If you knew you were going to die in 20 days, what would change?

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Wow, look what a deep question that got sent out by the Daily WordPress not too long ago. I think if I knew I was going to die in 20 days, I’m not sure I would tell anyone. People would spend far too long feeling sorry for me, or mourning my death and that would just be wasted time. If I knew for sure that I was going to die in 20 days, I’d probably withdraw all my money and somehow set up funds for my parents and my brother, and then leave whatever is left to a certain charity.

I’d go visit my brother, hang out with my parents, call each of my friends just to say hi (and bye) one last time. I’d try not to dwell on my death and go out and enjoy my life – spend it on all the things that I think would offer a life experience. Go skydiving, go skiing, as long as those things were accessible and close to home. Take long walks by the ocean. Volunteer one of those days. Be with people, with nature, and just to enjoy the last days of my life by experiencing the life around me one last time. I wouldn’t be afraid to stand up for myself and to say whatever came into my mind because well, I’m going anyway.

Oh, and of course I forgot, but I’d quit my job so I’d have the time to do all those things. One of my favorite movies “Last Holiday”, explores the questions a bit – where the main character of Georgia thinks she’s got only a few more weeks left to live and she takes all her life savings out to fulfill her lifelong dream. Always timid and shy, she grows a back bone and stands up for herself, enjoys what she eats and finally takes a few risks to enjoy the life around her. I’d like to think that’s what I’d do similarly as well, except for the fact that I’m no cooking aficionado.

I imagine people would grow to be suspicious of me and my actions, but I really would try to hide it for as long as I could. It’s actually not a question I think of, and really hard to say until I’m actually at that point.

What would change for you?

What occupation did you want as a child?

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When I was younger, I can remember wanting to be a school teacher. As a self-proclaimed nose-in-the-book kid, I would pretend to be a librarian at times, and other times I would pretend to “grade” a sheet of paper, and then deciding whether or not it would deserve a “star” or some sort of sticker. Perhaps I liked the idea of telling people what to do. Hehehe….

It was some time around the age of 12 or 11 that that idea changed for me, upon hearing the news of how a teacher was poisoned by their student. The student had placed some chemical in her drink, or something like that. That made me decide I did not want to risk my life at the hands of the students I was teaching. Silly if you think about it, but hey, I was 12. If it were common, teachers would be dropping like flies left and right.

The other occupation I wanted to be when I reached high school was to be a psychiatrist. I did a lot of mediation in junior high, trying to calm the waves and fights between friends and even people I wasn’t all that well acquainted. (Had I known that a such thing called a mediator existed, I would have thought that would have been a more suitable job…). I also enjoyed analyzing people, helping people out with their problems. This spilled over into high school. Taking psychology was fairly challenging as I remember, but it didn’t deter me from wanting to become a psychiatrist. Nope, it wasn’t until my biology class was brought into OHSU and had the opportunity to look at cadavers and the person there was saying that all medical students had to be able to dissect a cadaver in the first year of training that I freaked and decided that perhaps psychiatry wasn’t for me after all. Psychologists didn’t make enough money for me to decide it was worth it.

Looking back, I think I would have been overwhelmed by being a teacher. Then again, perhaps younger kids would have been more fun, but looking at how quickly young kids grow up, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much as I would have thought I would. Having tutored a bit in junior high and volunteering with kids and helping them improve their reading skills, teaching can be a very satisfactory experience albeit frustrating along the way. As for psychiatry, I don’t think I would have difficulty prescribing medicine for others, but listening to people’s problems – which were at one time, my forte, is definitely not my forte anymore. I can no longer handle listening to them for hours on end. I suspect their problems would end up being my problems, therefore giving me stress and finding it to difficult to sleep on most evenings. Then again, it would probably give me the perspective that I have little to no problems if I were to listen to everyone’s mental issues for the rest of my life. It would be satisfying, but potentially dangerous for the psyche.

I do think that teaching probably would have been more suitable than psychiatry would have been for me. It would have allowed me to be a bit more creative, since my strong suits used to be math and art, of which I use little of these days. (More the art than the math.)

What did you want to be when you were a child?

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Do you prefer talking or texting?

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This question is something I often mention when conversing with my friends. Largely this depends on the topic and how busy I am. Ultimately, I’m pretty much an introvert and rarely am bored due to the amount of things I assign myself. The world is my oyster after all, and life offers a never ending string of opportunities to learn and grow that I often get restless when idling (unless I’m sitting in the movie theatre watching movies). Because of this, I much prefer texting when it’s just to convey the little things – appointments, an easy question, an easy answer. However, if one of my friends is trying to describe how she or he feels, or when the conversation requires more than just a few messages to get one’s point or emotion across, I much prefer talking. I mean, people who ask each other out on a date over text and even worse, those who break up over text should go take a few classes of how to be more personable, and learning about how to be successful with their lives, because I’m not sure if they will ever be successful if they value other people so low (at least in my humble cheap opinion.)

At the end of the day, I much prefer conversing with my friends and talking to them face-to-face. That’s the key here. I don’t enjoy talking over the phone, unless it’s the only method I have to communicate with them. I always feel as though time just disappears when I’m on the phone, but that’s partially my own problem since I have so many things I feel like I constantly have to do.

So the short answer is that basically talking is preferable when face to face and for more serious conversations and banter, but texting when it’s to convey a short comment, question or thought.

What about you?

If you could bring one fictional character to life for a day, who would you choose?

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The first person that popped into my mind was Anne of Green Gables. As a child, I must have read the books countless times, and watched the famed Anne of Green Gables film (which starred Megan Follows). It would be an odd experience, running into Anne of Green Gables in her straw hat and brown grubs in modern day North America. I think she’d be a delight to spend a day with. It would have been a lot easier saying Eeyore or Mickey Mouse, or even Remy from Ratatouille (I mean, who wouldn’t love the idea of having a rat cook for them? Okay… not everyone.) But I’m not sure I would get much out of Eeyore or Mickey except repeating to myself how cute they were.

Anne Shirley would surely drive me nuts – but I suppose it would depend on which Anne I was talking to – from which book. I suspect that I would most like to meet her when she’s at the teaching school – still full of sprite, but grown up from her days of being a bit, well, ridiculous, as Matilda called her.
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So, who would you choose if you could bring one fictional character to life for a day? Honestly, there are so many choices, but since Anne was the first person that popped into my head, Anne it will be 🙂