Surviving Your Life Vs. Living The Hell Out Of Your Life: Which Do You Choose?

This morning, I went grocery shopping, like I do every week. The difference between today and all the hundreds of times I’ve done this before was that I felt really passionately fucking angry about it. In the parking lot I sat in my car and I whined. As adults, we have to do this shit all the time. Some weeks feel like they don’t even happen, as though they are just an assortment of laundry, groceries, cooking, sprinkled in between hours of work.

The monotony of it all could kill you, and perhaps it will, I mean, I don’t know your health level. Then again, if you want to be healthy, you will have to exercise every single day of your life and cook upwards of three meals a day and will have to shop for the fresh produce you need for your juices and smoothies and plant-based meals, and, at some point or another, you will hit a wall and be like, WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT?

Indeed, dude. What is the fucking point?

You want me to eat healthy and exercise and attempt to live longer, even though life is monotonous and repetitive and feels like some sort of attempt at futility. Is this a joke? I’m supposed to want to sustain my life here, so that I can just do the same shit over and over until my body gives up on me. ABORT.

And I know what the naysayers will pipe in with now. God, you entitled asshole of a millennial, this is reality, don’t you know? IT’S REALITY AND YOU HAVE TO GROW UP. This is life: you wake up and go to a job you may or may not like, you have sex with someone you may or may not like, and you do adult things that you may or may not like. Then you have some kiddos, of which you will spend an insane amount of time trying to find ways to have date nights, vacations, and any excuse to get away from them, these humans that are supposed to be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. This is life, didn’t you know? And, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a few good days in there a month, most of which will be good because you were liquored up, because what’s a weekend or vacation without being a cycle of drunk or hungover? Not fun, that’s what!

Wow, life sounds like some bullshit. TAKE ME HOME, GOD.

I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell know that I don’t want to live my life collecting grocery bills, errands, chores, and a bucket list of shit I never did. In the day to day scramble of surviving of our lives, we’ve forgotten to actually live our lives. We queue up our Netflix, Hulu, and DVR, all the while neglecting to queue up anything we’ll actually want to remember on our death bed. Sure, I love Orange Is The New Black as much as the rest of the Internet does, but fuck, when I’m older, am I going to recall how much I loved the weekend I sat on my ass and binged the entire show? (I really, really hope not.)

I’d love to give you the answer here: a 1, 2, 3 step process on how to make the most our of your life, how to live the hell out of it, but I can tell you that right now I’m in the throes of trying to understand what it means to BE alive. Not just living, but to actually feel like I am alive in my body, on this Earth. I buy into the struggle on a daily basis. I make shit harder than it needs to be. I complicate my life in an effort to not be bored by it. I seek out drama and play into it. I’m vain and capricious and I care way too much what people think of me.

And I don’t care enough about what really matters. I spend my days bogged down by circumstance, flipping through Instagram looking at the filtered lives of people I assume are living better than me.

And I care too much about getting my shit together. If there’s anything more overrated than having your shit together, I don’t know what it is. (The band FUN., maybe?) I care too much about growing up and being responsible, and then when I become those things, I feel as though I’m wasting my precious life away, caring more about my “five year plan” than about memories. Caring more about how I look in a selfie than having a life worth photographing.

I can’t just forgo all worldly life and live on a compound off the grid. (Well, I can, but, nope, don’t want.) How do you straddle the desire to be free and live your life with the real life necessity to be a functioning human of society?

How do you live the hell out of your life and feel alive when the monotony of adulthood has you by the throat? Furthermore, how do you even know what makes you feel alive?

After grocery shopping and putting away the food in an organized, anal-retentive fashion, I cooked hot dogs in the broiler while I ugly-danced around my apartment in my underwear. I was sweaty and happy while I ate my hot dogs, unashamed of the lack of adulthood in both afternoon activity and food choices. It felt like I had devised a moratorium on surviving my life, that each sweat bead that poured from my forehead, each flail of my arms was a rhythmic rebellion on the idea that life is a collection of days that all look the same, have the same outcome. I want possibilities, open spaces, and the opportunity to create a life that I can be proud of and excited to share when I’m about ready to part this world, whenever that will be, god willing not soon. I don’t know what kinds of memories I want, the kind of life I want to create just yet, but I do know that as I whipped my arms and hair in the air today, sliding across the hardwood floors, I felt that reverberation in my bones that reminds me that I am alive today, right now, in this moment only. And, I plan to take advantage of that vibration, one terrible dance move at a time. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Eat Pray Love

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