Stop, You Aren’t Living

The thing that gets the most under my skin is walking around the world and seeing people who have stopped living.

I see them on buses and in restaurants and walking on the street and it fucking devastates me.

It’s fucking miserable.

It’s a club 70% of our world has prescribed to.

I went to shake them and light a fire in their eyes.

You must quit the life you hate to start living.

I was talking with somebody last week about somebody changing careers and they said, “If I was them I would just lie down, take it and work for another 10 years even if I hated it, just to retire. They’re so close. Why start again?”

Every molecule in my being detested those words.

It makes my hackles raise and my mouth froth resent.

Doing the movements–the degree/the debt, the office job, the pension, the mortgage, waking up everyday hating a job you have to work to support the house you didn’t really want to buy and the degree you didn’t really use for the pension you’ll never use because you’ll get a disease from your misery and die before you can enjoy it isn’t living.

Whatever asshole told you that, lied.

I’m sorry—but its all absolute bollux and you need to start again.

Our generation is blessed with living in a world where we can do whatever the hell we want–we can pull jobs out of our assholes and throw pasta on walls.

There are kids pranking their moms on their Youtube channels getting paid 60,000 a video off advertising.

We live in a cool time–are you aware of what we can do, what you can do?

How some of my friends left their 9-5’s and started their own business and are absolutely killing it is not extraordinary to me.

I don’t think I or they are special cases.

I think too many people lay down in a life they don’t love and go, “Well, I guess I’m here so… fuck it, I’ll just stay.”

No shit we are a bunch of black out weekly alcoholics.

No shit we are addicted to Netflix so we can check out of real life.

No shit we get depressed because we feel it is hopeless and there’s no point.

Who said we have to stay?

Who said the solution is to lay down, wake up, brush our teeth, pee, get dressed, eat, shit, eat, and sleep?

Maybe your parents or a cool uncle or who knows—anyways, it isn’t true.

A friend of mine is in his seventies and getting a divorce.

When he told me his choice he said, “Janne, now is the most pressing time. And I know, shit, I only have maybe 20 years left. How do I want to live those 20 years?”

You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause.

And you refuse to do it because you are afraid. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.

Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

You aren’t doing anybody a favor when you stop living, stop trying.

When we heal our suffering, we heal this world.

When we do what we love, we heal this world.

You don’t need to write some fucking self help book with the intention it’s going to save people, or become Tony Robbins or go build 12 schools in Colombia (or do) to save our planet—you want to save our planet? Live your god damn truth.

Speak your truth, be your truth, live your truth—and go make some money off your truth while you’re at it.

Don’t lie down and drink the Kool aide and think you’re doing anyone any favors.

The greatest cause of dis-ease is emotions that manifest into physical pain in our bodies—you want to swallow your truth and work, live a job you hate—it will kill you and that ain’t doing you or your family any favors either.

So how does it heal this world if I do what I love?

Because when you do what you love, you shine.

You become happy.

You float like a fucking weightless chipmunk through your days because nothing is heavy anymore.

People will walk up to you and when you tell them they will go, “Ahhhhh, that’s why. You’re happy because you do what you love.”

Like its some god damn secret that somebody needs to tell everybody else (even though you already know and he knows, and she knows and we all know).

“But, who will do all the jobs like bag groceries? Pick the garbage up? Not everybody is a beautiful, blonde, white 27-year-old female who can play on a surfboard and write poetry.”

You’re right, there is only one me—and my truth and my joy is writing poetry and somebody else’s truth and joy might be being a tow truck driver. In fact, one of the happiest humans I have ever met is a tow truck driver in Victoria. Shit grinning happy. Maybe happier than me.

He is living.

So quit blaming everybody for not living your life.

And go try.

The common complaint among a lot of these people is that they need to ‘find their passion.’ I call bullshit. You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it. Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously.

You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.

It’s right there in front of you, you’re just avoiding it. For whatever reason, you’re avoiding it. You’re telling yourself, ‘Oh well, yeah, I love comic books but that doesn’t count. You can’t make money with comic books.’

Fuck you, have you even tried?

-Mark Manson

If you woke up tomorrow morning and had 6 million dollars, what would you do?

You have your thing—now go fucking live it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Janne Robinson

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