“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

-Mary Oliver


Have you ever read something that just punches you in the gut with its truth and takes your breath away with its beauty?

That is what this quote is to me.  I first read it about 6 years ago.  It was used by a blogger I follow.  It struck me to my core then, but I struggled to understand what my mind and my heart were trying to tell me with it.  After that first time seeing it, it began to appear seemingly everywhere.  On Instagram, on other blogs, in books I was reading, framed on a wall in a coffee shop.  Over the years, and almost always at the most needed times in my life, I have been confronted with these words and the question they pose in more places and more times than I can possibly count.

The most recent instance was when I finally started to understand the message and the answer I want to give.  In a staff meeting I noticed these words tattooed on a coworker’s arm, and it seemed so serendipitous because I had found myself thinking about this quote more and more recently on my own.


As 2015 is coming to a close and I am looking forward to 2016 and what I hope it will bring for me and my family, I find that this sentiment has become my guiding principle.  If I had to answer the question of whether I am making the most of my one wild and precious life right now, I would have to answer no.  Coming to that realization has been the first step to identifying what I do plan to do with my one wild and precious life.

The simple answer is that I plan to chase dreams.  What I finally understand from these words is that we only have one life, and that we even get that one life is such a precious thing, and it is a wild force of nature that deserves freedom to pursue its passions.


I look at my beautiful daughter, and I want to be the best mom I can be for her.  I want to be a role model.  And what kind of role model would I be if I told her that yes, I knew I had a different dream, that I wanted to do something else with my life that would fulfill my soul, but I never took the risk to pursue it, because, well, because I didn’t love myself or her enough to do everything I could to be the best me I can me?

That I have managed to identify a path for my life that I believe will truly fulfill my heart and my soul is amazing, not everyone is lucky enough to say that.  And so I owe it to myself, to my daughter, to my husband, to everyone I love, to actually go for it.

I don’t do resolutions, I just don’t think they are helpful.  But I will say this, 2016 is when I, with the support of my loving family, will be taking the very first steps to chase my dreams.  It is a very long road, and there is every possibility that Plan A won’t work out, in which case we will turn to Plan B, and we will continue pursuing all the way through Plan Z if necessary.

At the end of the day, if this dream never manages to come to life, I will at least be able to say that I chased it and will never be able to regret not trying.  And that’s the example I want to set for my daughter, we only have one wild and precious life, don’t waste it wishing for something more when you have ability to make that something more happen.

And anytime I need I reminder of why I’m doing this, all I need to do is look down now.