Life can end at any point.
Any time, any place.
I used to think that people died of diseases, or of old age. I assumed, but did not truly believe it. As a child, I remember stealing a knife from the kitchen and keeping it under my pillow. Just in case someone would barge in our house and try to kill everyone. Unlikely. But my imagination never let me forget. Especially at night. I grew up afraid of dying in my own home, killed somehow. But years passed, and as a young woman who takes care of my body and my mind, I swapped the knife for a rape alarm and a criminel identifier (old habits die hard), and went ahead assuming I would not die for a long time.
But then recently my home has been hit hard three times in the past year and a half, and people died at a concert. They died celebrating Bastille Day. They died writing a journal everyone reads.
And the fear came back in earnest.
I can die anywhere. Taking the RER. The metro. Dining at a brasserie. Going to a concert. Driving my car. Walking along a path. Going for a run. If the recent events have shown something, it’s that death can be anywhere and there is nothing you can do about it if you’re in its way.
So what now?
Do I stop doing everything so I can live a long, unfullfilled life? Do I cower in fear? Do I give up?
I think, all these deaths have provoked something in me. A want to live more. A need to be unafraid.
I spent a lot of time repressing my feelings, afraid I would get rejected, afraid it would do this or that… but kind words can never hurt anyone, and we should all spread more love to counteract the horrible, terrible things happening in our world. So what now?
What if you do get rejected? The worst that can happen is they say no, and you learn to move on. There is no bad scenario.
What if you aim too high and fall down hard? Again, as long as you breathe you can ajust your aim and try again and lower your expectations of instead aim even higher and keep falling until you succeed.
What if? What ifs are the bane of everyone’s existence. Many authors figured it out long ago: What ifs are evil.
“You’re worried about what-ifs. Well, what if you stopped worrying?”
― Shannon Celebi,
“Live your life without ever having to ask, ‘What if?”
― Ken Poirot
And so I have decided to strip myself from my fear.
What if I die today? What if someone does get inside my home? What if a guy decides to blow up in the same train I’m taking to go to the movies? What would my last thought be? What is the worst thought I could have in my last moments?
“Shit, I should’ve done that”. “Shit, I didn’t apologize about this”. “Shit, I forgot to say that”.
We are all ashes and dust. This world is heavy and wonderful and dangerous. Fear nothing. Be fearless. Take everything the world gives you, for it will all take it back, eventually. Maybe tomorrow.
Make plans for the future, but also make plans for now. Tomorrow. Next week. The present is all that you have with absolute certainty. Make it count.
This is my 2016 Goal: Say the things I keep inside my head. Be simple. Be real. Don’t mess people around. I could be gone tomorrow, and the last thought I want to have is “Well, at least I’ve done good things. Well, at least I’ve told NoName about my feels. Well, at least I didn’t keep fighting with my parents. Well, at least I kept putting efforts into all the people who mattered in my life.”
This is what I want. To be able to die at any moment and have the least regret I can.
It’s a journey. But I am willing to give it a go. For the time I have left, no matter how long, I want to make it count.