'Before I Die...' - by Candy Chang

You've probably now established that I'm quite the lover of Candy Chang's stuff!

So I have another 'event' to share with you. At least I would say it is an event, rather than a 'piece' or an 'installation'. Those words make me think of something physical that you just stand there looking at for a minute or two, pretending to all insightful and sophisticated, and then move on to the café for a pastry. Candy's work has an extraordinary outreach, and really engages you to think and interact.

'Before I Die' started with Candy and a derelict house in a New Orleans neighbourhood. She completely painted the boarded-up house with chalkboard paint. She invited the local community to write on this chalkboard the things that they would like to do before they die.

The board was filled very quickly, and more boards have sprung up around the world!

Some of these make you crease with laughter, some get you down, and a few give you insight into people's dark troubles and traumas. It gives you an impression of what matters to people, what people have experienced, and what a fulfilled life would be for these people.

Most importantly, it should make YOU think!

What is important to you in life? When - and after what - would you be able to say that you are ready to die with no regrets? What would make you satisfied?

I personally like this theme because it is something I think about quite a lot, particularly being 20-years old and on the threshold of what people call 'real life'. I want to start off on the right foot, to make the most of the time I have left, but perhaps worrying about that is time-consuming itself!

I would probably say my biggest fear is of wasting time. I don't think I've had any kind of trauma that has made me suddenly aware of how short life is. I work around a lot of old people in my volunteering work though, and I reckon talking to them about their prime-times in life has made me realise that one day I will be just like them, and it will all come to a close, quickly or slowly!

Thing is, don't get too caught up in the day-to-day. It seems too easy to worry about what to have for dinner or whether to get a black or a white iPhone, and other little stresses. Take time out to put things into perspective, and you will gradually realise what really matters, and what doesn't.





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