When you’re young, you don’t realize how quickly life is going to pass you by.
At 5 years old, you create a type of world for yourself where you become invincible; you’ll never be 30 years old and dealing with real life, adult problems, right? If only that were the case. We eventually do grow up, however, and catapult ourselves into relationships, jobs, and the neverending world of paying bills.
While going through the motions of life, we often forget to live.
This past week I was fortunate enough to spend some time in my hometown; I visited friends I hadn’t seen in a while, spent time with family, and was able to do one of the things I love and spend time on the set of a movie as an actor. It was a much needed mini vacation away from the city, and away from my day to day life. I did, near the end of my trip, start to miss certain people and doing certain things; I will be happy to get back to work and start making some money, that’s for sure.
Earlier this summer, a very close friend of mine suffered a stroke at the age of 33. With no prior major health issues, he’d started feeling a little under the weather. Upon having been to the doctor and having a countless number of tests done, nothing unusual came up. It wasn’t until his roommate, a mutual friend of ours, messaged me and told me to call him. That’s when I found out that he’d had a stroke and was being closely monitored by a vast number of doctors. To make matters worse, it was discovered that his stroke was caused by a blood clot that travelled from his heart to his brain due to endocarditis – the inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. Long story short, after having to have open heart surgery and valve replacement surgery, he’s still with us, and I am so thankful for that.
I visited him many times this week, and every single time I left the hospital I had a new found sense for life. Why do I spend so much time worrying about things I can’t control? Life can literally change at the drop of a dime, yet I feel as if I – and I hate to use this word – waste so much of what little time I have. As I watch my best friend’s twenty-month-old daughter grow up and take in the world around her, I’m baffled at how free she is, without a care in the world (but really, the only care you have when you’re almost two is finding that one doll’s missing shoe, or your blanket).
I really hope that as she grows up she learns that life is shorter than it seems. It’s taken me 27 years to realize that even mistakes are something you learn from; that every single moment we share with the people around us should be treasured; that it doesn’t matter what happens in the long run, just as long as we’re happy.
Do the little things that make you smile. Create that bucket list of things you want to accomplish or places you want to visit and explore. Don’t waste time being angry or upset about things you can’t control. Go out for lunch or coffee with that friend you haven’t seen in over ten years. Fall in love – over and over and over again – it’s okay, really. We should hug harder, laugh louder, smile bigger and love longer before we’re unable to do anything at all.
Life is short. Don’t be afraid to live.