Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cardboard and the Meaning of Life

So I've actually learned a lot about life this week (putting faith aside for one moment)... As I may have mentioned in my earlier post about skydiving, I am participating in a Personal Development Plan through the Honors Program at CMU. This past Tuesday, I volunteered to partake in "A Cold Day in November" as a part of my PDP and sleep outside in a cardboard box. Our job was to raise awareness about the homeless from 7pm until 7am the next morning (though I feel that I learned a lot more than anyone walking by could have). I ended up staying the entire 12 hours despite not being able to sleep and having classes the next day. I definitely appreciated everything I had after that- my comfy bed being the most important!

I really enjoy having to do this PDP... without it, I never would have gone skydiving and probably wouldn't have slept outside in a box in the middle of November. College has given me such a thirst for life that I really just want to live it to the fullest. From traveling to Europe this past summer to getting involved in anything I can on campus to kayaking in November (something my friends and I did recently), I feel that this is going to be an amazing year! On Thursday, was another PDP activity I attended called a "Fireside Chat" in the terrace of my residential hall where we listened to Dr. Mark Francek discuss the two times he traveled across America on bike. He definitely hammered home how now is the time to get out there and do what we want while we're still young. If we want to bike across America, do it! It's the best way to see nature and all of America's finest points. It truly inspired me to get to work on more items on my bucket list!

Also in my Honors class, we're reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. I'm actually really excited to start this reading and for the creative project/reflection we have to complete afterwards. I feel like I'm going to get even more out of it now, after everything I've seen in the last half year. Something else that really reminded me of this whole idea of taking chances, stepping out of your comfort zone, and living in the moment was a quote from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I finally just watched for the first time tonight:

"For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."

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