You’re dead. I bet you didn’t even notice.
I bet you were blissfully unaware when it first started taking place.
You’ve spent a quarter of your life getting yourself an education. Since then, you have spent every waking day of your life trying to make a living.
Since then, you’ve been spending eight hours of your day inside the four corners of your office, and you’ve started to see them as prison walls. Since then, your nights have consisted of dingy bars, blacked out nights and waking up next to total strangers.
Do you remember all those dreams you used to have? They’re gone.
You decided you would rather surround yourself with things that will bring you earthly comfort. You decided that expensive clothing could make up for the lack of gusto in your life. You decided that buying in would bring you more satisfaction.
All those things you used to take interest in—the sketching, the gardening and the reading—you decided that they’re useless pursuits, a waste of your time.
All those places you once dreamed of visiting—you crossed them off your list. You just didn’t have enough money, you just couldn’t make time. The little things that used to bring you joy—you decided to ignore them.
You decided you were too grown up for silly things.
You decided to just exist.
You forgot to live.
Somewhere along the way, you lost your zest for life. It used to haunt you, but you’ve learned to numb that aching by telling yourself you’ll always have time to catch up on things. You’ll get to them, eventually.
But you never did, didn’t you? And the emptiness, that once bore holes inside your soul, got reduced into an odd sense of acceptance—akin to that of resignation.
You surrendered yourself to the idea that your life could never amount to anything more, that this was how good it was going to get. You buried yourself deep into your comfort zone—into that drunken stupor that made your life robotic. You stopped trying.
Why did you do that to yourself?
Have you lost so much love for yourself, that you decided to deprive yourself of the opportunities being served up to you?
Do you not deem yourself worthy of living life?
You used to live for the simple things—you used to listen hard for the pitter-patter of the rain against your roof. You used to wonder if leprechauns were waiting at the opposite end of the rainbow to make you hand over your pot of gold.
What happened to you? What made you become so scared? When did you decide to make your fear bigger than the idea of happiness?
Tell me—if your earthly riches are stripped away at this very moment, what have you got to show for yourself?
You’re an empty shell.
But my friend, this isn’t where the curtains close. Perhaps, the one good thing about being empty is that you’re begging to be filled. You’re an empty canvas waiting to be splattered with color and vibrancy, by the artist of your life—you.
Tomorrow, when you wake up, have a cup of coffee—but don’t drink it without sniffing it first. Inhale deeply. Take in its rich scent. Revel in the earthy and comforting aroma of this little gift from the soils of the earth. Then close your eyes and slowly take the first sip. Let its flavor caress your tongue—let its warmth soothe your senses.
Are you awake? Good. You’re ready to live.
On your way to work—feel the warm sunshine. Let it kiss your skin and whisper a promise that it’s going to be a good day. Go through the entire day waiting for that promise to be fulfilled—in the form of a friendly smile from a familiar face, a little joke you can share with your co-workers or a hearty meal from the friendly lunch lady.
And as you go home—when the sun starts to set—be still and stare at its unfolding beauty. Marvel at the simple yet amazing fact that the sun could set a million times, but it will never show the exact same patterns of colors splashed across the sky. Take a photo of it. Take 20 if you must.
Life just gave you a chance to witness something so magical—be grateful for it.
Remember that book you shelved a year ago? Yes, that book you’ve always wanted to read—the one that’s covered in dust because of neglect. Dust it off and read it. Just read a chapter. Then read another tomorrow. Keep going until the book gets so exciting, you can’t put it down anymore.
Every night, before you go to be—smile. You have lived an entire day.
And just as you have fallen into the habit of simply swimming in routines—ease your way back to life.
Keep trying, love, keep trying.
Don’t stop, even if you’ve had a bad day. Always take comfort in the fact that life is taking a swing at you, because it wants your soul to become more resilient.
Make mistakes occasionally—hell, f*ck up in a big way. Welcome failure with open arms if it decides to pay you a visit. You’ll get something good out of it—you’ll learn. Everyone could use a learning experience, if not a humbling one.
Wake up, every day, to smell your coffee—to live for things that money can’t buy.
Wake up for things that bring doses of happiness into your life, big or small. Wake up for the little things you look forward to—the things that will make you feel you accomplished something.
Eventually, you’ll find yourself getting hungry for more.
You’ll find that your fear isn’t as huge as you once thought. You’ll find that the rare moments of highs are worth all the bouts of storms and lows. You’ll find that these moments will burn forever in your mind, and they will be at your disposal when you wish to recall.
You’ll soon find it hard to settle for anything less than what you’ve tasted—living.
Live passionately. Live with reckless abandon. Live as if it’s your last day on earth!
Live so much, that when it’s time for you to go, people will celebrate what a life you’ve had—so they never have to mourn what you could have been.
Live because you deserve it.
I promise, you deserve it.
Author: Nessie Quiambao
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Chris Halderman