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

Throw out the five-year plan. Toss out the day planner. Turn my back on the could-ofs, should-ofs, and would-ofs constantly swirling through my head. Free myself from the CAGE of my own expectations... to graduate from the top schools, secure the most prestigious jobs, find the perfect husband, raise four beautiful kids, rise to the top of my field, take care of my parents, be a community leader, save the world, so on, and (sigh) so on.

I want to break free... and finally LIVE. I itch to take off the training wheels and RACE head first into my life. MY LIFE. I want it to be chaotic, unpredictable... filled with mistakes, challenges, and character defining moments. No more safe, steady existence. No more safety net. I want to experience it all...the incredible highs as well as the unfortunate lows.

At the end of my life, I want to look back on a life filled with vivid memories - of five-hour dinner parties discussing the meaning of life with friends, of trips to exotic locales with my parents and sister, of lazy Sunday mornings cuddling in bed with my husband, of ridiculously disastrous trips with my wonderfully imperfect kids...and the list goes on. Memories of ordinary moments made extraordinary simply because they were mine, because I was there, because I LIVED them.

I know that this particular transformation will be difficult for me. I love plans, schedules, and day planners. It has defined my life to this point. It has given me my successes. But I am finally ready to make this leap. Ready or not...HERE I COME! Into a messy, unpredictable, and crazy life where I will have no regrets... no could-ofs, should-ofs, or would-ofs.

I still have a lot more to do with this life I have!

— Monica Lee