if you died tomorrow, would you be okay with today?
“There’s a massive meteor headed for the earth. We have 10 years before it destroys us all… What is the first thing you will do?”
“I’d drop out of school.” “Experience love?” “I’d go to burning man.” “I’d travel the world.” “I’d blow all my savings.” “I’d get a dog.”
“Okay, let’s say it’s 5 years… now 2 years. Now 6 months. Now 1 day. What now?”
“I’d call my mom, tell her I love her, then head to the bathroom for one last shit.”
I shouldn’t have denied the intensity of discussion in my ‘Death and the Afterlife’ class.
Now, to put things into perspective, we’re a class of 20 something year old college students varying in programs and interests. A glance around the room would show you blue and green and purple dyed hair, young men rocking some sort of sports related paraphernalia to girls in expensive coats hunched over their iPhones. We are all so very different. Yet, in death, we are all the same.
I wanted to make peace with our ultimate fear. I signed up for this course in the hopes of becoming closer with myself, my future and my desires. And, easily enough, this one single truth snapped me into a greater sense of reality.
“What’s stopping you from doing all those things? Go to burning man? See the Northern Lights? Get a dog? You can do that all now.”
Not to say I’ll be blowing all my savings to travel the world to fall in love anytime soon. But I shouldn’t shy away from these desires. Instead of a meteor, what about cancer or a debilitating spinal chord injury? We lack the drive to be spontaneous. We need a push to pursue our most authentic selves. In the final stages of life, there will be nobody to please or impress other than ourselves. In those final moments, can you say you’ve lived your life in the greatest most authentic way possible? Or for this fake people pleasing version of yourself. With this in mind, will you continue doing everything in relation to another opinion, demand or desire by someone other than yourself?
Your answer should be no.
This is much easier said than done. But any step taken in progression of these goals will lead you closer and closer to a better life. It can be as simple as deciding what you want to wear tomorrow. Someone once told you you didn’t suite a shirt you like, well then.. fuck what they think. If you like it and feel confident wearing it, then just do it. Same rules apply to everything in life. Stop worrying about an opinion.
A freak car accident, a stroke, an aneurysm, disease.. anything can happen. All I’m saying is that if you die tomorrow (which you might die tomorrow), do whatever you can to be okay with today.