There’s a giant blackboard in the heart of conservative Canberra causing a stir because its asking locals to publically announce the big ticket item on their bucket list.
“Before I die I want to…” and you finish the sentence.
If you’re from Townsville, Port Pirie, Melbourne, Geelong, Geraldton, Glenlyon or Gawler you may have already picked up a bit of chalk and broadcast your life’s sole mission.
This global public art project by Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang has made its way to the nation’s capital, and who knew finishing one sentence would be so difficult?
I couldn’t do it. I had a mini freak-out. I couldn’t hone in on what it is that I’d like to do with my life. Jesus. I headed into the city for a coffee. Who knew I’d end up pondering my mortality like this?
I was going to put, “Before I die I want to be a mum” — but what if I’m unable to have kids? Would that make me feel like my life hadn’t been a success?
One lady wrote, “Before I die I want to pash Robbie Williams”. She earned a high five. Her friend wrote, “Before I die I want to find the perfect pair of jeans”, and I was kind of jealous they could so quickly write something sassy and head on their way. I wondered if that was REALLY what they wanted to write.
“Have a threesome”, “go to mars”, “own a lolly shop” and “go on Family Feud” were some of my favourite answers. (Side note: who doesn’t want to clean up on Family Feud? Life. Goals.)
Then some answers stayed with me for days.
“Before I die I want a divorce.”
“Before I die I want to meet my Dad and tell him I forgive him.”
“Before I die I want to let go.”
“Before I die I want to stare at the stars holding my son.”
“Before I die I want to hold Sally’s hand one more time.”
“Before I die I want to be somebody.”
That last one got me. I thought about the author for the entire trip home, wishing I could go around to their house with a six-pack and remind them that they ARE somebody to someone.
The thing I love about this, is that it reminds you to be connected. We’re so busy with work, kids, family, indoor netball and repeat… that sometimes we lose sight of those things that make us truly happy.
Also, once you’ve identified what action your sentence ends with; what’s your plan to achieve it?
You can’t declare to the world you want to be on Family Feud and not go home and send Grant Denyer the best damn audition tape his producer has ever seen.
If you’ve written “Before I die I want to get a divorce” boy, you have some plans to make. Also, what is more important than those plans if you’re unhappy?
This was more than just a blackboard and scribble, it’s clarity for the world to see.
By now, you’re probably wondering what mine is.
Well, before I die… I want to be proposed to in the most surprising way.
(If my boyfriend is reading this: no pressure, honey.)
So, what would you write? Tell us in the comments below.
Kristen Henry is one half of Kristen and Rod for Breakfast on MIX 106.3 in Canberra. Follow her adventures at kristenhenry.com.au.