Horace, the Roman lyric poet, coined the Epicurean sentiment carpe diem in Satire, his first book of poems published in 33 BCE:

Ask not—we cannot know—what end the gods have set for you, for me; nor attempt the Babylonian reckonings Leuconoë. How much better to endure whatever comes, whether Jupiter grants us additional winters or whether this is our last, which now wears out the Tuscan Sea upon the barrier of the cliffs! Be wise, strain the wine; and since life is brief, prune back far-reaching hopes! Even while we speak, envious time has passed: pluck the day (carpe diem), putting as little trust as possible in tomorrow!

I've faced mortality. I'm not sweating the small stuff. I accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can and leave the rest. I'm less OCD; who cares if my winter clothes get stored in the correctly-labeled plastic bin? Cancer has made me live boldly - I ask for what I want, dare to take that step, reach for the stars; why not? I realize the only one limiting me from following my true dreams and desires was myself, and now that I've tangoed with death, I push my insecurities aside and step into my true, courageous self, no apologies. Now, on the "other side" of cancer (for the time being), I can say that cancer gave me the gift of fully living, being awake in my life, plucking the day. 

"Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary...."

Chiara D'Agostino3 Comments