Life is short. And life is long.
Both statements are true.
I’ll prove it.
Life Is Short
You get about 27,000 days, give or take a few thousand, on average.
That’s about 4,000 weeks.
Just over 70 years.
Sure, maybe we’ll make some kick ass advancements in technology and we’ll all get another 25 bonus years, and live to 100. That’d be fun.
But even with 100 years of experiences, life would still be short.
It would still be true that you’ll only really get to cultivate a dozen or so phenomenally close friendships. Maybe. If you’re lucky.
And you will only get to dabble in a handful of different careers. At most.
And, statistically speaking, you’ll probably have somewhere between 5-20 sexual partners. Maybe one. Maybe over hundred. But some number not too far from 7.
God forbid if you’re robbed of the majority of your 27,000 days and get hit by a bus on day 9,000.
Or you contract a life threatening illness from one of your sexual partners.
Or you lose your life on the job, in a freak accident.
Yes, hopefully none of that happens.
But, it might.
And what if it does?
What if you wake up at 80 and realize that you never really went after the dreams you know you cared about the most?
What if the pain of not having named your love to the one that got away weighs on you, every day, like an elephant sat on your sternum?
What if you break down in tears as you finally see how petty it was to not let go of your resentments and pride and simply love and forgive your friends who have already passed away?
If someone told you that you weren’t going to get all of your loosely-promised 27,000 days…
What courage would you deploy?
What words would you say?
Who would you forgive?
How much more fully would you love?
Life Is Long
Life is also very, very long.
If you’re having a breakdown at 20 years old because you don’t have your life figured out yet and you’re freaking the fuck out and your friends have jobs and you’re struggling to pay rent and oh my god what career path should I settle on for the next few decades…
You are a baby.
You are so new to life.
You don’t need to have a fucking thing figured out.
One thing that I wish someone had told me at 20 (and repeatedly) is the following:
1. We are so much more easily thrown by our minds and emotions when we are young because we haven’t lived through a vast array of pain and experiences yet, and
2. You have so, so much time to figure out who you are. If you figure out a fraction of what you want to do with your life by 30, you’ll still be ahead of most people. But you’re only running your race, so fuck what other people are doing.
Does #1 mean that 20 year olds can’t have gone through some pretty tremendous, painful shit? Of course not. I have met 20 year olds that have more life experience, character, and integrity than some 50 year olds I’ve met. Age is an indicator, but it is not a rule.
And does #2 mean that you can just fuck around for a decade and put in no effort to know yourself and you’ll just slide into 30 as if you woke up from a decade long stupor, and it’ll be fine and dandy? Also no. But if you’ve found your way to reading this article then I doubt that you even have it in you to just fuck around and waste a decade of your precious life.
The point remains…
You have so much time to figure it out.
You have so much time to find your tribe… your friends… your surrogate family members that you get to choose.
You have so much time to heal your relationship with yourself, your friends from high school, and your family members.
You have so much time to meet a partner that will warm your heart, and support you, and cherish you, and help you to reach sexual bliss that you didn’t think was even possible for your beautiful little body.
There is no rush.
You can start over any time. You can end relationships and find new ones that honour you. You can transition out of career paths and re-invest yourself for where your heart is pointing you.
Life is short, yes, but it is also long enough that you will always have the room to change your mind and make yourself happy again.
And because life is both long and short…
– For the love of god please surround yourself with people who treat you well
– Please spend your time in a way that lights your fucking soul on fire
– Please double down on your relationships with the people who you love
– Please tell the people that you love that you love them (and tell them why… and tell them often)
– Please verbalize your sexual needs to your partner (they aren’t mind readers)
– Please take good care of your body, your mind, your heart, and your soul
– Please be gentle with yourself
You have a lot of time to figure this thing out. Plus, you’ll never actually figure it out.
And maybe that’s the thing that gives life the most meaning.
That you get to choose what your life is about.
My life is about helping people love deeper, and stay awake.
And who the fuck am I other than a collection of molecules and DNA that will dissipate back into the earth one day.
Maybe it all means nothing. Well, it definitely all means nothing. But in that nothingness… in that terrifying, staring-into-the-void blankness of our impending deaths… we get to draw a line in the sand and say “My life is about THIS!”
And then we live it.
All of our 27,000 days.
If we’re brave. And if we’re lucky.