I Swam with Sharks: Living Life on Your Terms

“Go confidently in the direction your dreams!  Live the life you’ve imagined”


For the past few weeks, I experienced nothing but absolute boredom.

If I wasn’t at school silently brooding about not wanting to do anything, then I was at home lying in my bed.  I had no motivation to even eat (nor did I want to) and I was not trying to go outside because it was too much of something that I wanted no part of.  In other words, I was looked like this on the outside:

But felt like this on the inside:

It was very Crazytown.

One day, I was cruising the internet looking at Jeremy Renner pictures (that sounds reallllly creepy right now) when I somehow came upon one of his interviews.  He was doing a feature in Men’s Health and because I’m a huge fan of one I came to know as Hawkeye, I clicked on the article’s link.  Coming into it, I thought I was going to read something about how he transformed himself into a walking gun show (have you seen this man’s arms?  Fuckin’.  Gun Show).  But what I read was about a man who lives life on his own terms.  I think the article itself was actually entitled “Jeremy Renner Lives Life on His Own Terms.”

Or something like that.

Anyway, the one line that stuck out for me was “I do something I fear everyday.  I swam with sharks yesterday.”

When I read that line, I realized something.  I wasn’t bored, but afraid.  So much so I placed my life on hold.  I’m basically a free spirit that simply didn’t know what to do with myself at times.  And because I didn’t know, I didn’t do anything at all.  It’s as if I paralyzed myself into thinking that I had to live my life a certain way instead of my way.  Furthermore, if I tried to live life my way, then somehow I was going to ruin my life to the point of no return.  I even placed limits on myself, truly believing that I had to be at a certain point of my life to do certain actions.  If I wanted to travel internationally, I can just let go of that because I will be in debt after I graduate and will never have the money.  If I wanted to wear a 1940s flower printed dress with that vintage gas mask, I can’t because I don’t have the body yet.  I want to skydive, but can’t because I’ll die….


That night, after reading the article, I decided to get out of bed for the first time that night.  I picked a pen and ripped a piece of paper from one of my notebooks and proceeded to create a list called “Shit I’m Going to Do.”  It’s like a Bucket List, only I don;t plan on dying.  I wrote down actions I’ve thought about doing but didn’t for some reason.  Like “write my own play,” “skydive,” “create a program for women who’ve been sexually abused,” “write a book.”  I’m even going to learn to box so I can learn how to fight like Jason Bourne (who is also a walking gun show).  As far as long term goals, I will be travelling across the U.S. and internationally just because I can, writing a book and skinny dipping.

And I just didn’t write the list.  I acted on some of the tasks.  Another action is me not isolating so much and I now hang out with my housemates on the regular.  We’re going star gazing soon.  What I learned from the Jeremy Renner article is this:  I have to live my life the best way I know how–as a free spirit.  I cannot allow myself to be paralyzed by anyone or anything.  Besides, I didn’t come this far to be like Edward Scissorhands.  I came this far to live like this:



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