It’s sort of a shame that we have to live our lives waiting to die. Will it happen suddenly and unexpectedly? Will we see it coming, like an engine going out in an airplane and that unbearable agony of the next few minutes? Or will it be a prolonged illness? Will we die before we get so old no one wants to deal with us anymore? What does life have waiting for us at the end?
Either which way, it is an inevitability. The Sun will always come up, men will always be a mystery, and we will die, each and every one of us.
Meanwhile, our brains keep figuring life out as we barrel towards the end. For instance, ever notice why old people drive so slowly or count out exact change or stop using their credit cards? They have figured out that the risk is rarely worth it. Driving fast no longer holds its value, who wants to be in debt? We become so wise about life and have figured it out almost completely that we annoy everyone else. I think about this when I do something sensible, which is hardly ever.
To that end, I’ve figured out some undeniable truths to share with you. Are they real truths or are they mere illusions, waiting to bloom into terrible mistakes? For now, though, they seem kind of true.
1) You must find your Seat of Power – the disappointments in life can often be mitigated if you know where the source of your power is. That means, not forgetting your worth, not forgetting who you are, and never surrendering the thing you’re best at. I thought of this recently when I found myself in an awkward position with people a third my age. What did they have to say to me? Nothing. What did I have to say to them? Oh, I could have lectured them on a few things but the truth is, they didn’t want to hear what I had to say. It sucked back me backwards in time when I was a teenager in my small hometown. I hung out with the townies, wore tight t-shirts and drank beer but all I could think about what how little in common I had with them. I wanted out and I wanted out right then. I endured by keeping my trap shut and drinking Coors. But I knew I was out of there as fast as my feet could take me. Back then I hadn’t connected to my seat of power but whenever I feel that awkward inability to fit in, or want to be where I was, I recall my seat of power and all at once I am not the small town girl with a poor education but Khaleesi, from Game of Thrones, commanding my dragons to burn people to a crisp on my way of conquering the iron throne.
2) Sometimes your want and need is equal but that is rare. And it might not be permanent. Sometimes you can’t believe how quickly you bond to someone. Most of the time the people you want don’t want you, and vice-versa. Sure, this is only an affliction some of us are lucky enough to be stricken with but it seems to be nearly universal. I think you have to find the one who loves you. Your own love can grow over time but having a devoted person who wants you and only you is really the key. After a while, your flights of fancy will fade and the land mass will emerge clearly and distinctly from beneath the clouds. I am not sure that monogamy works. But I’m also not sure who can have a relationship with anyone that isn’t monogamous. We all want to be wanted. Maybe it is only designed to work for a short amount of time. But otherwise, you’re just a moment, a fleeting, delicious moment that staves off mortality. How can that be a goal to shoot for? Butterflies, sunsets, the Santa Ana winds are all fleeting moments but you should only be that every so often. There has to be two people who want only each other, at least for a little while.
3) Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn create cinematic perfection in The Philadelphia. There are only a handful of perfect movies and this is one of them. It is a truth best not to be argued.
4) There is nothing quite like sex. It is a gift that shouldn’t be squandered. Our bodies should be used and abused until we are no longer able to merge, to liquify, to satisfy. If you are sitting around wasting your body shame on you. Find a way to dive in, even if it means not finding love along the way. Ani DiFranco says it best.
5) Every picture you hate of yourself will almost always look a lot better a year later. It’s a simple truth of the self loathing principle. It doesn’t last very long, the hate. Before long you see yourself as others likely see you.
6. The pain of heartache eventually goes away. It doesn’t seem like it ever will. It hurts so bad and the pain lasts so long – every song you hear, every movie you see, every happy couple you observe stabs at your heart. But a day will come when it won’t matter anymore. You could bump into that person on the street and it wouldn’t matter. Hate is not permanent. Sure, there are some people who are worthy of a lifetime of hatred. But the lesser heartbreaks they fade.
7.Life is not the internet. It isn’t and it never will be. Go out and live. Pretend the internet never happened. All of the great things it affords – information, connectivity, money, shopping, dating – it’s the great mating hub and cultural watering hole but it still isn’t real life.
8. Not many women can pull of a bathing cap. Katharine Hepburn was one of those.
9. Art, literature and music are vital to the human experience. No matter where you are or what economic status – this is what humans do that very nearly justifies our existence on this planet.
10. Take care if your vitals. FLOSS. Do yoga. It will fix back problems forever. Eat a little, mostly vegetables.
We know that we are all going to die. It’s terrifying when you think too hard on it. Be here now.