The world is a very scary place right now. Maybe it’s always been scary, but with social media and a seriously Debbie-downer news media it feels almost crushing, ALL THE TIME. I feel as though the people I love are in constant danger, and I feel like I’m always in danger and that’s because we don’t know where the danger is anymore. Sure, walking down the middle of the Tenderloin in the middle of the night isn’t exactly a safe haven, but in reality it might actually be more safe than a dance club right now. Or a movie theater. Or a mall. Or school. Or work. Or church. Or a bus. When did this happen?
Now, humans for the most part do pretty well without having the daunting reality that we’re all mortal looming over their heads constantly. It’s how we need to function, to survive, to life our lives. Some people aren’t so fortunate though, and learn at an early age that little secret the rest of us need to ignore: we’re all going to die some day. The reasons, ages, and situations vary about as much as people do, but for some it’s a lesson learned that becomes life altering. I was 24. One of my best friends passed away from colon cancer at 24 years old, and watching her slip away from the world changed something in me. It’s weird to become hyper aware of your own mortality at such a young adult age, especially at that age, when you’re supposed to feel like the world is yours for the taking….it changes your perspectives. It changes your direction. After the initial shock and heartache started to wear down, something took it’s place for me: life. It became crystal clear, we have a comparatively short amount of time on this planet, with this life, and I started really looking at myself and asking “How do I want to spend that time? How do I want to be remembered? How do I want to treat people, and how do I want them to treat me?” And the big one that affects me daily, “If I die tomorrow, do the people I love know I love them?”
It’s a heavy question, but let’s be real, I’m human. I get mad at people, I get hurt by people, I can hurt people, and we all do it because we’re human. We shouldn’t shy away from that fact, these are emotions we need to feel human and express ourselves, they are actually good things, at times. However, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, that looming thought enters my brain, “What if something happens to them tomorrow? Or me? Can I live with this being the last interaction we have?” What I do with the answers to these questions varies, as one situation is never like the other. Sometimes I try to make amends because I do in fact care for this person very deeply, and I or they were simply angry or upset for a period of time. Sometimes I do not, and this is doesn’t happen often, but it’s the hardest conclusion to come to, because as much as I do not like to have ill-will towards people, some people don’t know any other way to live life. If anger and hate is something they thrive on, I’ve learned to just let that person be. They will find that life is small this way, and they are only harming themselves with that mindset. I do not accept that life is small. I accept that life is as grand as you want it to be, and I want mine to be grand. So I love people deeply, and I let them know as often as I can because if I die tomorrow I do not want them wondering. I do not want them questioning their time with me, or I with them. I want them to know, always, how I feel about them. And I can only hope that the ones that love me feel the same way.
Now, I can only speak for myself here, I can only tell anyone who reads this how I feel and what I believe is right, I did not write this with the intention of changing minds. I only write this with the intention of making some think for a second. As I said, the world is a scary place right now. People have a lot of hate and anger and fear in their hearts, and some feel it’s necessary to act out on those feelings by doing harm to others, because they do not feel full, so they don’t want others to feel the fullness they cannot achieve on their own. But maybe, just maybe, if someone dear to them told them how much they loved them, would they still feel the anger and the hate? Would they still want to harm people if that one person simply said, “You know you mean something to me, right?” We won’t know until we try.
Don’t go to bed angry and full of hate, you just don’t know if you or they will wake up tomorrow.