On The Nakedness of Our Mortality
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This was originally a post on my Instagram page, but the comments were so overwhelming that I wanted to share it here on this blog.
On the nakedness of mortality.
A year and a half ago, my grandfather passed at 90 years old. Since he was living with my parents, I would visit often and see his condition fade over time. He was an athlete. A substantially sized guy…who, eventually, my brother and I had to almost literally carry up and down the stairs for Sunday dinners while our grandmother trailed behind.
As his health deteriorated, he was unable to walk, and then unable to speak, and then unable to eat. The imminent end of a tenure on this planet had decided its date of arrival.
Now, I watch my grandmother follow a similar pattern. She has been battling dementia since before her husband’s death, and is now having a hard time speaking much and cannot get around on her own. There is no autonomy left, she can barely eat.
We all know this reality, don’t we? We have lost family members, and pets, and friends. We understand that our time on Earth is limited – and how do we react to it?
We coast along our daily lives tacitly assuming that this is going to last forever. Being unaware (or largely ignoring) our own mortality.
What’s worse – we spend our lives hiding. Hiding behind logos and masks and bullshit jobs that we hate but they provide us with shelter from the storm that is following our passions, so we batten down the hatches and accept that a mediocre misery is less of a risk than a passionate pursuit.
And, we’re right. It is. But it is also a beige page left in the book that becomes your legacy.
Do you know what I say? I say fuck that. Fuck the lackluster existence that we are shoved into and told that this is our only option.
I refuse to live a life without passion, excitement, adventure, LOVE, art. There is so much in this world to experience in such a short amount of time.
Brutality of truth tells us that the same fate awaits us all. In different ways, at different times, but without escape.
So I ask you; no; I CHALLENGE you, to strip yourself of everything revolving around you in a cloud of mediocrity and emerge from the pile of rubble as your true, genuine self. There has never been another one of you. You are the first, and the last.
Are you going to squander your years on this planet hiding that from the world? Or are you going to stand up and squeeze every inch of passion out of this life?
Make them tell stories about you. Do not accept less for yourself.
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This is the same choice that I made. I’ve had many jobs and made many friends along the way. Always moving forward to make a difference and taking risks for things that I believe in. Is my future “secure”? I don’t have a mate, or a lot of money, but I’ve learned to live frugally and keep honest. Yes, many of my friends are more monetarily secure, but I’m not going to worry about that. Yes, I’ve been put down for being “stupid” by not going along with the norm. But, that’s not my problem. To me, life is to be lived, and I live it by helping and sharing with others. There’s a quote that I heard when I was in my 20’s. “When you get to heaven, the first thing you’ll is asked is – what did you do with the gift of life?”