We all die a little every single day.
When you drag yourself to a job you hate or stay until the wee hours of the night to finish a deadline that wasn’t even yours to start with;
When you put up with the tantrums and irrational demands of your partner every day and you can’t seem to find your way out because you’re scared of being alone;
When you’re constantly burdened by domestic responsibilities that you can’t find time to live your own life;
When you settle for being a second-class friend and you’re doing all the giving and not getting anything back, bits and pieces of you are chipped off.
Small yet significant parts of you die each time you do something that doesn’t resonate with your truth. Each time you’re forced to swallow a pill when you’re not really sick, that pill that’s supposed to help heal the body ends up poisoning your blood. And that’s because you don’t need it in the first place.
Sadly, life has a way of making us deviate from the things we want and need to do. Despite our resolve to live the best life we want, circumstances change and they pull our sights away from where we really need to go. It’s like being held in gunpoint. The fear of getting your head blown off in the most horrific way possible forces you to hand over control and let the one holding the gun call the shots.
Fear. It’s always been the gun pointed to our heads.
We stick to a job we hate because we are scared of losing the ability to pay the bills and support our families.
We stay in toxic relationships because we’re afraid of being alone.
We begrudgingly take on responsibilities at home because we’re scared of being labeled ingrates.
We try very hard to stay friends with people who neglect us because we’re petrified by the idea of being outcasts.
So we march on every single day like zombies – lifeless and aimless – slowly walking towards the people who are ready to shoot our brains. The funny part is, we know that at the end of the road, someone holds a shotgun and he won’t hesitate to fire yet we press on forward. And as you half-drag and half-pull yourself on that road, portions of your rotting limbs fall off. You’re slowly disintegrating even before you get to your death sentence.
That’s how it feels to do something you don’t want. You don’t realize it but small pieces of you are falling apart and you’d only realize it when there’s not much left to do. You get to your forties and realize that your passion isn’t really balancing books; that it’s in singing. You realize, after being married for so many years, that you don’t really love the one you’re with; that in your struggle to hold on to a toxic relationship because you’re scared of being alone, you’ve let the right one get away.
You focus so much time and effort on trying to get certain people to like you yet they still end up taking you for granted. The sad part is the ones who genuinely care have decided to move on and let you be. So you’re stuck with people who are essentially leeching on you.
I guess everyone is, on some level, scared of dying. Who isn’t? But many of us realize is that by making the wrong choices, we are repeatedly stabbing ourselves. We Hannah Baker ourselves each day by spending our energy on the wrong people.
When your routine is not making you feel anything, you have to take action. Going through the motions is the first step towards suicide. The moment nothing seems to penetrate your heart and you’re losing all your drive, you’re as good as dead.
Before you know it, by the time you get to your deathbed, you’re basically a lifeless corpse simply because you denied yourself the joy of actually living and only settled for existing. That’s a scary way to die. It’s scarier than getting shot or hit by a bus because there’s nothing left to think back on during your final moments.
The good news is it’s never really too late to change things. You can always make that jump. Embrace fear and jump with your eyes closed – or open if you’re really brave – and allow yourself to fall off the cliff. You may not know it but the water below is cool and refreshing.
If there’s something you want to do, do it NOW. It’s really that simple. There’s never the right time. It’s always now. Don’t die before you’re dead.
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