Over the past few years, I have experienced enough hurt to understand that life is short and very easily wasted. Painfully, I watch people throw away their lives while achieving all their goals. Friends becoming successful, flapping around resume's of good grades, having careers and families but never truly living. Never experiencing all the world can offer to us if we just open our minds. Never truly feeling free or recklessly wild. I have found that the most dangerous way to live, is safely.
We structure our days, our hours around something which may never happen. The time in front of us is constructed by the days to come. We refuse to accomplish our most ridiculous dreams because tomorrow we have an interview, because tomorrow we have work, because tomorrow we have a party to look good for. Sorry to rain on your parade, but you could get hit by a bus before tomorrow even comes.
Of course, I do not recommend neglecting your responsibilities, or sabotaging your future. Living in a cardboard box forever because you chose to climb Kilimanjaro rather than gain any qualifications is not the best of ideas. My most favourite quote of all times, is one I discovered on some cringe worthy Instagram page (yes, I can still be like your average teenage girl from time to time). It said, "The nights you will remember will not be the ones where you get a good nights sleep." It was accompanied by a photograph of teenagers breaking and entering, which I do not exactly recommend, but that stuck with me. The amount of opportunities we pass out on because we have to 'get up early in the morning,' or 'have school tomorrow;' every day should be an adventure, and night time too if we have the chance. Even days where we are down in the dumps, and can do nothing more than curl up with the dog on the couch can be something more. Learn something new, read about something different and discover constantly. Never cease to explore because even after your (hopefully many) years on this earth, you still wont know a fraction of the globe and that ultimately is incredible. Now, I must warn, after living solely by the given quotation for several months, I was diagnosed with sleep deprivation which is not the greatest but I'm a very all-or-nothing kind of person. So, please have a balance.
In saying this, we need to learn to live in the moment. To say yes. One night, I was at home with two friends, sinking into the sofa as midnight passed. We were chatting about nothing in particular, when I suggested we get up and go to the beach, which was an hour and a half away. They laughed off the idea, but when they saw I was serious they considered the idea a little further. Eventually, after much puppy eyes and persuasion, we were sitting in the car, buckling up for the drive. I was excited, night time always makes everything seem so special. The roads are empty, the stars are out and the air is fresh, cold and black. The world becomes mine, because no one else seems to appreciate night time, and the blissful, peaceful isolation wraps itself around me. There is also, of course, the sense of danger and adrenaline in doing something no one else is doing. Running wild with no rules, restrictions or judgement as those held captive to routine lie asleep in their homes.
Although, this was a small adventure in comparison to what is out there. It brought me happiness, but in reality we were really just heading to the beach. The only thing different was that it was quite a few hours later (or earlier) than the average Joe-blogs may intend on going.
"I can't believe we are doing this. This is such a bad idea."
This is what I listened to on that one hour and thirty minute car journey. Yes, my friends were still very excited but to them, this was apparently the most outrageously crazy thing that they had ever done. What stuck with me, was how much they believed in this spontaneous adventure to be a 'bad idea.' When I asked them what exactly made it a terrible plan, they could not answer me. This was simply the way their brains had developed after years of comfortable living. In reality, there was nothing bad about what we did. It was a Saturday night, so sleep could always be regained, and all of our parents had no issues with what we were doing (when we told them the next day of course). The plan was not one that would be seen as casually as going for a cup of coffee, but that is why it was important to do. That is what we all need to do more of. You have no idea where life could take you if you followed the fleeting thoughts of your mind and took into consideration the impulsive and whacky ideas of others and yourself.
I would also like to mention that what you are reading does not come from some airy-fairy person who has just lived a good life, and wants to spread positivity because it's all she understands. Definitely not. I am currently joyously celebrating my fourth year of suffering depression as well as anxiety and eating disorders. It all spiraled from some very difficult situations thrown into my 18 years of living. It has been a painful ride, and at times a very numbing one. Through it all, this is what I have learned though. You can be free. There is an entire world around you and you are not confined to the house you live in, or the town. You are not held in place by other people, your feet are not glued to the floor. The pain in your chest might be heavy, but you are strong enough to carry it. The more you do, the stronger you get and the easier it is. Go and live your life. Do whatever the flip you want, accomplish the things others have deemed pointless or irresponsible. Do whatever on this Earth that you know will make you feel. What is wrong with feeling wild, crazy and free? Reckless and happy? You are not in control of the world and how it interacts with your life. Sometimes we aren't even in control of ourselves, or our emotions but my goodness, we are in control of how we respond. On my darkest days, I made my parents cry. I closed my curtains. I did not move from bed. How much life I wasted, by submitting to my emotions.
At age 17, I found myself on the back of a double decker bus touring downtown Manhattan with a juice box in hand and a share bag of peanut M&M's. My parents had no idea. I have never in my life felt so free before, all because I took a risk, and actually considered the possibility of leaving the airport between connecting flights to get on the subway. I had no idea where I was heading, and sometimes that is ok in life. Sometimes it is actually crucial because living without certainty can take you in the most craziest of directions. Life will never, ever go to plan—no matter how hard you work for it, so, go with the flow and roll with the punches. If you see an opening to do something stupid that you want to do, you take it, because you never know how it might change your life. The average person lives to around 70 right? And because we sleep more as kids and as old people, we probably sleep for 50 percent of that time. Dude, you are only really living for 35 years. If you were told you were going to die tomorrow, you would sure live differently. So wake up, because that could be reality—bin your 20-year life plan and let your mind grow in creativity. Listen to the parts of yourself that others label as irrational and see where you can be taken.
I promise you, there is no serious adventure ahead of you, unless you can see the serious adventure laying all around you right at this very moment. Good luck.