I must have been about 8 or 9 when I had first heard the term ‘life is short’. I didn’t understand – life isn’t that short. In fact, it is the longest time we have, surely?
I spoke to Mum about it. But not long after that, my family gained the news of my Nanny’s diagnosis – lung cancer. It felt like an earthquake across our family, but we had hope.
We hoped and prayed and cried for the best, but unfortunately, and so tragically, it spread, and in April 2007, she unfortunately died when I was 11 years old in her early 60’s. It was then that I truly understood what those words ‘life’s short’ meant, but I was confused – why? If this is the case, why do we pretend like we have all the time in the world?
A few of extremely hard, confusing, and very hormonal-teenage years later, and unfortunately we were struck with the next family tragedy – my Grandad was ill and the doctor’s weren’t sure how long he’d have left, and died some months later in October 2013 when I was 17. When he died, I then remember vividly thinking to myself, life is not short at all. It’s cruel, unpredictable. And you never know when it can be changed, taken from you, or others. “From now, until forever, I vow to you that I’ll live everyday like it is my last” I remember saying to myself as I picked out the clothes to his funeral.
Perhaps we as a society use ‘life’s short’ to almost convince ourselves to seize the time we have. Perhaps that it’s more that you never know when something will change so make the most of it. Perhaps it is simply that we, as a society, have become so obsessed with trivial matters that we almost need a constant reminder that it’s a waste of fucking time.
And now, I’m amidst another family tragedy. And now, I truly realise that the latter is closer to the truth. Life can be filled with the best feelings in the universe, and suddenly, out of the blue, it can change. Just like that. My mindset has completely shifted to a new light. And I’m so thankful for that.
Because suddenly, out of nowhere, you’re 5, 10, 18, 21, 30, 50. And then what? Has your time been productive? Have you been worried about the things that are important? What have you achieved? What have you gained?
Though it’s hard, I truly believe in the universe’s power of teaching lessons. The things I’d normally care about really just don’t seem that important anymore. But more so, sometimes these terrible, horrific, unimaginable events show you a side of life you had been too blind to see. If you look, and really, really look, there are cracks in the deepest, darkest events where you can see just a glimpse of light.
Life is not about having the latest trends, or celebrities, or who’s crushing on who on Love Island, or a guy not liking you back, or someone annoying you on Twitter, or getting annoyed at a comment (that, let’s be honest, probably wasn’t malicious anyway).
And I couldn’t care less on who likes who, who’s sleeping with who, who’s had a drama or had too much to drink at the weekend. This is not reality – you’re living in a bubble. You’re missing everything that’s important and it can change at any moment.
But what is important?
Family, love, friendships, relationships – people that have a positive, fulfilling impact on your life.
People that are there in a crisis, that support and cherish you and thus become an extension of yourself.
The people you’d do anything for.
Your basic necessities that you take for granted, day-in and day-out.
The little things in life that you normally wouldn’t notice, like the crack of dawn, birds, flowers, how your favourite person looks at you.
The fact that the Earth is looking after you.
You have a home, you are free.
The challenging, meaningful conversations you should be having, and if you feel like you can’t, then do your research, speak to people that have different views and learn for yourself.
Put your life into perspective, and you’ll see the good out of the bad. You will realise you have it so good compared to others out there who live in war-ridden countries, who are putting their life on the line to survive, or can’t even have access to the things that keep them safe.
I love blogging, I love this platform, I love social media and everything good it brings. But recently it all is fueling a weird unimportance, encouraging negativity, in a world filled with so much offline opportunity, hope, blessings and beauty. If only we just wake up and notice it, live in the moment, and make the most of our time, maybe we’d all be a bit more appreciative of the things we have that are right under our noses, as opposed to our fixation of what we don’t have.
You are here, you are alive, you are free. So start living.
Thanks for reading. See you next week.