May 18, 2011

What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? ~ Jolee McBreen

It’s an interesting and somewhat doom and gloom question to ask.

What do you want to do before you die?

I am—as my poor mother knows too well–an over-worrying freak. Growing up, if there was a pain in my head, leg, or toe, I would fly to the nearest keyboard and consult WebMD. Which informed me that, surprise, I’m dying.

I wouldn’t say that I’m completely cured, but I have cut myself off cold turkey from WebMD for some time now.

However, it doesn’t stop there. The many lovely discussions about May 21, 2011 and December 2012—days when the world will supposedly end—still get me riled.

Last year, I read somewhere about a “psychic” predicting a nuclear war at some point in November 2010. Let’s just say it was a stressful month.

I hate to admit that I’m one to give into these asinine predictions, but I guess a part of me can’t help but wonder, “What if?”

At the beginning of this year, installation artist Candy Chang converted what was once the side of an ordinary house in New Orleans into a giant chalkboard dripping with aspirations of passerbys.

Chang’s website states:

“Before I Die, transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us.”

Her goal was to use the wall in a public space where it generated communication within city life. It was a way to psychically read what was important to people, not just as residents, but as human beings. Especially effective for residents of New Orleans who have seen so much turmoil in the past. It revives hope within the community.

Priorities ranged from, owning a dog, be published, find love, to understand why I’m here, and

“Before I Die… I want to eat all the candy and sushi in the world.”

Written by a little girl. I have to say, I like her style.

We never know when our ‘last day’ is going to be our last day. I seem to find comfort in a list. In keeping one of my own, it encourages me to keep going, doing, fighting, and flipping off that tool, Grim Reaper.

I’m sure we all keep our own list. Maybe on paper or maybe in our head, but we very seldom get to see each others. Some things on mine are: study abroad, eventually pay off my mounting school debt, live in an apartment that has more than 500 square feet and many more.


What do you want to do before you die?


Jolee McBreen is a student at the Art Institute and whips up delicious coffee concoctions at a coffee shop in Denver. When she’s not avoiding homework or steaming milk she can be caught with her family, friends, snuggling her two adorable dogs, or dancing… pretty much anywhere.

Read 6 Comments and Reply

Read 6 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Elephant journal  |  Contribution: 1,375,490