The Walking Dead
I passed by him on the way back from the bathroom, hands in pockets, eyes cast to the ground, waiting on the elevator so he could go down and smoke, so he could go fill his lungs with poison, the poison that killed my birth mother. I wanted to yell, “Wake up! Don’t invite death to come early. ” I didn’t. I went back to my desk and my favorite lyric popped into my head “And it's hard to want to stay awake. When everyone you meet, they all seem to be asleep.”
I keenly feel my own mortality. Every day I try my best to be present, find adventure, and experience all I can. I sometimes walk past a group of people and listen as they talk about all of the shows they watched on the television the night before and it’s not just one night, it’s every night. They get up, they go to work, they go home, they plug into the tv, they go to sleep, they repeat. On the weekends, they may go to a movie, have sex with their spouse, or go to the mall, but they rarely leave their comfort zone.
I try consistently to go outside of my comfort zone. I believe that is where I truly feel alive. I’m not sure how much time I have left in this precious life I have been given, but I do know that I do not intend to waste one second of it. Like Thoreau I want to live deep and suck all of the marrow out of life. For me this currently means spending as much time in nature as I can, pushing my body to new levels of ability. In the winter when it is rainy and less pleasant to be outside, it means spending more time expanding my mind through reading, pursuing hobbies like quilting, spending evenings playing games with my friends, plan my next trip, and sometimes just cuddling on the couch watching television even.
The thing I want to avoid, the thing I dread is complacency and stagnation. I am fortunate in that I am afflicted with an insatiable curiosity about many subjects and an incurable case of wanderlust, so maybe I’ll be safe. Maybe I’ll manage to stay awake.