THE CASE WITH YOLO

Does having a feeling that I’m going to die young render me the reason to live my life the way I do?

I’ve been thinking about the abovementioned thought. They say that rebelliousness often stems from a troubled or somewhat broken childhood, or at least a past experience that has messed you up a little, or a lot, whichever. I didn’t have a horrible childhood, just to be clear. But I have had those really rough moments back then, which I would now, credit them for the person I have sort of become.

That said, it was close to four years back that I began to develop this nudging feeling in me that I would die young. I’d say ‘develop’ because it didn’t just happen overnight. It came and went ever so occasionally that I hardly even noticed it until I began to feel like I wasn’t getting enough out of my life, according to my standards. I set the bars high for myself. I don’t just think I will be great, someday somehow. I actually plan on it. And slowly but steadily, I began to reassess my life – dropping things or matters that to me, didn’t seem to get me to what I wanted out of life. My relationship took a downhill spin, which eventually came to an ugly halt. We wanted different things. Or more accurately, wanted different things. I toyed with the idea of a luxurious living. So I studied full time and worked part time, and eventually saved enough to purchase my first Prada at 20. When I was 18, I wanted a navel piercing. While I didn’t have to sell my soul for it, I did have to make a deal with my mom – to stay in contact with this guy that she felt was husband material for me. In all fairness, he was – let’s just say, he was probably the right person at the wrong time. But I kept in contact with him, until I got the piercing and it was bye. And then I wanted tattoos. In my mom’s own words, “over my dead body!” But I got them anyway, and hid my first from her for a good six months did I. And then three more followed.

People who are close to me would know me as a go-getter. I get what I want, and only because I do whatever it takes to make things happen for me. I don’t believe in coincidence. And sadly, neither do I believe in fate. If something doesn’t sit right in my life, it has to go and it will, eventually. And if something should happen for me, it’s not going to happen unless I grab it by the horns and yank it my way. That’s me.

I’ve always believed in living each day as if it were my last. I save for rainy days, but have no qualms about splurging where I see fit. It makes me happy, and that’s what matters most to me, almost on a daily basis. Because of the feeling that I’d die young, I have also come to see my family in a different light – precious beyond everything else. I will stop what I’m doing to make time for them, and to spoil them with the occasional surprise of a birthday bash or a massage parlour treat or just a good, hearty meal at a swanky restaurant I love. I put aside Saturday mornings to have breakfast with them. It scares me to notice how much they have aged with time, frankly.

And as with most of other disciplines of mine, things began to take a backseat. I felt like I deserved a rest. And thought to myself that perhaps, I was only scaring myself half to death with thinking I would die young because everyone else seemed to be living as if they were guaranteed a good 30 odd more years of life.

But of late, this YOLO (You Only Live Once) thing has become more than a mere 9Gag post to me. It is like a blinding reminder that I was slacking in being me – the go getter, the girl who lived to make each day count. In my head, YOLO now seems like an OPEN bar’s sign in flashing neon lights of red. And I find myself back at that point where I stood four years ago. This time, contemplating bigger, better and bolder possibilities for my life on a different scale. That cafe I wanted to own. Meeting an ex for closure’s sake. Starting that online business. That diving license. The 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th tattoo. That home to call my own. That move abroad. That animal shelter movement. Those red end highlights in my hair. That French class. The painfully enticing VS workout. That right-hand ring. The possibility of committing – something I fear with every ounce of my being. The idea of showing some people the way out of my life because, I just can do without them. Keeping my principles and standing my ground (no matter how ridiculous I seem at times), just because I believe in it.

Because I only live once, and my life is what make of it.

So I’ve figured. Maybe, having a nudging feeling in me that I’d die young does give me a reason to live my life the way I do. But largely, it’s because I just choose to live life the way I do and I shouldn’t doubt myself or let anyone make me doubt myself for it. It might come across as not much of a life, or a pretty self-centered one but at least if I do die tomorrow, I can go knowing that I have never exchanged a single day of my life for mundane nothingness, and that I was pretty close, well somewhat, to checking everything off my bucket list.

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