How many moments in your life can you say that you truly felt alive? I mean, truly, completely, unequivocally alive? Those moments are few and far between…sure, you wake up every single day and live, but you would probably be lying if you said you felt truly alive every moment.
This truth is, we don’t feel alive nearly often enough.
We wake up, we drink coffee from our Keurig’s (Best. Invention. Ever.), we shower, we get dressed, we get in our cars, we drive to work and listen to the same morning show (Elvis Duran, obvi), we get to work, we work (if our jobs our lucky), we get a break from work during work (if we’re lucky), we go home, we watch TV, we relax, we eat, we go to bed, we wake up and do it all over again the next day and if we have the time to break from our way-too-adult lives, we have “fun,” even though five years ago when we were in college what we do now would never be considered fun unless it came with a massive next-day hangover and a “why do I smell like sex?” question looming over our bathroom mirrors as we assessed why were such hot messes.
Now, by no means am I saying that I’m unhappy with my life. In fact, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I have a cozy apartment in a great town where I live with my perfect-and-perfect-for-me partner; I have great jobs, and I’m working on getting my writing career started. Right now, I feel like I have the life I always wanted.
I would love the time and money to travel. (Who wouldn’t?) I would love to spend a day on the beach with a group of friends and experience the joy of camaraderie. I want to ride a rollercoaster and feel the rush and, for a brief moment, feel weightless and the lightness of endless possibilities. I want to run like this:
I want the ability to not care about anything. Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh because it’s impossible not to care about anything, but I would to be able to brush off the small stuff and focus on what truly matters, rather than zeroing in on everything that ails me.
I want to hike waterfalls and read books and stand still in a gorge and feel infinite.
My friend Melissa, who I wrote about in “Sigh, Is This My Life,” is in town for a short visit from Lebanon. Melissa is someone who represents a time in my life when anything was possible; where waiting tables wasn’t the end of the world, and anything could be fixed by a bag of gummies and Wyclef’s “Sweetest Girl,” but seeing Britney Spears perform “Gimme More” in a catatonic state at the 2007 MTV VMAs was, in fact, the end of times. I wouldn’t say that I was happier back then, but I was definitely different.
Back then I was never more aware of “life,” but I was also never less aware of what life was all about.
So to have Melissa back has been refreshing. She’s silly, and crazy, and wonderfully weird and it reminds me of everything that I miss about being young and not so adult-like.
We drove around and blasted the best of the 80s, 90s, and today’s trash:
We went to WalMart and hunted WalMartians. And Melissa tried on trashy clothes:
We frolicked around Target:
We didn’t care about who was watching. We didn’t think about anything or anyone.
We just were.
It’s the small things in life that matter sometimes.
Breaking routine matters. Routines are important, sure, but so is spontaneity.
Appreciating what you have matters. I wouldn’t change one thing about my life, and to be able to say that feels really great. Up until I was 23 I was never able to say that, and the last three years have been the best of my life. I don’t say it nearly often enough.
Living matters. All aspects of living.
Because THIS is life.