When I started putting together this interview series, it never occurred to me that someone could have lived their life without any somedays, but then I met Erin Doland of Unclutterer.com. It’s no wonder she’s editor-in-chief at the supremely popular blog – she’s a go-go-get-it-done type and definitely one of the bloggers I most admire in my RSS feed reader.
Who: Erin Doland of Unclutterer.com
I have a genetic disorder that isn’t typically kind to its victims. When I was diagnosed at a very early age with Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica, very little was known about the disorder. Doctors told my parents that I was one of 12 in the world (now we know the number to be more than 2,500), and that I shouldn’t expect to have a normal life.
It was explained to my parents that many children with EB die before puberty, and another large percentage get a form of incurable skin cancer and die in their 20s (in addition to all of the nasty implications of the disorder itself). I’m very lucky to have escaped both of these horrible possibilities, but, for my entire life, I’ve had this information hanging over me. My early teen years were especially awful. I would wake up every morning and think, “today could be the day.”
My parents have explained to me that they had two options with my upbringing: 1. Completely shelter me and try to keep me out of harm’s way (the “bubble” approach), or 2. Let me pack as much living into each moment of my life (Carpe Vitam, translated to mean Seize Life). They chose the second option, much to the chagrin of many of my parents’ friends and family. They taught me to take chances and not give up when people told me I couldn’t do something and to live as fully as possible.
The truth of the matter is that “today could be the day” for anyone, irrespective of a disorder or illness. This fact is a little easier to dismiss, however, when someone isn’t saying it to you on a regular basis. It’s morbid, but maybe it’s worth thinking about once in a while. Waiting for your ship to come in or falling prey to the “someday syndrome” isn’t how anyone should live his or her life.
I have very few regrets in my life, and I owe a great deal of that to my parents’ insistence that I Seize Life. I have always taken chances, been a bit brazen, and risked a little to gain a lot. Anyone can live this way, and the benefits are truly spectacular.