FINDING MEANING:

A Weird 14-Year-Old’s Bucket List.

My dreams packed into a (not so short) article

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Image by Sebastian Unrau from Unsplash

A couple of days ago, I came to a revelation.

If I lived right up till my life expectancy, I have about three thousand weeks left from today. That’s three thousand weeks left to try everything I’ve wanted to try, visit the places I’ve wanted to visit, meet the people I’ve wanted to meet, and become the person I’ve always wanted to become.

Or even worse, what I thought of as three thousand weeks could end the next moment. You never know.

For the first time, I realized that I wasn’t invincible just because I was young. Ignoring my own mortality wouldn’t change the fact that I’d still die someday. And when I looked at life that way, three thousand weeks didn’t seem like a whole lot of time to work with. If I were to die right now, I’d probably be filled with regrets and some intense FOMO.

So that’s what led me to wonder:

“If I was going to die tomorrow, what are some of the things I’d absolutely have to do so I’d could know I lived a good life?”

Here they are.

Be In A Viral Video

Think about some of the most pivotal revolutions of our time. I’m not talking about world wars, the bank bust of 2008, or hurricane Katrina. No, no, no.

I’m talking about cultural masterpieces like “Gangnam Style”, the dab, and of course, bottle flipping.

Even if it’s a weak trend that dies out in a day — even if I’m that sketchy dude you see in the corner of the video for half a second, it doesn’t matter. I want to know that at one point in my life, I was part of something huge.

Go Skydiving

I know it’s pretty cliche, but I’m refusing to die without it. Nothing beats falling out of a plane while being weightless and having your eyeballs drilling into the back of your skull from the air resistance at terminal velocity.

Crash A Catwalk.

Fashion week. An event showcasing the pinnacle of human creativity, and the constant evolution of art. It made me wonder how I could get in on the action.

The first (and only) thing that came to mind was sneaking in.

I’d book a quick flight to Paris — making sure to ask the flight attendant for an upgrade to first class one too many times. When I land, I’d deck myself out with an assortment of items from the nearest Walmart clearance bin.

Garbage bags for socks, an astronaut helmet, boxing gloves, and maybe a 10-foot extension cord that wraps around me like I’ve been preserved in a futuristic sarcophagus. I’m more or less an expert already, since that’s basically how I dressed every day in fourth grade.

I’d get a few people in on the scheme, and have them to follow me around with cameras like they just sighted a well-known TikToker. Journalists are going to be around anyway, and they’re just naturally attracted to crowds. It’s almost too easy.

With enough traction, I’m betting on the slim chance that I’d get an invitation to the real thing. But hey, it’s better than trying to make small talk with the uncomfortably large security guards surrounding the entrance.

One of the fanciest, exclusive world events, and I’ll sneak in while no one gives it a second thought. You can’t see me, but I’m doing an evil villain laugh right now.

Meet A Famous Person

I’m not looking for anything big here. I’d easily settle for shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth, Elon Musk, Oprah or any other A-list celebrity. Bonus points if it happens on a red carpet with camera flashes and those cool wallpapers covered with names of random companies.

If that doesn’t scream: “I’m verified on Twitter”, I don’t know what does.

Go Stargazing.

This isn’t about stalking celebrities. I want to see stars. The other kind.

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This is what I’m talking about. Image by Vincentiu Solomon from Unsplash

But not just any stars you could see from your apartment window at night — I want to see billions of them lighting up a picture-perfect night sky. The kind of night sky you might have as the screensaver on your computer, but seems too good to be real. Pitch black and filled with every colour and constellation you could ever imagine.

And when I finally get there — I’ll lie down and watch till the sun comes up.

Become Ronaldo

Back when I was a kid, sports were never my thing. There was one exception: soccer. Except I sucked at it.

But that didn’t stop me from joining my local soccer club. Our team name was “The Dolphins”, and the metaphor translated pretty well. Dolphins are whiny mammals who’re better off staying away from land. TLDR? We were bad.

We didn’t win a single match, and I don’t remember scoring a single goal.

That’s why I want my team to a game. I want to feel the glory of hitting a spectacular shot and the climax of the wish I never got to experience.

Find Inner Peace

I don’t know how that works, but I’ll figure it out as I go.

Be A Spy.

If I had to guess what factors played the biggest roles in my upbringing, it would probably be a combination of my awesome parents, hot chocolate, and “Spy Kids”.

After watching the first movie, you’d find me darting behind walls and sneaking around in my middle school’s hallways — afraid I was going to “get spotted” while walking to the washroom. My spy gadgets were a mechanical pencil and one of those scratch-n-sniff stickers.

Even today, my footsteps and breathing are completely silent. I’ve even developed invisibility (using a type of cutting-edge clothing called camouflage).

Villains, disguises, the adrenaline, the suspense. That’s the way of the spy. Deep down, I’ve always wanted to be one. Someday, I want to become a full-fledged secret agent for the FBI, CIA, DOD, NSA, or any other organization with a cool three-letter acronym.

Actually, scratch the IRS. I don’t want to be hunting someone down who missed tax day.

Save People From A Burning House

On second thought, let’s save that for action films. Third-degree burns aren’t on the bucket list.

Create a Country?

For those of you who’re into personality types, I’m an ENTP. And that means I love playing devil’s advocate more than most major holidays. No matter how good anything is, I can’t help but find a couple of holes in it. No matter how bad something is, I’ll make an argument to support it.

The same goes for governments. But unfortunately, they can’t bend every single law and right to my will, which just to happens to change every eight and a half minutes.

So to spare myself the effort of running a political campaign to become Prime Minister (or President), I want to build my own nation.

Let’s be clear though — I’m not putting anyone through the torture of having me as their head of state. It’ll just be me and my house, floating around on a man-made island with a flag hoisted on a palm tree. Plus, not everyone gets to say that they signed a declaration of independence.

Living like Peter Pan and ruling an island? Now that’s the good life.

Go Viral: V2

As someone who writes articles to decompress, you won’t believe how many people ask me if I’ve ever thought of writing a book. Well, breaking news — I have. A lot.

Of course I’d love to write a literary bombshell that flies off the shelves and becomes a NY Times best-seller. I’ve just got to figure out what I’m going to write about and preferably stop procrastinating till I’m half-dead.

In my life, I want to try out as many things as I can. Authoring a book is definitely one of them. But until I get that eureka moment, I’ll stick to short-form Medium articles and cringey YouTube videos.

Swim With Sharks

I’ve heard they aren’t so bad. Right?

Die With a Bang

No, not in an explosion. And no, not from the previous item in the list.

You know what I mean. I want to kick the bucket — pun intended — in a way that leaves something good behind. I want to prepare the most inspirational speech anyone’s ever heard, and broadcast it across the planet. Hands down, it’ll be coolest thing I’ll ever do.

If you’re going to go forever, you might as well let the world know, right?

Then, put me into a rocket ship and shoot it into the sun, or divvy up my ashes and scatter them around the world. It doesn’t matter. Because in the end, it would be a life well-lived.

Set Up A Treasure Hunt

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m the eccentric type. So setting up a treasure hunt after I die is only natural:

Now you know where I get my inspiration comes from. Source

Watch out for it if you choose to get your lifespan extended in the future. It’s going to be the most insane adventure ever. This isn’t going to be your average scavenger hunt, either. I mean a global expedition with explosions, secret messages, puzzles, and of course, treasure that’s valuable enough to make your brain spontaneously combust.

What can I say? Future me’s going to be well off. I hope.

I want the winner to be someone amazing, and I want the everyone to learn something useful along the way. I guess that’s what you’d call my legacy.

I just feel bad for the lawyer who has to read my will.

It’s More Than A List

At its core, a good life’s something you can look back on and feel proud of. It’s the only thing that counts.While I wrote out this bucket list, I saw just how little I needed to get there. I saw just how simple happiness could be. I think I knew it all along, but there was so much I was doing that pulled me further away.

It’s time we take a step back from all the noise and notice that there’s so much to do, and such little time. Why don’t we seize it, take hold of every moment and do what we’ve always wanted to do?

Life’s too short to put off your dreams. So go get ‘em.

-Aaryan

Hey, it’s Aaryan, and I want to challenge you. Please, please, please create a bucket list— you’ll get what I mean when you try it for yourself. If you’re feeling lost or confused right now, there’s really nothing better to give you a better view of things. That’s all from me — I’m off to check something off my list. See ya 👋.

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I write about things every week(ish).

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