Live like you are dying …because you are!

I was thinking about time again this past weekend. I heard the old country song “Live Like You Were Dying” & as things often do, it hit me in all the feels! The song is about a man who finds out he doesn’t have much longer to live, & so he chooses to live life to it’s fullest. Skydiving & climbing & bull riding, but also treating people, including his wife, better. It just got me to wondering though. Why should it require that kind of fear to jolt us into being a better person?

I mean let’s be honest here… We’re ALL dying! Some sooner than others, sure. You may not perish today, this week, this month, or even this year! But there’s no getting out of here alive! Regardless of what you believe about souls & what happens after death, your human, fleshly, earthly body will die. It will disintegrate, rot, be decomposed into mere molecules, atoms that make up the many elements of this extraordinary planet.

So why wait for tomorrow to live your dreams, to check things off your bucket list, or to become an overall better person, whatever that may mean to you. Work on controlling an addiction, seeking help even if necessary. Show compassion, empathy, kindness; not only to those you see consistently, but to even the most random of strangers. Remind your loved ones they are loved even when they may not be making it easy. Set aside time every day to practice a hobby. Also make time to relax, take in a deep breathe & enjoy the fact that there is Oxygen in your lungs. Take nothing for granted, be grateful for everything. If you are reading this post means you have internet, be grateful for that if nothing else. Start small & simple then build on it. Make a bucket list if you haven’t already, don’t worry if it’s realistic or not! Try to put some realistic goals on there & then throw on a few extravagant ones as well! You will work harder, the more lavish your goals are. If you think small, you aim small. I’ve always heard the phrase “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” I’m honestly not sure who originally coined the phrase, but I think they were right. The higher you set your goals the higher you will aim & the harder you will work to attain them. That way even if you never achieve your most outlandish goal, you will at least accomplish some of the things you’ve always wanted along the way. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket either! Meaning, don’t make all of your goals about the same thing. Not just money & career driven, throw a few fun things on there as well, some lighthearted stuff to keep you young. Set small, attainable goals along the way to make sure you are steadily progressing not remaining stagnant. Challenge yourself, play games against yourself. See how many strangers you can make smile. Pick a number & set aside that much money a paycheck to put towards your most expensive goal. Don’t compromise! Push yourself! It’s good to be content in life, that is important for happiness, but not to the extent that you stop growing as a person.

Just remember that you will die one day. No one knows at exactly what second that will be, so why waste time becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be! You will not fear death if you live the life you’ve always wanted. Imagine, a life free of regret, guilt & shame. A life where you aren’t worried about running out of time to complete your purpose. But a life where you are satisfied, comfortable & confident in the decisions you make & in your actions. Live passionately my friends! ❤

Positivity is a Virus

Positivity is a virus
You can easily transmit
It’s highly contagious
Don’t fear spreading it

You infect one life
& so they affect others
Thus a ripple begins
Which this world, it smothers

Waves traveling forward
Across oceans, across land
From one soul to the next
’Til together we all stand

Sick with this virus
Mutated into those
Who love one another
Whose hearts have been transposed

Each frozen thought thawed
Every mind opened wide
So that we can all see
The beauty held inside

There will be no more heartache
No tears shed from wet eyes
No pain, only joy
Sunshine & butterflies

Smiles on every face
Arms open wide
Diversity embraced
Conflicts set aside

Who knows how far
Your ripple will go?
The world is a sphere
So in circles it flows

Disease is the answer
Like zombies we unite
Don’t cower in the darkness
Be positive, spread your light

Hearts, like oreos, don’t break even

I once heard that hearts don’t break even
Today I realized the truth of this phrase
The reality is that splits are like twisting oreos apart
The icing inside is never sliced smooth down the center
It’s rough & jagged & disproportionate on either side
Sometimes one side steals all the delicate delicious filling from the inside & the other is left completely barren

To quote a monologue from the movie Call Me by Your Name
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 & have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!”

I am the oreo who was stripped bare, & by 27 I was bankrupt with nothing left to offer the next person who enters my life. I am trying to open up, let people in. But shutting down is so much easier when all I’ve ever known is disappointment & disappearance taking with it every piece of my soul I had invested in that person. Guess I’m just venting today, no rhyme or reason lol. But this is the real me. & it shares a little about my writing too. That’s the reason I keep 95% of my writing to myself is because I pour my heart & soul into it, & I fear someone stealing that work, which contains my soul, or judging it as so often happens to me as a person.

Time is fragile, make it last!

3 weeks ago I wrote a poem about time. I wasn’t sure if or when I would post it. However, after the passing of yet another iconic artist today (Avicii-may he RIP), I figure it was fitting. So without further adieus…

Forever I feel like a record on repeat
Time is pendulum, back & forth it swings

Yet time only moves forward on this planet that we live
People pressure time & they beg it to give

As my words remain the same
Time is constant; doesn’t change

The older you get the quicker time passes & the less you posses
So when life slips you by, then you begin to stress

Without being God, you can’t slow it down
& all your fun moments swim by & you drown

You’ll rush life away
But you want certain moments to stay
You can’t pick & choose
Time won’t be abused

So try not to wish your short time away
Be fulfilled by each moment; let every second stay

Stretch time out, as long as you can
Marinate in the now, don’t focus on future plans

The present is all the time you are promised
The future isn’t guaranteed, so with yourself be honest

Enjoy where you’re at, don’t return to past thoughts
They can’t be changed, & your present will be lost

What’s Inside is WHO YOU ARE

I heard a speech from one of my favorite baseball coaches last night & it really stuck with me, so I’d like to paraphrase what was said. Short version: “When you squeeze an orange, juice comes out. What’s inside of you? When life squeezes you what comes out? Because what’s inside you is who you are. & when you’re juiceful, you’re useful!”

Think of yourself as fruit, growing on a tree. As each day passes you are maturing, ripening. Everything you encounter grows into your being. The way you treat your body, how you nourish it affects the flavor of the fruit within. So, fertilize yourself with positivity; surround yourself with those who encourage personal development & empower you. Read books, learn new skills, talk to strangers, but whatever you do, push yourself! Never become content with your size or growth, there is always room for improvement. Cliché but true.

It is true that what’s inside is who you are. Our outsides often become tainted by negative circumstances. You may suffer a metaphorical freeze or get blown from the tree & hit the ground becoming bruised. Our outward appearance doesn’t often reflect what is within. It can appear scarred & haggard due to abuse or neglect. But just because a person has a skinned knee, does not mean the blood flowing through their veins is ruined or toxic. Our outsides are sensitive to our surroundings. They may appear weak or hardened to protect us. This is a façade. The inside remains the same. We are who we are within.

Life is going to squeeze you, contort you, twist you, grind you up & spit you out. But what exudes from this compressed corpse is WHO YOU ARE. So, who are you? & is that who you want to be? If not, who do you want to be? Work to become that person. You are the fruit, but you are also the farmer. You must put in the work to mold & maintain the maturation of what is inside. Don’t be rotted, smelly juice; strive to provide the best product you can!

Fight Hostility Created by Diversity

After traveling as much as I have you come to find how utterly indifferent Americans are to welcoming diversity. We call ourselves a melting pot because people from all over the globe congregate here. Whether seeking asylum from their motherland or simply looking for a fresh start in the magical land where everyone has equal rights & anything is possible. What’s truly amazing is how, despite the diversity provided here in the United States, people are completely oblivious to the fundamental principles involved in accepting others. We have more diversity than most countries & yet I feel we are in the most turmoil because of it. This does not have to be the case. There are three key steps I feel we must implement in order to reduce the hostility created by diversity.

  1. Observe (look, listen, learn)
  2. Process
  3. Act

In order to observe something you have to be fully engaged. Look with your eyes, what do you see? Listen with your ears, what do you hear? & most importantly of all, contemplate what you can learn from this. The first part of observation may seem the simplest, but I believe that in fact it is not. Too often people look & only see what is different: the color of a person’s skin for example. However, they fail to notice what is the same: it is still another living, breathing human with red blood flowing through his/her veins. Listening too is not so simple as it may appear. Once again too many people focus on the differences, for example a language barrier; forgetting that smile is the universal language everyone understands. & as when interacting with small children or the hearing impaired, hand signals combined with body language are often very effective means of communication.

In my opinion though, the most important part of observation is learning. Always consider what you can learn from what you witness. The more you understand someone/something the less frightening it will seem. I crossed paths with a very large moth last night. Now, I am no lepidopterist, & I will admit the initial sight of it caught me by surprise, but I didn’t let it scare me. Rather I approached it slowly. I took a few photos & later got on my computer & researched it. I did this to learn more about the creature, to better understand it & its purpose. The more you know, the easier it is to grasp that everyone & everything on this Earth serves a purpose, if for no other reason than to make our time on this block of rock floating through space significantly less boring. This is why is it important to take the time to study, research, & postpone judgement.

The next step is to process all this information. Consider all you have observed. What is different, what are the similarities, how can this benefit society. Does this person know or understand something you cannot? Can they help improve your life in some way? Maybe they are a biochemist who will one day develop the lifesaving medication you require to survive. Maybe they are an electrical engineer who wants to make your life easier by creating technology that is more user friendly & affordable. Maybe they are simply capable of cooking you the best meal you’ve ever had in your life or providing for your ears the most glorious music you’ve ever heard. Everyone serves a purpose, maybe it is to teach you a lesson like patience, but whatever their purpose is, you best believe they have one! So, before you judge, try to focus on these things. Find one positive attribute or search for a purpose you may be overlooking.

Once you have observed & processed, the only thing left to do is to act! Now while this may seem the most daunting task, truthfully, it is far from it! If you have put in the work to find out why this person exists, why they are crossing your path, what one positive thing they provide, how they are similar to you… Accepting them, embracing them, & even loving them will seem easy. ❤

PS here is the moth I ran into last night 🙂

Gypsy moth