In her recent guest essay in the New York Times, Kate Bowler (associate professor at Duke Divinity School and host of the podcast Everything Happens) suggests that the modern bucket list industry is a form of experiential capitalism; with at least a hundred books with titles like 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, it can provide enough activities to “keep people industriously morbid…. Hang gliding. Snorkeling. Times Square on New Year’s Eve and Paris in the spring….”
Kristin Armstrong, a freelance writer and contributing editor for Runner’s World magazine, and the ex-wife of cyclist Lance Armstrong, writes about “getting back the real me … one heartbreaking and publicly failed marriage later” (Kristin Armstrong on Marriage, Glamour Magazine, May 1, 2006).
If I were to do things over again, I wouldn’t have thrown myself so irrevocably into my new life. I would have guarded the things that made me feel like me — the places, the friends — and above all I would have spoken up about my needs. Instead, I will leave you with a lesson about how a woman can hold on to the bright, hard flame of who she is.