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A Love Affair with Life by Jacqueline Boone

I am excited to welcome Jacqueline Boone as my first guest blogger for Defying Small! I met Jacqueline through a Skillshare blogging class she was teaching and we instantly connected as passionistas. She is an amazing person and I believe her story will inspire you. Enjoy! Laura

Meet Jacqueline Boone! Photo by Vanessa Hellmann

Meet Jacqueline Boone! Photo by Vanessa Hellmann

Are you wholly, completely, absolutely head over heels in love with your life? If not, it may be time for a new relationship.

Of course there will be moments that are less than ideal—squabbles, mixed up directions, peaks and valleys, but at the end of the day do you think to yourself: “Wow! I love my life!”?

I wish I could tell you that as the creator of 6 Months to Live, a blog and company completely dedicated to inspiring, empowering, and helping people live their dreams, that I have always loved my life, but that’s not the case.

At the time I started 6 Months to Live, I was a 26-year-old who had just returned from the grand adventure of living and working in China for 3 years. I topped off the experience by working on a ranch in Montana, which was one of my childhood dreams. Fall came, and I found myself sitting on my mom’s couch in Atlanta, GA trolling the Internet for jobs in San Francisco during the 2009 recession. I felt deeply discouraged and life in suburbia felt painfully ordinary in comparison.

Hua Shan, China

Hua Shan, China

I went to a conference as an opportunity to network and hopefully land a job. An attendee at the conference asked me, “What would you do if you had 6 months to live?” I didn’t have a good answer.

That question stuck with me. If I had 6 months to live, what would I be doing different in my life? I decided to try a 6-month life experiment. What if I approached my life intentionally? What if I made the best of each day? What if I loved my life?

That decision completely changed my life and my philosophy towards it. I wrote 168 letters of gratitude to people all over the world for how they had made a difference in my life. I took last minute trips and moved to San Francisco with a place to live for a month, no job, and a little over $1,000. 5 weeks later I was hired by a great company working for the CEO doing international strategic partnerships for a 2-billion dollar company. And I lived happily ever after…for 3 years.

Three years later, I found myself no longer in love with my life, so I made a change. The truth is that life is constantly changing, just like our relationships. While our relationships with girlfriends, boyfriends, partners, friends, and family are significant, our relationships with life and ourselves are the longest and most important relationships during our time on earth.

Sailing in Mexico

Sailing in Mexico

Our relationship to life and to the people we choose to have in it makes all the difference. If you’re ready to make a change, but you don’t know where to start, begin with gratitude. It doesn’t mean that further changes in your approach or life won’t be needed, but it does make it immediately clear how much there already is to love in your world.

How we choose to spend our time makes up a lifetime. Sophie Tucker, a Vaudeville singer at the turn of the century, had a saying, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor—and believe me, rich is better. My saying is: “I’ve loved my life and hated my life—and believe me, loving your life is better!”

Jacqueline Boone is a passionately curious explorer, entrepreneur, and writer, who has a profound love of humanity. Follow the passion at, on Twitter @6monthstolive and on Facebook at 6 Months to Live!

In the months to come, look for guest posts by other amazing authors, bloggers, travelers, and entrepreneurs who are Defying Small by living their biggest, most passionate lives!

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks so much for asking me to post, Laura! Honored to be your first guest blogger! 🙂

    July 12, 2013
  2. Thank you, Jacqueline! What an inspiring post! I knew your story but hearing it again reminds me to stay the course. This journey we’re on really is about one day at a time . . . with attitude! So grateful to connect with you! Take care.

    July 12, 2013
  3. I love your philosophy, Jacqueline! I’m currently reading The Four-Hour Work Week, and while a lot of it needs to be taken with a grain of salt/dose of reality (in my opinion), the author’s concepts are sort of similar. The message is “don’t defer living your life until the end,” in response to our tendency to work, work, work and think we’ll do all the fun stuff when we retire. I’m really in a place of re-evaluation right now, and so reading your post was timely. Thanks to Laura for hosting!

    July 13, 2013
    • Thanks for stopping by, Laura! So glad you enjoyed Jacqueline’s post. My brother’s untimely mountain climbing death at age 23 taught me that we can’t defer life. All we really have is today, this moment, NOW. It is so easy to get caught up in the “shoulds” (necessity) that we forget about the “coulds” (possibility). You have lived a big life and I know that you will find your next adventure as you seek and stay open. I look forward to reading about it in a future blog post! Take care.

      July 13, 2013
  4. So glad to hear that you enjoyed the post, Laura Zera! 🙂 The main thing I took away from reading the 4 Hour Workweek is that there are a variety of ways to create your life. I wish you the very best and am excited for you as you take these next steps!

    July 13, 2013
    • Thank you, Jacqueline.

      Laura, I’m so very sorry to hear of how you lost your brother, and it’s very true that tragedy can bring such critical clarity.

      July 13, 2013
  5. This is so true! Sometimes the little things make a big difference.

    July 17, 2013
  6. Totally agree with your saying “I’ve loved my life and hated my life—and believe me, loving your life is better!” Loved that you have realized this important life lesson and are encouraging others to do the same. Great post Jackie!

    July 17, 2013
  7. Thanks so much, Arianna! Meeting you through the blogosphere has been one of the best blessings! 🙂

    July 17, 2013
  8. wow, jacqueline, there you go again inspiring as ever! i don’t know why it took me a lifetime to make my dreams come true, so it’s now or never. yes, dreams do come true and for me who have waited a lifetime to make it happen, what can i say?

    i should have loved life the way you did long before but instead i have loved everyone and everything else; my family, my BF, my BFF, my close friends, my career except for me, my passion and my whole life!

    it’s all about me now, ungrateful as it may seem, i have learned to love my life so much that i never want to squander away another minute living life the way i should have, that i can be really happy and well loved by me! And that’s truly living for me now!

    i thanked everyone who came into my life. i never realized how important the “ME” was until recently even if i was the catalyst mostly of people around me since i always make all those great and lovely dreams in their own lives happen for them, but not for the one i could have, that’s me! why am i crying now? perhaps tears of joy!

    all that is going to change right now and the love affair of my own life begins this moment in time; as in the poem invictus, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” by: William Ernest Henley

    p.s. thanks laura of Defying Small for featuring my favourite inspirational blogger, Jacqueline Boone! and by the way, it’s her 30th birthday today!

    July 18, 2013
    • Oly, so nice to meet you! Jacqueline’s posts are such an inspiration to me . . . so glad you enjoyed! Thank you for sharing your story. It takes courage to admit that we have been asleep and are just now waking up and that we want to make up for lost time! Be encouraged . . . it is never too late to REALLY LIVE! Your awakening is just the beginning of GREAT things and I look forward to hearing about your journey. 🙂 By the way, I hope you’ll follow Defying Small on Facebook, where you’ll be encouraged to “Defy Small, Embrace Small” and live a big life! Take care and have an adventurous day!

      August 7, 2013
  9. Just saw these comments today, Oly & Laura! Oly: you’re doing a great job, and I’m equally inspired by your courage and your willingness to truly live–knowing that it’s never too late. Everything that has ever happened has led us to the exact right place and moment where we need to be, and you are ready!!!

    Laura: you’re awesome! Keep doing your amazing work, defying small, and living a life you love! 😉

    August 9, 2013

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