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Call me a Dreamer: Celebrating Immigrants in America

By Marisa Rivera.

What is on your Bucket List?

How long is your list? Do you keep adding to the list and never check off any items? How long are you planning to wait? Life is too short to wait any longer.

Underwater selfie Marisa Rivera and scuba diving instructor Tommy Fernandez.

I recently got two things checked off my bucket list. Becoming a certified open water PADI scuba diver and going lobster fishing during a mini session in Florida. Two areas where Las Jefas are not equally represented is underwater. Scuba diving has historically been a male dominated field. However, this is changing. Today 65 percent of certified divers are men and 35 percent are women, but more and more women have increasingly joined the ranks (PADI Statistics 2017).

The ocean was my playground when I was growing up in Puerto Rico and watched many Jacques Cousteau documentaries with my Dad, but never imagined that I could become a scuba diver myself. I dared myself to put it on my bucket list.

After many long hours of studying, testing and open water trainings with my childhood friend Tommy Fernandez, who is a well sought-after scuba diving instructor in Florida, I became a certified scuba diver. Three days after becoming certified, I went for lobster fishing, another item on my bucket list. It is difficult to express the incredible joy and breathtaking emotion experienced sharing the space with sharks, barracudas, turtles, sting rays, lobsters, corals and millions of fish species. The thrill, the happiness and the enormous sense of accomplishment was so great.

I keep dreaming of when my next dive is going to be. The peaceful, colorful and majestic universal ocean is amazing. I realize that every time I accomplish something on my bucket list, such as starting my own business, moving to Miami, trips to Galapagos and Africa or becoming a scuba diver – I ask myself – “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Many of us keep waiting for the perfect time, waiting to have enough money, or have the permission to follow our dreams. We are all pursuing happiness and the only time we have is NOW. My advice to you is to stop thinking and waiting for the perfect time to do what it is on your bucket list and start living NOW. Don’t fear what you most desire out of life and start your planning. Give yourself permission to invest in yourself and live the life that you want. If you wait too long, it might be too late.

If you have a bucket list, review it, and act on some of the items. If you don’t have one, start one. When doing your list, don’t put any obstacles, such as, “I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the right partner,” etc. Just find a quiet space, time, and dream of all the things you would LOVE to do in your lifetime. Then write them down, share them with friends and family. You don’t need to try to do all of the things at once or even in one year. Set a goal of one, five, even 15 years if you have to, but the more things you try to accomplish, the more you will change your life for the better! When you need to be re-energized, pick one and start the planning. Dare to live fully!

Marisa Rivera is president of Mpowerment Works, a motivational speaker, executive coach and leadership and empowerment consultant.

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