It Would Be Great If We All Knew Exactly When We Will Die


I have this problem where I want to live my life away. I want to meet a guy, fall in love, be an esteemed professional, a writer, and check off my goals in a little black book. I want to zoom past the excessive worrying, the every-so-often freak out sessions where all I can think about is hurting myself, the struggle to re-invent myself, and the late nights alone without a boy to watch old movies with.

But I don’t want my life to be over just yet. For once, I want to have a seasonal fling or a one night stand because I wouldn’t mind making out with a boy. I want to do something crazy — like road trip to the Carolina’s, have a midnight swim, or go to school in Toronto. I want to be more. What I would give to put my fears aside and run away with my thoughts, writing for hours at a time, without the distractions that eat away at me in bed.

My life has sort of just taken off. I’m no longer around the same people I’ve known since the second grade, rather, I live in a college town that cares too much about drinking (‘Vodka Sam’ ring a bell?) and finding different colored Sperry’s to match a favorite pair of khakis. I could die in a year, and these two towns would be my last impression of what the world has to offer. And that saddens me.

Wouldn’t it be nice if right when we were born, we were given a small ticket with the year we were supposed to die? Then I could make sure I cross every little thing off my bucket list in time. At whatever age I was meant to go, I would be given a sheet of paper that said, “YOU MADE IT” with a line at the bottom asking for my signature to be the finalized OKAY for my life to come to a close. I could stop investing so much energy in small, mundane things that deserve none of my attention. I could have given up on my first crush sooner after realizing it would never go anywhere and focus on more exciting matters. I could have spent so much of my adolescence enrolling in writing workshops, attending cultural shows, and photography classes instead of making half-ass ramblings in a hard cover flower-journal in response to mean girls, rejected relationships, and hopelessly racially insensitive people that deserved none of my attention. I could have made something more of myself.

I want to know when I will die. Then I might know for sure which experiences are truly helping to morph me into the person I’m meant to be. I want to know when I’ll die so that my want to accomplish things feels greater; so I know I’m not a waste of space as I blindly work towards something I’m not even sure I’m going to get. I am in no way saying I want to die. I just think it’d be nice to have some kind of idea of how long my life will span out.

Then again, I can’t help but like the perplexity and randomness of life. I like how things can end up the way you never planned it. I like how the people you never thought you’d meet can somehow leave a deeply-rooted seed in your soul as you admire everything about them. The unexpected can be both a blessing and a curse, but that’s what makes life so surreal. We are constantly developing, constantly subject to events and experiences shaping our individuality.

In retrospect, I was so quick to think my summer was boring. It drew to an immediate close and had been one uneventful experience. Yet when I think about it, my summer was filled — maybe not socially, but busy mentally. I was in dire need of internal development and self-realization. Of course, there is no end destination for understanding one’s self, as I believe life is an ongoing experience — but each one has been a step closer to understanding who I am and why I’m here.

There are a few blogs that I follow religiously. After reading countless posts that may appear to have nothing in common, I’ve concluded they all collectively say the same thing: your darkest time has the brightest light, the best thoughts come when you’re alone, there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely, and take this time to read and figure out who you are.

I’ve considered these offerings for awhile now. There are days I want to scream, CAN ANYONE HEAR ME? as I complain about how exhausted I am. I want to ask, How much more figuring out is there for me to do? because I feel like I’m never going to have consistency in my life as people come and go. Life is forever evolving, yet I keep operating as if I’m trying to reach the final level in a game. All I want is a life I don’t mind living with ‘Cory Matthews-Shawn Hunter’ friendships and no strings attached. But that’s not how things work.

I’ve realized life is an independent endeavor; a limited period of time where one has to train their mind to not let happenings ruin their outlook or purpose. It’s a period of time where one has to patiently allow situations to serve their course, while choosing to react in a way that will help them stay sane. We can’t periodically wish for change, then when change comes, reject it. Wanting my life to immediately improve, instead of living through each moment as an important stop on a lifelong voyage to self-fulfillment, is only detrimental to my existence.

Every moment in life counts toward something as you grow closer to understanding who you are. You don’t have the option to deny or desire change, as change is inevitable. So when change isn’t there, appreciate life’s temporary stability. And when it does comes, choose to embrace it. Choose to welcome it with open arms. Squeeze, hug, and love change, as it is the one thing that keeps life going.