If You Had Only One Day Left To Live On This Earth, How Would You Live It?


As human beings, we like our routines. We like consistency, planning and being on time. We set our alarm clocks for the same exact hour every day, we go to work tackling our daily tasks, trying to impress everyone and anyone, and then we go home, bust open a can of beer, and start all over again.

We grow so accustomed to this life, that it becomes our norm. We accept the 9 to 5 job as a good reality. We tell ourselves that this is how it’s supposed to be, because this is what society is telling us to do. We adapt to this type of life so well, that we assume it’s living.

But is it? Is this how you would want to spend the rest of your life?

On the day we are born it seems like there are already plans and goals just waiting for us to start working on. We go to school and work tirelessly to get that A. We go to college to get the degree that will make us the most money and will make us the most happy. And then we graduate and the haze of the real world sets in.

We don’t know how to stop the clock from ticking. We don’t know how to stop society from pushing us to be better and do better.

So we follow what our parents tell us to do. We follow the norm. We accept the office job. We accept the job on Wall Street, or the job in Washington.  And slowly but surely, our eyes glaze over and we start forgetting what we used to want. We start forgetting what our plans were for ourselves.

We start forgetting what happiness is supposed to look like.

Because happiness is not riding around the city in a fancy car. It’s not being able to afford the most expensive drink at happy hour. It’s not waking up at 5 am, putting on a suit, walking around downtown with gray skin, as thin as paper mache. It’s not about the salary, or the house, or the fancy title, or the promotion that you don’t really want.

No, life is not meant to be lived as a slave to society. Life isn’t meant to be lived as a ghost of your past self, ignoring all the things that used to make you light up. My god, this is not living.

We aren’t living.

Living is exploring. It’s quitting your 9-5 job and finally doing what your 6 year old self would’ve wanted you to do. It’s creating. Writing, painting, singing, dancing. Life is supposed to be fun.

It’s not supposed to crumble you. It’s not supposed to leave you bleeding dry.

Life is about not taking that promotion, and deciding to drop everything to travel. It’s about the people you meet along the way, not about the things or the money you make. It’s about making people smile, and making people see the real, and most authentic parts of you.

It’s about opening up your heart to someone and not being afraid anymore. It’s about falling in love and letting yourself fall deeper and deeper. It’s about the friendships you make. And letting those friendships ignite fire in your soul, when you have grown dark. It’s about making mistakes and getting past them. It’s about trying and failing and getting back up again.

Because in the end, you won’t be telling your grandchildren about your awesome salary, or the Mercedes Benz you got to buy when you were 24. No, you’ll tell them about the people you met in Australia, or Thailand. You’ll tell them about finally landing the job of your dreams and moving to the city you always wanted to live in.

And most importantly you’ll tell them about love. 

Because life isn’t meant to be a rat race or a marathon that gets you nowhere. Life isn’t meant to be battle. It’s meant for love. To be loved and to fully love others without running away. It’s about the things you did, not about the things you couldn’t do. It’s about the adventures you went on, not about the office job that gave you more money that you had any idea what to do with it.

So, if you had one last day on this earth, how would you spend it?

Would you truly live? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson

For more poetry and writing follow me on Instagram!

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