Inspiration can be drawn from things, faces, experiences and places. You can seek under the rock, or over the mountain. You can peek through the keyhole or look directly at the Sun. The choice is yours; the decision is yours. It’s a ‘make-it-or-break-it’ sort of thing. But, it all boils down to living your life. You can live it on the sidewalk or on the edge. Make sure it’s worthwhile, not because and so people remember you long after you’re six feet under (nevertheless, don’t rule it out, entirely), but and mostly, because you have something to look back on. This is just so that, when you’re on your death bed and breathing through your oxygen mask, with your children and grandchildren sitting around you (with their own versions of the will); you can slip into one last flash of oblivion and reminisce.

I’m not trying to scare you, really; just giving you the gist of how everyone ends up, anyway (the will reads for those who got lucky with the mullah). The point is this. What are you taking with you to the afterlife (or wherever the hell it is that you’re headed)?! Give it a thought.

The days you’ve spent making memories with your social friends, the days you’ve stayed up late in the night just because you couldn’t bear to close your eyes on that person lying next to you in your bed – what does it all account for? Will your friends follow you into the dark? Will that person cry for you when you’re laid out? Do you doubt their loyalties? Probably.  But, that’s okay. Everyone has these moments. They’re called introspection and you’re only human to be experiencing them.

So, take a minute out of your “busy sched” and delve deeper into your conscience. Do a bit of soul searching. Try to imagine what your life would be like if you had no constant friends thriving or no one particular person who slept by your side every night. Would you be any different than you are right now? Would you crave attention? Think of a parallel life where you may not be a social outcast; nevertheless, you’re perfectly okay being perfectly lonely. Will you be happy? Or will you just go on living each day as it comes; only too glad that you don’t have any hang ups on you that keep you bound. Does this make it easy for you to just elope with yourself all of a sudden out of sheer spontaneity? But then, what would you be running away from and then, what would you be running towards? You see, if you have no one to leave behind, then you have no one to look forward to either. So will that make any trip at all worth it? Where will be the excitement in it all?

Life is like a big block that you build. This block is made up of fragments which comprise of people, experiences, incidents, actions and memories. Feelings are overrated. Feelings come about due to these fragments. If these fragments did not exist, feelings wouldn’t exist either. But, then, nor would you. If your life is a block that is made up primarily of such fragments, there wouldn’t be any life and so, there wouldn’t be you. Then, why do we try to live without any ties, without any hang ups and memories because we feel that they’re only too hurtful and are an unnecessary baggage that we lug ahead? Why do we always want to keep escaping life? And, more importantly, where, exactly, do we aim at going if and when we’re “escaping life”? Life, my dear friend, is all around you. Life is happening at every nano-second. No, sheer avoidance won’t get you anywhere. There are some things you can’t avoid. Life is one such thing. Life happens, and we are just the countless fragments that make up this big entity, called life.

But, you know what? That’s the beauty of it all. So, when you’re lying on your deathbed, with your children and grandchildren surrounding you, you can decide in those final moments of your life, what your final words of wisdom to them might be.

There are two ways to do this: You look at them all, smile at them and tell them to be strong; there’s life after death, yada, yada, yada… Well, I hate to break it to you but, firstly, there is a whole lot of life after death for them. They’re going to move on. Secondly, your grandchildren (great-grand children, if you’ve been lucky enough) will grow out of this experience, real soon. I’m just saying it so you’re prepared for the worst.

The second is this: Leave behind a strong impression. Don’t sign the will. Have a secret will hidden away, somewhere that states you leave all your wealth to your faithful bull terrier. You can be rest assured that your family will remember you long after you’re digging potatoes, six feet under.

My point is simple, if not, yet, clear. Live your life. Make friends and fulfill all the promises of relationships. You don’t get a second chance at life, and if you do, who’s to know if the other person did? Don’t let moments pass you by. If you love someone, tell them you love them. Don’t wait for them to ‘figure it out’. I’m guessing everyone is just as busy trying to figure out their life, anyway, to give time to figure out relationships and what they mean. If you feel like there’s something that you haven’t told your best friend, tell them. Live life from one moment to the next because life is all about these little moments and, guess what? They don’t come back.

So when you’re on your death bed, sure, your family’s going to mourn your death and cry for you. But, sooner or later, everybody gets over everything no matter, how bitter that may sound. At the end of the road, it’s you and only you – alone and by yourself, ready to step into the white light, or fall into the black pit. At that point, you take nothing and no one with you. All you leave behind are a few memories. How strong and important you make these memories count for others, is all that matters, at the end of the line.

So, don’t block people out. Don’t stay hidden and don’t create walls. Break them down. Do something significant. That doesn’t mean you have to be the president of the country or initiate world domination. Just make your presence matter to the people in your life and make memories count.

I hope you understand this long lecture and take out the simple, albeit twisted, message from here and imbibe it into your life.

As for me, I’m going to try and take my own advice. Don’t worry; I’ll let you know how it goes.



Picture Courtesy: The Daily Portrait Project of Julia Kay