I know the title is a bit morbid... but it's also one of the most powerful questions that anyone has ever asked me.
Sometimes I feel like I'm in this consistent battle of knowing what to prioritize in my life: work, family, relationships, health, socializing, etc. It's so easy to get caught up in all the DOINGS of life... What am I doing? Where am I going? What's happening? And at times, I feel like I loose sight of the big picture. I get overwhelmed or stressed over small things that in the grand scheme of things... really means nothing and will soon pass.
When I can just take a step back and say, "What really matters?" I find it helpful to have these more specific questions that help me narrow down my answer to that. When I was venting to my roomie/ best friend Shawn about feeling lost and not really knowing where to focus my attention, time, and energy, he asked me the question, "Well, what would you want your tombstone to say?" I found it a funny question at first but it really did make me think... When I die, how do I want to be remembered? Do I want to be known as the "Famous and Talented Actress Nikki SooHoo who had a very successful career," or the "Best Friend, Daughter, Mother, and Woman who brought light into people's lives, spreading happiness, positivity, and love into the world."
Don't get me wrong... of course I want to be successful and great at what I do... but is that the FIRST thing that I'd want people to think of when they think of me?
Recently, many events in my life have made me realize how fragile life is... how easily it can be taken away from us, or how quickly your quality of life can change with the slightest accident or mishap. I've been thinking about how important it is to live EVERYDAY, trying my best to be the best woman I can be, and to not take my life (or anyone else's) for granted. I was also just listening to Oprah's podcast interviewing David Brooks and they were talking about how we've become a more self-centered society, focusing more on fame and success than on morality and character. They mentioned a Harvard study where high school sophomores were asked what their parents cared about more: the kids getting good grades OR the kids being kind people. The kids answered that they thought their parents cared more about them getting good grades.
I don't want the first words you think of when you think of me to have anything to do with my career... I want the most impactful and memorable parts of me to be the way I positively impacted your lives. Here's my dedication to the woman I promise to strive to be everyday:
I AM A LIGHT. I AM KIND. I AM LOVING. I AM OPEN. I AM ACCEPTING. I AM CARING. I AM COMPASSIONATE. I AM EMPATHETIC. I AM PRESENT. I AM FUN. I AM HAPPY. I AM LOYAL. I AM HONEST. I AM COMMITTED TO THINGS THAT I CARE ABOUT. I LIVE OUT OF LOVE NOT FEAR. I AM ADVENTUROUS. I AM EXCITED BY LIFE. I AM ENERGIZING. I AM UPLIFTING. I AM MOTIVATING. I AM INSPIRING. I AM ENCOURAGING. I AM FULL OF OPTIMISM AND POSITIVITY. I AM A GOOD FRIEND. I AM A GOOD DAUGHTER. I WILL BE A GOOD MOTHER. BUT NONE OF THE LESS... I AM A GOOD PERSON.
Oh... AND I'M WILDLY SUCCESSFUL AT EVERYTHING I PUT MY MIND TOO ;)