Today, I discovered an article on Inc.com and it gave me cause to think about a subject that has long fascinated me. Death and mortality. Now I am only 24, so many people will think it strange that I even think about my death. But the truth is as stated in the article that we are all going to die and we do not know when. We can hope for when, so like most people I would enjoy living the ripe old age of 85. But that might not happen. Life could alter and something could quite easily end my life.
A bad driver on the motorway.
An illness that springs itself upon me.
An accident or a murder.
There are so many different ways that our lives could be ended so easily before we ever reach old age. And many might see that as a terrible thing and in many ways it is truly terrifying and terrible. However there is one way that it is a positive.
To know and accept that you will die and that your own mortality is fleeting and having no clue when you are going to die, allows you total focus on what you wish to achieve in your life. I am a believer that there is no afterlife and this is our one chance to make something with it. I love that fact because it means that all my choices are mine and if I fail to do something, then it is solely on me and on nothing else.
What will you do?
Purpose… people talk about what is the point of life and I have thought long and hard about this. The point of life is to fulfil a purpose that is decided by you and you alone. That purpose is not always a clear decision. For over a decade now I have known my purpose is to be a writer, however I could never point to a single moment when I made that exact decision. It just evolved out of how I went about my life.
To that end, I have structured my education and life choices around being a writer. This blog is one of those choices. My two degrees, BA in Creative Writing and International Journalism MA are choices. My current job that revolves around writing content about cars and the motor industry is a choice. Writing and self-publishing my first novella, The Faggot Journal was a major decision on my path.
There have been moments, when I strayed from those choices. I did door to door sales for a month, which drove me into the gutter, I worked in a shop and almost went full time because I was struggling to find a writing job. I considered being a car salesman. The truth is that there have been moments, when I just took what life threw at me and almost gave up. However the thought that always stopped me and put me back on the writing path, was the idea that when I die, do I want to have achieved that dream.
Lets get personal
The other side of the life coin is the personal side. In that same Inc article, there were two other points that caught my eye and are connected to the idea of death and mortality. Relationships are the key to long lasting happiness and that we should build long lasting experiences, over simply chasing fireworks.
For me in a personal capacity, I have spent the last three years very much chasing fireworks instead of building a real foundation. I sought cheap, easy thrills morning, day and night with different men, some with partners and others free to do what they will. I did try to find a true relationships, but only to find boredom, or regret or loss. Until recently I was happy with those cheap fireworks, however when I again, amongst other things, considered my own mortality, I realised that life would be worthless if I only ever sought the fireworks. I have since decided to find someone and something far more substantial than a fling in a park.
I deserve that for my life.