Life happens fast. 1 year. 2 years. Before you know it, 5 years go by in what feels like a mili-second. All your dreams. All your aspirations. Everything you've strived for and believed would bring you happiness with each passing year- has it?

I thought I knew what I wanted to "be". I thought I knew where my life was "going". Turns out I knew nothing.

My passions changed. My desires changed. My job, career and even location changed. And the pursuit of happiness on a road driven by pride and selfish ambition left me breathless. It's never enough.

But somewhere along the way I gained perspective. Maybe from one of the valleys, or deserts or mountains that were strategically graphed in to challenge me on my journey and I discovered the most important thing in life.

And that is: to live it.

A simple answer provoking a multitude of questions.

What is it to live? I guess that's where the adventure begins. By asking yourself this question and by answering it through experiencing life's opportunities. By not being afraid to embrace each season of risk- love, friendship, family, marriage, babies, traveling, being single, scaling mountains, staying home, riding waves, raising a family, making bold statements, doing hard things, being yourself, being rejected, being persecuted, being alone, being together. And through it all we're learning how to live. Not striving to be or go, but pacing ourselves to fully give life our best shot.

This is a reminder for myself to look back on, next year or even in 10 years:

To Live. God alone gives life definition. He existed before you, therefore He knows more stuff. Trust. Obey. Do crazy things for Him.

Live. Enjoy the people that give your life importance and spend your time serving and caring for them for the rest of your life.

Live. Dream big and don't give up. Business is all about valuing people. Don't ever be impressed by your title or lack there of. Put others first always. Never get so stuck on a dream that it becomes who you are.

Live. Be yourself. Unhindered by your environment or community. Set yourself free to share your gifts and unique personality with a humble heart. You're not as important as you think you are, but you're still pretty cool.

Live. Change the world naturally by how you live out of your heart. Make small changes and big changes. Don't tolerate self-glory out of charitable donations. Don't be excessively passionate and build your world around your cause. Have a compassionate heart for the whole world. Do good in secret.

Live. Let the hard times open your heart wider to love better and give more.

Live. You will face adversity, uncertainty and trials- but be strong and very courageous. You will win if you just keep going.

I have only been alive for 24 short years. Learning to live takes time. And as I'm learning and experiencing life I hope to continue to help others find the answers to their questions as well.

So, future Esther, stop asking yourself what you want to be & where you want to go. The most important thing in life is: to L I V E it!