I used to have a bucket list. Buried deep in one of my journals, that sucker is about four pages long. I started listed everything I wanted to do until I realized that I wanted to do just about everything and that maybe it would be easier to list the things I don't want to do or the things I've already done. At the time, I was homeless. I was living with my best friend's parents while I looked for a place that I could afford on my own, as well as a job. At the time, I allowed that bucket list to define me as a failure.
I let that list tell me I wasn't good enough and that I'd never be able to do any of it. I hurt the people I cared about. I stomped on my best friend's heart. I had suicidal thoughts. After I realized that the root of all of my problems was an addiction to alcohol, I vowed to my best friend I would never allow myself to be drunk ever again. He didn't believe that I could be sober, and that only drove me further to prove to him that I could be a great person again.
He would go on to forgive me, and I am now going on my sixth year of sobriety. I have had a glass of wine here and there, but true to my word, I have not been drunk. What was lacking in my life was maturity. I simply needed to grow up and realize that it is possible to enjoy life without abusing a substance, and opening my eyes to that brought me true joy in life, especially as a mother. And though I am not keeping track of the bucket list any longer, I have gone on to accomplish many awesome things - I've gotten married, I've helped make two more amazing children, I've traveled more of the world, I've been published both as a model, writer, and photographer, my image and my photography has graced billboards all over, I launched my own businesses, and I helped found a non-profit charity called One Corner at a Time. Only once I started being truly thankful for the wonderful things I have and have been able to accomplish could I truly move on from my past. I had to learn that my life is not a bucket list to check off, and that God has bigger plans for us and bigger lessons to learns - lessons that cannot fit on a simple bucket list.