those I do not say it to enough. Say it because I mean it.

11. Dance like nobody is watching. Stop giving a fuck. Stop letting other people's opinions and judgments dictate my life. You. Only. Live. Once. So, f*ck them. F*ckthemf*ckthemf*ckthem.


12. Never stop dreaming. Never give up on the things that I desire most. Never falter faith that it will get better.

This article was originally published at Emily Is Fearless. Reprinted with permission from the author.