The Desire to Do it All (Part One)

Forget The Movie, Here's The Real Bucket List
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List

Currently Listening to: Haggarty by Covey

“What Do You Want” – Ryan Gosling

“Are you sure? There’s no way this is going to taste good.” Duh. This is what my mom said to me before trying bacon flavored soda. Admittedly I did regret drinking this later, which I don’t know what I was thinking being 11 years old and having little money and blowing it on obviously poorly crafted soda at the candy store. Bacon was a trend there for a minute though in the late 2000s and early 2010s, kind of how we treat avocados now. There was bacon phone cases, bacon soda, bacon scratch and sniff stickers, and notoriously awful bacon gum. It was always fun trying this bizarrely, flavored food out given that the consumption of it made no sense in any reality. What would prompt me to try pear and blue cheese ice cream when there are so many flavors that I KNOW are safe? Well, I just find that to be boring.

I think most people reading this that know me will agree when I say I’m an adventurous eater. Stank faces and “really Campbell”s fly my way pretty frequently, especially at festivals where there’s such a massive variety of options. While my roommates last year would be ordering pepperoni and sausage pizzas from Dominos, I’d be ordering pineapple, feta, and spinach. What? You sure you guys don’t wanna try any? Positive? *waves slice above face* Last chance? Bet, more for me then.

Adventurous eating is severely underrated in my eyes and always has been. Man vs Food was always such a comfort show to me because of all the crazy and enticing food that Adam Richman would eat. I never planned on getting endless amounts of health issues and doctor visits though, nor scorching the inside of my mouth from eating ghost chili wings. However, I was always inspired by people like Richman. Doing what you love and traveling the country doing all these unique challenges and alongside that trying invigorating new dishes. I don’t want to limit this entry to just food though, I strongly believe in trying out new activities and pursuing your personal bucket list. It is both eye opening and helps yourself grow as well.

Free Falling

Growing up I was kind of a wimp when it came to doing somewhat adventurous excursions. Roller coasters, waterslides, haunted houses. Six Flags? Forget it, this $30 funnel cake looks good. Why risk my life doing something I don’t even think I’ll like? Foolish Campbell, you nerd. It took me until I was about 13 to start getting out of my comfort zone. Ironically, I credit this transition to my 8th grade field trip to Six Flags. My ‘friend’ group at the trip was very familiar with the park and was more adventurous than I could ever have imagined. Call me a simp if you want, but back then things were different. There was a girl involved. I had been dreading this trip for a while since I was never good with roller coasters or heights of any depth. This was the moment that Boys turned II Men.

“Hey, let’s ride the giant drop!”

What the fuck? You really want me to write my will that you’ll DEFINITELY be left out of right now? I have the pen in my plaid cargo shorts and paper in my cinch sack, don’t think I won’t. So reluctantly I went on. My ass-cheeks were soaking wet since there was a storm that passed through prior, but soggy buns were the least of my worries. Keeping them attached afterwards was more of an issue. Contrary to popular belief, the worst part of the roller coaster is not the drop or the climb, it’s the line. Every single conceivable thing that could go wrong runs through your head. What if my seatbelt flies off? What if I throw up and spend the rest of the day in puke enveloped clothes and be known as the throw up kid (this was middle school it would happen)? What if that suggested video of the kid dying on the Batman ride that came up while looking at footage of the Raging Bull POV to make yourself less worries the next day happened to you?

Anyhow, I was elevating up clenching the handlebars with as much might as my slippery hands could muster. They always tell you to not look down, but looking straight ahead isn’t much better. Not only can you see clouds and other coasters that are much smaller than the one you’re riding in operation, but you’re also looking down from a distance. So, well, that’s a lie. I looked down anyways because I’m four, five seconds away from pissing my shin length shorts. Before I have time to even process what’s happening…


WHY AM I FALLING??? Is this it? Why does it feel like my face is being sucked by a vacuum hose? Next thing I know we’re on the ground. Of course me being the nerd I was at the time was like, eh that wasn’t that bad. As if they didn’t hear me having a Woody Allen-style meltdown, minus the whole marrying his daughter part.

What was significant about this day and moment really was that going back to the bus, not a lot of people had gone on the Giant Drop that day and being able to say that I conquered the ride was a total confidence boost. Although I didn’t have the t-shirt to prove that I rode it, it did what a lot of kids my age didn’t that day. Ever since then I’ve really not been scared of really much of anything. I’m frantically searching for wood to knock on while typing this.

Have You Met Ted?

One of my favorite shows, if not my favorite, is How I Met Your Mother. One thing that was always played for laughs was whenever the characters were at their favorite bar, MacLarens, and Ted (main character) was having mixed thoughts about going up and talking to some attractive girl his friend Barney would always go up to said girl and tap her on the shoulder. Not to hit on her, but for her to turn around and Barney would say “have you met Ted?” Boom. Conversation started.

Seeing situations like this in TV, especially in a show that I identify with as much as this one makes me think. Copious amounts of our fear is us being so in our heads that we convince ourselves to not do something out of potential failure or consequence. So much of my struggle when it came to trying new things was thinking about what happened after. I went into every situation expecting failure and spent more time thinking about the activity itself than it probably would’ve taken to actually do it. It’s like the Lit song suggests, “I am my own worst enemy”.

I would be lying if I said there weren’t some things that make me feel uneasy to this day. Even though I love roller coasters now, I still get the slightest bit nervous about riding. Not because of consequences, but probably more anticipation than anything. Heights still freak me out though. Being anywhere near a cliff with no barriers or driving on a hilly road with no barriers still trips me out to this day.

Heights in particular are more of a rooted fear as studies show that those who suffer from acrophobia (fear of heights) have similar qualities to those that suffer from frequent panic attacks.

Yes Man

There have been time periods in my life where I have felt as though I wasn’t interesting. From countless psychology videos I have watched it seems like a good amount of us have this false presumptive thought in our heads. This perspective changed when I watched the movie Yes Man. If you’ve never seen the movie it basically follows Jim Carrey playing a guy who turns down every opportunity. He turns down clients at his job, turns down picking up his phone, ditches his friends. He’s a “no man”. He as a result is unhappy with life. It isn’t until one day where he attends a seminar where a man challenges him to say yes to everything. So he does exactly that and all of a sudden things start to turn around for him.

I took this movie to heart immediately. I began saying yes to so many more opportunities in life and things progressively got better as time went along. It was the equivalent of the carpe diem scene in Dead Poets Society. Choosing to seize the day was the best advice I had ever received. I regret ever taking that advice or phrase for granted.

Do it! – Shia LaBeouf

You might be wondering at this point what fear and saying yes have to do with wanting to do everything as the title suggests. I use these various forms of media like these movies to help better get my point across. People tend to understand when they have ideas and methods to compare to like those in the movies. So when it comes to the idea of fear in doing what you want to do, it is so much of a learning curve and a cheat code for life when you are able to not think, but do. A lot of us were conditioned by school and stories growing up to think before we act. While you should definitely use your brain when it comes to certain things, sometimes it’s better to just turn your brain off. Don’t worry about the consequence.

What I feel makes a person TRULY boring is someone that half-asses life. Everyone has something to offer in life, but if you’re someone that doesn’t commit to new activities and just sticks with what makes you comfortable it makes you overall less appealing. Not to mention not very worldly. I’m a very strong believer in the phrase YOLO, not just because of the Drake or Lonely Island songs, but because I always think about what I’ll be leaving behind. The question I ask a lot of people I trust having an intimate conversation with is what do they think will be on their headstone or written in their eulogy. This is my daily mantra. Think about what you do today and what you want to do and how that shapes you as a person.

So much of my progression in life was held back by doubt or by giving up because I felt as though I couldn’t catch up to people further ahead than me. Once I gave that up and committed to the activities that partake in now I feel I’ve developed more of a personality than ever before. Getting back into baseball regularly in 2014 reminded me of why I love the Chicago Cubs. Committing to my fraternity more than I have in the past makes me feel more in tune with how much more good I can do for others by volunteering frequently. Getting over my fear of not having faith in putting out my writing out there on a public platform wouldn’t have gotten me to where I am typing now.

Leave the best legacy behind to inspire those that follow. Be the person with the coolest eulogy.

I hope to do another part to this entry that’s more research based than story based. Hope you stay tuned for that!

Published by cpetschke

College student, writer, music lover, listener, learner.

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