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My Bucket List [Nov. 11th, 2008|07:16 am]
Tomas Gallucci
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[music |Thomas Newman - Meet Joe Black - That Next Place]

Carter Chambers

When I was in college, our professor gave us this assignment. We were supposed to make a list of all the things we wanted to do before we kicked the bucket.

Here's my list in no particular order.

1. Make a feature length full budget film.
2. Be a radio talk show host if only for a day.
3. Run a newspaper.
4. Own a house.
5. Learn Italian.
6. Learn to play the piano.
7. England.
8. Ireland.
9. Italy.
10. Go back to Vienna.
11. Go back to Puerto Barrios.
12. California.
13. Learn the art of photography.
14. Learn the art of sound recording.
15. Become an actor.
16. Be a journalist.
17. Find a soulmate.
18. Be husband and a father that inspires other husbands and fathers to raise their standard of living for themselves and their families.
19. Be a published author (novel).
20. Write feature length screenplays that are produced and cause the films to be talked about for decades to come.

There's a line in Something the Lord Made that goes like this:

Dr. Alfred Blalock

They say you haven't lived unless you have a lot to regret. I regret...I have some regrets. But I think we should remember not what we lost, but what we've done.

I would have to disagree with that last part. I think that it's important to remember what has been lost. We are humans and we learn not by being right but by being wrong. It is our mistakes that give us our most valuable lessons in life. I think this is because of the pain and the grief that they cause us.

I made a very rash decision once. I decided to react to someone who wasn't giving me the attention that I craved. I was jealous that someone else was getting attention that I thought should be mine. My reaction was so brutal that that it cause co-lateral damage and life-long scars for all those involved. I have lost many friends over my actions and regret the decision I made.

But it's because of my losses that I came to my senses. I was able to see myself for what I really am and decided I needed to do something about it while I still had the chance.

Instead of killing me, my decision has made me stronger. It was not the right thing to do and this will haunt me until the day I die, not because of what was lost but because of the pain I caused and the lack of character I showed. Though I still think I am correct in my assessment, I dealt with the situation in the wrong way. It is a costly mistake and it makes me constantly evaluate my daily interactions with people.

So I have something to regret. I remember what I lost, even if it was only fictitious. I remember what I have done as well, both the good and the bad. My penance is my ultimate goal in life: to raise the standard of living for those around me so that they in turn raise the standard of living of those around them. We each must choose to better ourselves to in turn make the world a better place around us. We can only affect those we come in contact with and ultimately only have control over ourselves. It's like the line in Gladiator:


What we do in life echoes in eternity.

Ultimately, I want to help people. I hate dealing with people who are slow to learn because I lack the patience to help them learn. Granted, learning is a two-way street. The best teacher in the world cannot teach those who do not wish to learn; this is one of life's greatest paradoxes. It is because of my fallibility that I recluse myself--a poor excuse for handling the situation indeed.

I can only change me and lead by example. If one day I have lived long enough to be a good example and overcome my flaws I may be able to have influence to teach others in a more hands on approach. I thank God that I live in a county where I have the freedom to become whatever I put my energies into becoming or, as the Founding Father's so eloquently put it, I have the unalienable Right...[to] the pursuit of Happiness.

I now put the question to you: What do you want to accomplish before you kick the bucket?

[User Picture]From: ehowton
2008-11-11 10:37 pm (UTC)
18. Be husband and a father that inspires other husbands and fathers to raise their standard of living for themselves and their families.

HA! Try getting married and having kids. I've succeeded at everything I've set my hand to in life, and this has proven the most challenging adventure yet. I can't imagine attempting it were I anything less than at the top of my game.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-11-11 10:38 pm (UTC)
I didn't say that all of my goals were atainable. Some things are better left a fantasy, wouldn't you agree?
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[User Picture]From: ehowton
2008-11-11 10:47 pm (UTC)
So...what's the point of your list? If that's the case, using it as an example of a list of things which we say we'd like to accomplish that we know will never *actually* happen, I'd like to:

1. Piss 18-year old aged Scotch
2. Shat Cuban cigars
3. Grow a vagina on my right hand
4. Build a palace made of gold
5. Collect a harem of movie stars
6. Teach my boy to levitate
7. Deed New Zealand to my daughter

Dude, I could go on. I'm sorry that I missed the point of your post. Yes, I think you 'goals' are admirable.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-11-11 10:52 pm (UTC)
I was attempting to be funny. Yes, I accept what you're saying. But the fact of the matter is it's just not time for me to become a husband or a father just yet. Wouldn't you agree?
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[User Picture]From: katranna
2008-11-30 04:52 am (UTC)
I am just surfing by, but this comparison is bizarre. This is a list of wishes, not of goals. Goals are things that one actively works towards, and it is often ok that they are mayhap unrealistic, because the things achieved in the pursuit of them are rewarding by themselves. Such as: a friend of mine wants to become a high-selling author and live well by writing. Is it realistic? It's hard to get published in fiction, harder still to live off it. But she's going to TRY, so she finished her first draft of her novel, she is revising it, sending it off to agents, etc. The completion of the novel and the experience she's gained will be a reward in itself even if it doesn't sell.

Now if you were ACTIVELY trying to collect a harem of movie stars and grow a vagina on your hand--by, sya, becoming a biotech engineer--then your list miight be comparable. But only one or two things on the original list were unrealistic, and none were totally implausible...
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[User Picture]From: ehowton
2008-11-30 02:09 pm (UTC)
Indeed. And yet that was my point entirely. When he replied that the goals he listed were not items he *actually* expected to attain, rather 'left for fantasy' (i.e. not things he was actively working toward or attempting to pursue as you stated) they became exactly that - wishes.

And Howdy! Good luck to your friend as well. That's really neat.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-11-30 02:20 pm (UTC)
It's what's called I had a conflict of interest. I asked you before and I'll ask you again: do you really think that I'm ready to be a parent or would make a good father if I had a child today?

It is ok to want something and be scared of it at the same time. Why can't I have a little self-doubt.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-11-12 01:46 am (UTC)
Let me try this again since you took exception to my initial reply:

I can't just get married. I have to actually convince a girl that marrying me would be a good thing to do. Besides, I think that I need to accomplish other things on the list before I think about getting married. At the very least, I need a larger revenue stream to pay for Obama's tax hike.

I thought of you this evening. I was giving a young blogger some advice and I popped the Calvin Coolidge quote. I thought of you and felt old using it on someone else. But that doesn't make it any less true.
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