My dad once said something to me, and boy did it resonate: “From the time you take your first breath, you start dying.”
Well, damn. If I was living with my head in the clouds, that sort of woke me up. But I forgot it, and kept living life conservatively, afraid to take risks and step out on faith.
And then, today my cousin posted a Facebook status that, again, startled me: “Live life like you’re dying. Because you are.”
Alrighty then! Sobering thought.
Bestie’s mom passed away a few weeks ago, and that totally hit home for me also. Her mom wasn’t that much older than my mom and was, in fact, younger than my dad. And that got me to thinking… my parents won’t be around forever, which then got me thinking, that even I won’t be around forever. It’s a scary thought, and makes me wonder what I’m doing to justify my birth.
I am a true believer that everyone is placed on this Earth for a reason. There is a mission that you are supposed to carry out once you get here. For some people, their mission will be to effect change on a small scale. And, for others, they’re put here to change and influence the lives of many. Bestie’s mom was a teacher who had been touching the lives of students for more than 40 years. She had an effect on the lives of hundreds of thousands of students over the course of her career. And, post-teaching, she affected the lives of countless others through her kind heart and generous spirit. At her funeral, a line of people gathered at the podium to speak respectfully of her, and every good thing that was said was also true. Not the case at many funerals where the preacher stands to say the eulogy, says all these wonderful things about a person you knew was not always so wonderful, and you wonder whether the preacher actually knew the person at all because clearly if he did he wouldn’t be saying all those nice things.
It’s morbid to think of your own funeral, but it’s inevitable. In life, it’s the only party you’ll have a guaranteed invite for. Yikes! But I know I want to be known for good things. I know I want to make lots of friends and influence people… positively. I know that I want to have gotten all I can get out of this here life, so that when it’s all said and done, nobody will regret that I didn’t get to fulfill my dreams or accomplish my goals.
I know my life won’t be perfect, but my plan is to work toward being the best me that I can be, and to ENJOY life in the process. How many times have I sat around stagnant in a place I didn’t really want to be because I was too afraid to take a chance or try something outside of my comfort zone? Waste of time! How many times have I given the side eye to the person having too much fun in the club, judging them because I thought they looked silly? And in my attempt to look “cool” and/or “dignified”, I definitely didn’t have as much fun as the “silly” person. Well, no more of that. The primary reason behind all of my “holding-back” tendencies has been FEAR. I’ve been too afraid to think/act/live outside the proverbial box. But now that I am able to put things into perspective and realize that we’re all going to check-out of here one way or another and we don’t know the day, nor the hour, why be afraid? None of us have anything to lose.
My mission now – I won’t just live… I will THRIVE.
P.S. Tell those who are dear to you that you love them now, and continue to do it often. LOVE is all that matters in this world. When you have nothing else it will carry you through.