The inaugural three died the summer of my 19th year, back-to-back-to-back.
One in a car accident – 19. Boom.
One drowned – 19. Pow.
One after surgery – 43. Sheblammy.
There were no heads ups or warnings. No old age, high-risks or violent lifestyles. Each one was as unanticipated and shocking as the next.
By the time fall rolled around, another friend had passed from a disease he had been carrying gently for years. Then there was a second car accident. Another drowning. A sudden heart attack.
The death caravan lasted five years with one of my beloveds dying every three to nine months. My whole world spun out of orbit. As the death toll rose, life stopped making sense and became a tornado of loss and upheaval.
I was left fixating on one new and disturbing question:
What if I died tomorrow?
Not in a looseygoosey, theoretical, naval gazing, “but I’m not really going to die” kind of way. In a shit hitting the fan, nothing is guaranteed, this moment is all I’ve got – I really could be gone tomorrow – kind of way.
Life’s finite and unpredictable boundaries had made themselves known, putting a blazing hot wildfire underneath my ass.
I became so petrified of dying at any moment that I could no longer rationalize making long and short-term investments that I didn’t actually care about.
What if I did everything that was expected of me, saved all my money, put off my big dreams for a rainy day or retirement or a cool mill in the bank and died…tomorrow?
What if I invested so much in the perpetually impending future that I had nothing left for me, right now?
I realized that putting off my life desires for a time that might not ever come was outrageously wasteful and inconsiderate of all of those who had come before me.
Life is not short. It is simply as long as it is.
Do not take for granted that you will be around for a faraway deadline to begin doing what you actually want to do.
Do not be so busy pining for the past or masterminding the future that the moment you’re actually living gets completely overlooked.
Do not hold your breath for the perfect career or relationship or moment in time or number on the scale or alignment of stars or windfall of cash to start moving towards your dreams.
It may never come.
All you have is right now. Nothing else is guaranteed. Nothing.
What can you do today to move closer to your truest life dreams?
What can you start right now to become more of who you actually are?
What is the next step?