From time to time, I drop into our community (over here on Instagram) and ask your thoughts on a particular topic. There is such depth and wisdom among us that I can’t get enough of seeking out your perspectives on brave living.

 

But this time brought me to tears and I’m still processing it as I write this. 

 

 

I asked you what you’d like to ask your 80-year-old self – a question that provoked soul-searching among so many of you. 

 

Your responses moved not only me, but each other, too. I’ve never received so many messages thanking me for a story series, because it made you feel connected to our oneness as humans; because it reminded you that we are all, at the heart of it, the same; and because it reminded you that we only have right now to make meaning in our lives.

 

 I cried when I received messages from you to pass love and hope onto someone else who had contributed a question, and in doing so, shared their fears, pain, and wishes for a life well-lived.

 

 

May you find a piece of yourself as we honour each other in the questions below:

  1. Should I fall in line with the status quo, or will my passions be enough?
  2. How do I choose? Or better yet, was there even a choice available?
  3. Is all this hard stuff to follow my dreams worth it?
  4. Are you proud of the woman I am at 35?
  5. Should I go back and finish my degree?
  6. Did you do everything you set out to do?
  7. What do you wish you’d done but didn’t do?
  8. Looking back, what stands out as the most important experience that changed you?
  9. Will I love someone?
  10. Will someone love me?
  11. Are you proud of your journey?
  12. Aren’t you glad you didn’t give up?
  13. What do you wish you’d done, but you didn’t do out of fear?
  14. How did you discover what your heart and soul needed?
  15. Should we have kids?
  16. What do you wish you spent more time doing?
  17. What do you regret?
  18. Will you end up dying alone?
  19. Why did it take you so long to love yourself and your uniqueness?
  20. Did we finally elect a government who took action on climate change?
  21. Why did you stay with him for so long?
  22. Did life go on anyway? Despite it all?
  23. What big things turned out to be little things?
  24. What little things turned out to be the most important things?
  25. What cause do you wish we had really stood up for?
  26. Was the sacrifice worth it?
  27. What are all of the things you’re still looking forward to?
  28. Why didn’t you change careers earlier?
  29. Why did I focus on the ego and not on my mindful self?
  30. Was it worth all the work?
  31. Why did you worry so much about how your body looked?
  32. Did you feel free? 
  33. What made you most happy and joyful?
  34. What did you love most?
  35. Was he worth it?
  36. Did you make the most of it all?
  37. Why did you worry so much about other people’s opinions and feed all that self-doubt?
  38. What happens next?
  39. What do I not know right now that I should know?
  40. Are we happy?
  41. Were you present with your kids?
  42. How have you left the world in a better place?
  43. What should I have let go of sooner?
  44. Why did you wait?
  45. Why could I just never fit in?
  46. Is this glorious life still hilarious?
  47. What were the things you wish you dedicated more time to?
  48. What did it finally take for you to overcome anxiety and depression?
  49. Why did you let fear hold you back for so long?
  50. Why did you worry and stress so much?
  51. Did you ever find home?
  52. Did you find peace? How?
  53. Is it still as shameful and regretful as it feels now? Or has our heart mended at all?
  54. How and when did you learn to love and forgive yourself?
  55. What was the most exciting leap of faith that you took and landed?
  56. What is the most beautiful thing about the world?
  57. Did you let go of fear and travel to all those places you want to see?
  58. How did we get here?
  59. Did we survive climate change?
  60. Did you make a positive impact and love well?
  61. Did I make a difference?
  62. Did you find peace and love within yourself?
  63. What did you wish you had done when you were younger?
  64. Were you brave?
  65. What was your most amazing adventure?
  66. Does the pain ever leave?
  67. Is that deep level of trust ever reached? Are you ever able to trust enough for love?
  68. Did we cover it all?
  69. Did you change the world? Did you do what you could do to make it a better place for the next generation?
  70. How were you able to get through what I’m going through right now?
  71. Did you ever stop loving him?
  72. Did you find a way to accept it all?
  73. Did she come back or are we married to someone better?
  74. Am I making the right choices?
  75. Did we find a second chance at love?
  76. Did she ever learn to take time to care for you and to stop and slow down when you needed it?
  77. Did I spend my whole life heartbroken from losing my son?
  78. Was there a moment that defined your life? And did you know it at the time?
  79. What do you feel is the most important thing in life?
  80. Who do you wish you had more time with?
  81. How lucky are you?! This has been a good gig, yes?
  82. Are you at peace with yourself about choosing to be you and not following the beaten path?
  83. Did you finally learn to say no?
  84. Did you finally write the book?
  85. Was it as magical as 19-year-old us wanted it to be?
  86. What will my legacy be?
  87. Why did you let how much you weighed determine so much of your life? You were worthy and deserving no matter what number you were.
  88. If you had your time again, would you still do your PhD?
  89. I would just say “Well done you, you made it to 80. I love you.”
  90. What would you have done differently?
  91. Are you proud of yourself now?
  92. Did you ever find a way to feel safe being loved and connected? If so, how?
  93. Did you ever tell anyone about what they did to you? How?
  94. Are you finally free from your fears? Do any of them come true?
  95. How many things would you do differently, and what would they be?
  96. What are my next few chapters like? Are they better than these ones?
  97. After achieving success, and after enjoying this beautiful journey, are you ready to die?
  98. Did you come home to yourself and heal?
  99. Did you learn to go gently?
  100. Did you love well?
  101. Will I ever have a stable relationship?
  102. How did it feel when they said, ‘You are unique and we are proud of you’?
  103. How long did the world try to mould you into someone you could never be?
  104. Are you still the black sheep of the family? Do people still treat you differently?
  105. Did all those things you used to write affirmations about finally come true as you had wished?
  106. What fulfilled you? Or is fulfillment a lie?
  107. Would you change anything?
  108. Did you enjoy life?
  109. What do you feel is the most important thing in life?
  110. Was it all worth it, sweetheart?
  111. Why did you spend so much time worrying?
  112. What do you think now of all those years you lost to mental illness and anorexia?
  113. Are you still really happy?
  114. Did my husband come home?
  115. Did you do good for this world?
  116. What do you wish you’d embraced sooner?
  117. Which decision do you regret most? Which are you most happy about?
  118. Did you enjoy the journey?
  119. Do you feel loved?
  120. Why did you wait so long to unleash your true power?
  121. Did anything ever matter more than being true to, and taking care of, yourself?
  122. Why were you always so hard on yourself?
  123. What was your biggest lesson?
  124. What regrets do you have?
  125. Why were you so ashamed of having a depression diagnosis? Not a character law!
  126. Why didn’t you truly live life instead of observing it?
  127. Why did you put so much energy into the small stuff?
  128. Does it get better?
  129. How have you handled grief multiple times over?
  130. Did we ever have children?
  131. Did you live enough? (And continue living it?)
  132. Did you love enough? (And continue loving?)
  133. Did you really know I’m life itself?
  134. Did you do everything your heart wanted?
  135. How was the journey to here?
  136. Are you happy?
  137. We never did have a kid, did we? Did it get easier? Did we love each other enough to survive it?
  138. What is your favourite memory?
  139. What is your next goal?
  140. Was your life happy?
  141. I would thank myself for never giving up on me!
  142. What would you tell your 40-year-old self?
  143. Why did you spend so much time giving a fuck about others’ opinions?
  144. What do you regret not doing?
  145. In all that you did and didn’t do, every choice made, is there anything you would change?
  146. Did she ever stop affecting you?
  147. Did you live a good life?
  148. Do you still have dysautonomia?
  149. Any advice for me now?
  150. All in all, are you satisfied with what you’ve done in your life?
  151. Did you find love?
  152. You did everything for everyone else, what’s the use? What stayed with you except for you? Live for you.
  153. Any regrets?
  154. Were we ever able to forgive Mum for what she put us through?
  155. Have we made the world feel the warmth of our light over the years?
  156. Have you lived a happy life? What made you the happiest?
  157. Are you happy? Do you have meaning?
  158. Did you spend a major chunk of your life doing what YOU love with people you love as well?
  159. Did all those things you constantly worried about when you were younger really matter?
  160. Are you happy with the outcome?

 

 

Please remember this: The only person you ever need permission from is your future self.

 

Thank you for being here with me. We are so lucky to have each other in this brave, inspiring community.