Darn, that’s a REALLY difficult question for me to answer. Today, it is:
When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I’ll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about
all the no’s you’ve said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.
No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered,
cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.
If you could go back and re-live one moment in your life thus far, not to change anything, but just to experience it again, what would you choose?
When I was a junior in high school, I went to what was the best All State choir conference I ever participated in. We were in rehearsal, working on Rachmaninoff’s Ave Maria, and our director had us form a circle around the gym we were in. He had us imagine that we were in Russia, we lived in a very remote region, and we could only afford to get to church once in our lives. So we make this pilgrimage to this big church and we hear music for the first time in our lives. “Sing it like this is the first time music has touched your ears,” he said.
If I could experience that moment, and the music that followed—the most beautiful music making of my life—I would do it in a heartbeat.