If you were to leave tomorrow, and you could only say goodbye to one person, who would you say goodbye to? It doesn’t matter where you are going or why you are going. All you know is that you may never see this person again. When you decide on who this person is, I suggest that you do your best to get in touch with them. Have a conversation, take a drive, go on a date, tell them how much they mean to you. Do anything to let this person know that their presence, in your life, has effected you. And I suggest you do it now, because none of us know when our last day Here will be.
It’s been said that to enjoy life to the fullest, one must live like it is their last day alive. I believe this to be true, but I also believe the meaning has been misconstrued. To “live like today’s your last”, has been considered to mean that one must do as much as they’ve ever wanted to do, in that given day. Although, as encouragingly lively as that concept may be, I feel that idea has strayed from what it really mean to live like today’s your last. Let’s face it. Each person has at least 5 things they hop to accomplish in life, and if that person can accomplish those 5 goals, then I offer my applause, but it is not likely that they will pull that feat off in just one day. To live life to the fullest, in the sense of attempting to cram great accomplishments into one day, is not the right idea. I feel that, with that mindset, there is an unreasonable and unbearable amount of pressure placed on the individual. That kind of pressure can even be crippling to one’s thought process and therefore mood. For me, to truly live like it’s your last day on Earth is to simply go about your day in the most positive mindset, and with the most pure intentions. Granted, there must be a great deal of spontaneity and opportunity seeking, but to live like it’s your last is to have a bountiful appreciation for your life as well as everything and everyone around you. Imagine that you have a job where some of your coworkers tend to rake your nerves, and unfortunately like most jobs, working there is not what you’d rather be doing with your time. Now there are 2 different ways one can approach their work day, if they are trying to live like it’s their last day. That person can come into work, slack off immensely, (if they even show up) and give their occasionally annoying coworkers a piece of their resentment. OR, that person can show up to work, do their job as efficiently as possible, and try their best to be friendly and positive towards their coworkers. If the person following the first method happens to make it through the night without dying, then that person has made their workplace more hostile, if they even have a job to come back to. The person following the second method has not only impressed management by performing their job efficiently positively, and with clear effort, but they have also set up the foundation for establishing better bonds with their coworkers. To truly “live like it is your last day alive” is not to attempt to accomplish your life goals, and do only the things you want, in one day, but to seek opportunity, be spontaneous, and retain a positive attitude and mindset towards yourself and others, not matter what. Tomorrow is never promised, but it is always beneficial to set yourself up for a better tomorrow.
To live a life of adventure, or at least have adventures, one must BE adventurous. It is unlikely that adventure will fall out of the sky, onto you. You have to create your own adventure(s). Adventure may not fall out of the sky, but if you’re clever enough, you can use the occurrence of rain to run under a tree, or into a coffee shop, or share a taxi with someone. Go someplace that you’ve never been before, even if it’s somewhere you pass on your regular, everyday route. Meet a stranger. Open a book. Adventure is like opportunity’s more frequently visiting brother. They both knock, but will not enter unless you answer their call. Every opportunity is an adventure, and every adventure usually leads to opportunity. Where opportunity may only come around once, every so often, adventure is around every corner. In every store. In every path less traveled. In every person you come across. Adventure is in the most simple of things. Every opportunity leads to adventure. Take the next opportunity to explore just a little farther out of your boundaries. OPEN THE DOOR.
If you’re a poor man, playing a rich man’s game, do you expect to win? The common answer is, “no”. How would I know how to play? Do I have to dress and act a certain way? Could I even afford the ante to enter their game? Why would I have any confidence, sitting at their table, as a challenger?
If you’re a poor man, playing a rich man’s game, how do you possibly expect to win? I am going to win because I have spent hours studying the game. I’ve spent days practicing the game. I’ve observed the players and I’ve taken books worth of notes, in silence. I’ve spent what little I had to compete against them, and inarguably lost, but not without seeing the game from a seat at their table. Now I have knowledge. Now I have power. I take my seat at their table once again, a poor man. They will scoff. They may ridicule. But when I leave my seat, I will push in my chair, a richer man.
Do not be afraid when the rug is swept out from under your feet. Do not be afraid when your walls go up in flames, and your support beams give out, and the roof you’ve limited yourself under comes crashing down. For you are now back on the raw ground of the earth. Here, you will heal. Here, you will grow. And when it comes time to build again, your progress will be steady and true. For you have now established firm roots.
You can not make the stars shine brighter. You can not ask the ocean to be still. You can not get the wind to blow this way or that. Nor can you decide that it is time to stop raining. Acts of nature are not something that can be broken or bent at whim. They wield a mystical dominance over all else. We can beg and plead, kick and scream, cry and shout, and curse the heavens to hell, but the natural course will not falter. But we are adaptable. We’ve learned that there’s a more vivid picture in the sky, out away from the city. We’ve made water sports out of waves. We’ve accepted the invitation of adventure by taking the wind in our sails. To stay dry, we grab an umbrella or remain inside. Some of us even refine our dancing skills under the pouring sky. When we can’t change what’s in front of us, we change how we look at it. Nature is not “set in its ways”. It is exactly how it is. How we handle it is up to us. Whether we dance in the rain, grab an umbrella, or simply stay inside, how we react is our choice. It could be wise to remember this when dealing with people as well.
Let me describe a feeling I’ve been experiencing lately:
First, close your eyes. Now, it doesn’t matter where you are or what time it is, or even what you were just doing. Despite the lack of vision, you know exactly where you are. As for me;
For better or for worse, I am surprised each time i open my eyes. More than often, I find it is much easier to just keep them closed.
I stood in my kitchen, gazing out the window above the sink as the falling snow added more and more to the thick white blanket, covering the ground. Just days ago, the earth still resembled its fall attire. The tree branches, barely clothed, slowly shedding the last of their leaves. The ground still predominately green with life. This snow was a nearly unpredicted occurrence. The local weather stations were calling for a chance of a flurry and were met with a foot, and gaining. I can’t say I’m surprised that the weather forecast was wrong. What astounded me was how this snow came at such a perfect time. It was mid-December, and people were starting to fret that there wouldn’t be a white Christmas. This snow came at the perfect time. People were becoming angry and hostile with one another. They can only put up with the cold and the mere promise of snow for so long. This snow came at the perfect time. People started to notice the absence of Thomas Hughes. He went missing 2 days before the storm hit, and started to cause a small panic amongst the people. When his disappearance became more of a known issue, people decided that they would send a search team out in the morning, this morning, but the roads and woods are too dangerous and burdening to have people perform a search. This snow came at the perfect time. By the time this snow clears away, the ground that lay on top of the recent corpse will not look out of place. It will look only like a victim of the immense pressure of the snow, and if it doesn’t melt till the spring, the body will decay faster with the rising temperature. This snow couldn’t have came at a more perfect time.
My thoughts are the crashing waves that pulled me out to sea. It’s as if the light of the full moon awakened Poseidon. Judging by the strength of the current, his awakening was not a pleasant one. The ocean had me in its grasp now. Stealing me from my tranquil shore, dragging me through the coral and broken shells. I bob in and out of the water. Every now and then, strands of seaweed caress my legs, begging me to stay. Each time, their offer becomes appealing. But that sort of stability would be deadly, so I kick and I thrash and I refuse to be enticed. It’s reached the point of sink or swim. I never learned how to carelessly float on my back. So if you see me merely floating along, it’s because life has left my body. That image fuels my adrenaline, but my bursting speed is short lived. I’ve always been poor at pacing myself. These harsh waters have once again become overly-threatening. It’s the space between each wave that pushes me under water, that I am able to quiet these thoughts of drowning. Breathe. Slow down. The water is no longer tossing me aimlessly, but pushing me in the right direction. Breathe. Stroke. There is nothing left but this now. As my energy becomes more reserved, my pace finally develops for the long run. Breathe. Stroke. The ocean has calmed. A man lost at sea, on the brink of destruction, is now headed back to shore.
What does it really mean to “go with the flow”? So many people seem to have adopted this phrase as a way of labeling their personality. “I’m a really laid back, go with the flow kind of person”. Well what does that mean to you? “I just don’t really care about the small stuff and uhh I’m spontaneous and uhhh I’m down for whatever” Okay, some of the right intentions are there, but let’s refine this. First off, let’s kill this “I don’t care” outlook on life. It’s cliche’ and untrue. If you feel that you have to exclaim that you don’t care, then you obviously do. And you should, for it’s a waste of time to deny how you feel. Now, to not let all the worries, whether they be miniscule or major, throw you off your game would be a better explanation. To go with the flow is not to be “down for whatever”, either. I’m going to dust off the rusted and worn relic when I say this but, if all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you? Again, the right intentions are there, but let’s dig deeper. Going with the flow is about being open to new experiences and not being too nervous to take chances. Understand though, that one knows when those experiences and risks are outside of what they think is best. Being able to willfully decide for or against something plays a major role in all of this. I’ve realized that going with the flow is all about traveling, peacefully, through the current that the individual creates for themselves. No matter what outside force brings pressure on you, you simply roll with the punches and stay adaptable to change. Nothing about going with the flow is about following the crowd, or doing what the majority does. Others may enter your current for a period of time, but you know when and where they make their own route. After all, the fish who fights their current to stay with the school may end up in the belly of the same whale as the school.