[Before we start, I’d like to let you all know that this is the first post coming from my shiny new laptop. YAY NEW LAPTOP!! My other one died shortly after my last post and I had to wait entirely too long for this one to arrive, hence the extended delay between posts. I was laptopless. I couldn’t write for weeks. I very nearly died. It was a sad time for everyone involved. But…YAY NEW LAPTOP!! It’s so pretty! Ahem. Now we can begin.]
What do you live for?
Recently I have been thinking about this question a lot. I read something a couple of weeks ago that put the thought in my head, and I haven’t been able to shake it since. It’s there all the time, playing in loops until it’s madness in my head.
What do you live for?
It should be a simple enough question to answer. In fact when I first heard the question (or read it, as it were), my answer came almost immediately. Family. Friends. The possibilities in life. The possibility that one day life will be what I want it to be. The last part gave me pause. The last part is the reason I can’t seem to stop thinking about this.
There once was a time when it was a struggle for me to, well, live. I don’t want to get into the details, but there was a period where I had to actively choose to be alive every day. And it was not easy. If you had asked me then what I lived for, my answer would have been easy: My mum. I lived for her because I knew she wouldn’t cope if…If anything. There were other factors of course – such as the hope that maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t always feel that way and things would get better [spoiler alert – they did] – but mainly, I stayed alive for her.
Now that I’m no longer [as] dark and twisty inside, I am weary about my initial response to this question. It feels a little too close to what I would have said when I was not living, merely existing. I don’t like the idea that I am living for the possibility that ‘one day’ life will be what I want it to be. I want my life to be what I want it to be right now. After all, who says that I get a tomorrow? I could be eaten by a bear tonight! (Probably not, given that there are no bears in these parts, and I’m safely inside my locked house…But that’s irrelevant). Anything could happen. Do I really want to waste what little time I have on this planet waiting? Humans, as a whole, spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting for 5pm. Waiting for the weekend. Waiting for the holidays. Waiting to be the ‘right’ weight or the ‘right’ size. Waiting to get that dream job or to meet the right person. Waiting, waiting, waiting. And while we are waiting, life is passing us by. Well you know what? I think it’s time to stop waiting for my life to begin. Next week it is the 17th anniversary of the day I didn’t get my letter from Hogwarts*, and I say it is time for me to stop waiting and start living. It is time for me to stop living for the possibilities and instead live for the moment.
We need to stop telling ourselves that this or that will make us happy, and just be happy with what we already have. Keep striving for those things we want in life, of course, but we need to let go of this notion that life will ‘really’ begin once we achieve xyz. That’s total garbage. Life is happening right now, whether we appreciate it or not. It’s time to start living life like we’ve already achieved all those things we’re striving for**. Live like you’re already the person you’ve always wanted to be, and actively seek out those things that make you appreciate the life you have. I read somewhere that if you have a working body and enough to eat and drink, you are richer than roughly three-quarters of the world’s population***. Doesn’t it seem slightly ridiculous, then, to bemoan what we don’t have yet? There is nothing wrong with having goals and aspirations, but it can become problematic when you hang your entire life on the achieving those goals. When you live your life waiting. There are so many beautiful things to be grateful for right now. To be thankful for. To live for. Find them. Seek them out. And hold them close. That way, if you ever run into a random wild Leto on the streets of Rome and he asks you what you live for, you’ll have your answer ready:
I live for the things that make me glad to be alive.
TITLE LYRICS: ‘City Of Angels’ by Thirty Seconds To Mars
*For those of you who haven’t read/watched Harry Potter (BLASPHEMY), you get your letter from Hogwarts on your 11th birthday…So you work it out :p
**Within reason, of course.
***I’m not sure if this is an accurate statistic, but it’s one to think about it. I imagine it would actually be fairly close to this.