Congratulations! You Are Not Dead Yet
Congratulations! If you are reading this, it means you are not dead yet! That’s amazing! That’s wonderful! You’ve done it!
By waking up this morning, you have already bested a lot of people. By standing up and going to work, you’re way ahead of the game. By eating breakfast or drinking coffee, you’re better off than a majority of Earth dwellers. Hooray!
Does it seem silly to celebrate something so obvious, so mundane? It shouldn’t. Think about it. You closed your eyes last night and on pure faith, you assumed you’d wake up today. Maybe you didn’t even consider the alternative (because how morbid would that be? To fall asleep every night wondering about death). Maybe you tossed and turned and worried about this morning. Maybe a combination of the two. But you fell into slumber anyway. You turned your body off on the blind hope it would turn back on this morning. And it did. It did!
Well, that’s cause for celebration, don’t you think? That’s reason enough to use this day for something good, something right, something productive.
That thing you want to do? DO IT! Just go do it or start doing it! You are not dead yet. Don’t you get it? Don’t you see? That means you have plenty of time. And time, as everyone knows, is money. And money, well, it can’t buy happiness but it can certainly get you close. Or something less materialistic. You get it.
Call your parents! Kiss the person you love! Tell your friends you appreciate them!
Look. I get it. Candle in the wind, blah blah blah. It sounds hokey. It sounds like self-help nonsense. It sounds dumb. But there’s some faulty thinking going on there where you ruminate on the time that’s passed and you think it’s been wasted. But it hasn’t been wasted! It’s all been leading to now, to you, to what you’re doing now. Embrace it. Take all those memories and hold them close and examine them and then let them go. Then, do whatever you want.
Do not give up. Do not believe you can’t change. Don’t think about the end. Don’t think about what’s going to happen or what might not happen.
Focus on this one thought: You are not dead yet.
Well, that’s all the motivation you need, isn’t it?
Did you know that Rodney Dangerfield only “made it” after 15 years out of the business as a family man and a salesman? Or that Ricky Gervais didn’t sell the idea for The Office until he was 40? Or that Van Gogh died in obscurity and shame? The point is, this life is unpredictable. This false idea we have that everything has to happen NOW NOW NOW, that immediacy takes precedent, that success is measured by how often and how soon, it’s just no good. It makes us washed-out at 30. It makes us tired and defeated at 25. It makes us sad. It makes us unproductive. It makes us nothing.
You are alive and that means anything can change. Anything can happen. (Maybe within reason. Maybe there are obstacles beyond your control. Maybe it’s not that simple.) But what if it is? Or at least, what if you can control the way you’re thinking about it? Or rather, not control but tweak, or not tweak but at least consider. Consider! There are, of course, different levels of privilege, different lives, different problems, different circumstances. I’m not suggesting this is universal. I’m not suggesting it’s a fix-all, or a cure, or even easy. For someone lucky enough to be alive, though, try to at least, consider:
You did it. You woke up. And if that’s it for today? Then, that is okay. That is great. That is fantastic.
Because, hey! You are not dead yet.
So stop acting like you are.
A | A | A
It started with a right swipe, a little green heart. Tinder of course.
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.
With his hat cocked back, body tilted away from his cane, and right forefinger pointing directly at his audience, Joseph Ducreux commands the attention of those viewing his self-portrait.
I was born in 1990; he was born in 1973. I’m 23; he just turned 40.