Before I Die

Death is one of those subjects that we just don’t talk about, even though inevitably – it’s going to happen to all of us. Far too often, kids go their entire lives without knowing their parent’s wishes for “the end.” I get it. It’s just not something we want to talk about in a world so focused on life and what great thing we’re doing next. I mean, who wants to bring up final wishes while making pleasant small talk? Not I.

While talking about death is important and saves headaches for everyone during their mourning period, I think there’s another conversation that’s almost as vital: telling your family and/or inner circle about what you want to accomplish before the end comes, so they can help push you towards what you want while we’re all still around.

See, I’m starting to believe that our dreams die first. We put our dreams away in journals and sticky notes on our desks – kept private, for our eyes only as we try to take on the challenge of change. We quietly struggle, taking the route of venting instead of voicing our dreams and making those known. We’re talking to our cubicle neighbors about our weight gain instead of talking about that secret resolution to just not be obese any more.

I’m starting to believe that fulfilling your dreams can, and should, be a team effort.

I started this post a few years ago on one of my other attempts at starting to write more and my list, then, was pretty simple. In the spirit of transparency, with updates for my life today in the brackets:

Before I die, I want to….

  • Weigh in and not be obese by that stupid chart. {Down 75 pounds, now. Check}
  • Run a half marathon in another country. {Not yet – still a dream}
  • Have a map the size of a wall in my office to track all the places I’ve been. {Bought my scratch map last year and looking forward to scratching more this year}
  • Be a VP of something. {I make up my job title at work so I’ll call this one done}

I look back on some of those dreams and I can’t help but think “wow, I was dreaming really small.” It’s funny how looking back on all of that puts things into perspective so much more than looking ahead. I guess dreams that feel big will always feel big until you’ve accomplished them.

But the one thing that was in common with each of these big, scary goals is that I always had a team (minus the poster thing, I just needed a credit card for that).  To lose the weight, I had an army of people that always had my back – from my trainer who literally climbed a mountain for me, to my friends, co-workers and partners. To become a VP (and the power to choose my titles), I have a really awesome manager who always has my back. And for all the long nights and frustrating days, I’ve had my own cheering squad to remind me I’m ok.

I let my team help me fulfill my dreams, and I can’t help but think they’re the reason I was ever able to do it all in the first place.

Today, I can’t answer the question. But I do know that when I figure it out, everyone will know what I want to do before I die.

Art Before I Die


Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster,, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

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