I had a very interesting conversation today with a friend of mine about being alive. It all started with recollection of memories from childhood, now just dimmed doorways to ones earliest consciousness which brought us to question, when do you start to really be alive? What constitutes as being alive? Is it just an amalgamation of chemical reactions?. Conversely, do we start living from the point when we can recollect our earliest of memories? Or is it when we first get to make our own decision? If you took a moment and really think, it is a question that could lead a person to discover self actualization or to an even deeper section of the human psyche that could potentially activate an existential crisis!
First of all to really understand the question, you should recognize that living and being alive are two similar yet vastly different situations. Being alive is the act of just existing. When a person does the necessary actions needed to stay not dead. Drinking enough water, eating when hungry, sleeping when tired. Take this concept to the current world and you can add more actions to the list like going to work to earn money to get the materials above and better yet getting educated to get that job. Things that you would do on a “normal” basis. A routine that almost all of us are now accustomed to, and why should we not? Does it not accomplish the goal of staying alive? Does it not provide for you and your family? Is it not what living is about?
“That’s your first hint that something’s alive. It says no.” Catherynne M. Valente
Living in every sense of the word is near impossible. You cannot be happy all the time, and you shouldn’t put that burden of achieving it on yourself. Everyone has their moment of weakness and hardships, and everyone goes through more normal days (or in other words “staying not dead”) than those extraordinary ones. Personally, I like it that way. It makes those moments of happiness that much more special. If your whole life was hundred percent happiness, would you remember every day for what it was? Would you remember that trip you went on holidays that one time? Or how about that relaxing weekend you get after a good days worth of hard work? Or when you get the chance to travel a continent together with friends. What would you do?
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde
That is the choice I have been given. Should I just keep not being dead? Or maybe I should take this opportunity to make an everlasting memory. A memory I could look back and think of that one time when me and a couple of friends traveled a continent. Time waits for no man. I must make a decision swiftly, before this strand of happiness (or a chance at happiness?) slips by. Just like you my fellow reader who needs to make that decision. Are you forever going to stay on the edge of the waterfall or are you ready to take the plunge? It does not mean that you need to start travelling, not at all. It means you need to get started on your passions. All those activities you have kept on the back burner for so long. Those things that gave you a smile every time you tried. Take them head on once more! for if you can not make time for the things and people you love, what is the point of happiness?