The other day I was at home, minding my own business when I had what alcoholics would call, “an epiphany”. Most of us go through our daily lives unwilling to admit the totality of the truth, that sooner or later, we die and we don’t take any of our shit with us. We don’t take our cars, we don’t take our loved ones, we don’t take our fucking X-Box and we surely don’t take our in-laws. (Which coincidentally is how I define “hell”.) Let’s put religious metaphysics aside for a second. Pretend for the sake of this argument that we are all completely apathetically agnostic. We neither care about the question of God, nor make any attempts to try and answer the universal question of existence through supernatural means, we simply accept our existence as an axiom.
This life. This moment. Right now, you reading the words I wrote down hours ago on your device, is all you have. YOU HAVE NOTHING ELSE. The future may never happen and the past is this abstract thing a million miles away that will never be again. This moment is everything you have.
Let’s say you have a shitty boss who demands more out of you than he’s willing to pay you for (i.e. most of them). Most of us would think, “well I need money so I can pay my rent, my car payment, blah blah blah…” While this is superficially true and for some, seems like the basis for human life (paying bills until you die), this is nothing. It’s a puff of smoke. Yes, be responsible, but don’t put up for more than you should and don’t accept less than you deserve. Quit your job and find another. If you’re the more responsibly minded, then find a new job FIRST and THEN quit your old one. But, don’t waste any more of your ephemeral life taking care of the needs of some petulant manager with short-man syndrome who demands you do the work of five people while barely paying you the wages of one.
Understand something. This universe has existed for 14 BILLION years. This little person is one tiny person in your little building. Your little building is one little building in an itty-bitty city. This itty-bitty city is one itty-bitty city in a small state, in one small country on one nondescript planet, in one forgettable solar system, in one normal galaxy that’s part of an unremarkable local group of galaxies in a shit corner of the universe.
YOU on the other hand, are unique.
There are 3 billion base pairs in the human genome. Each of these base pairs is responsible for what you look like, how your heart is formed, whether or not you have blue eyes and everything else about you. Of all the permutations of genes and chromosomes that could exist in the human species, you and I are insanely, cosmically lucky to be who we are, when we are, and how we’re configured. We are the micro-cosmic lottery winners.
If your name is Bob Smith, guess what? While there may be other people sharing that name, there is only one Bob Smith. You. This idea of a Bob Smith, floating in the ether is something that is unique and irreplaceable.
YOU are unique and irreplaceable. But, your life is fleeting.
So, forget your boss. He’s going to go home to his shitty life. He built his life around a corporate entity that couldn’t give any less of a shit about his existence, burying his face into his pillow because his life sucks, and the only satisfaction he gets out of his life is to come to work and give blood pressure problems to his subordinates.
He doesn’t matter. The company that you work for doesn’t matter. It’s a means to an end. The end is you ENJOYING your life.
So, to recap, if you’re anything like me, up until now you’ve been slaving in a company you don’t believe in, working a job you hate, to buy shit you don’t need. We all caught up? Good.
You’re wasting your life. Yes, you. You’re wasting your life. If you’re reading this at work, you’re wasting your life.
So let’s do something together, you and I. Do this, RIGHT NOW. Get up and go to the bathroom, with urgency. LET PEOPLE SEE YOU DO THIS. Stick your finger down your throat in the stall, and make like you’re trying to shit yourself so that you can get blood rushing to your head. Now, make a sleepy face, lick your palms (Thank you, Ferris…) and leave the bathroom, making deep breathing noises.
Go to your boss and tell him you just threw up and you’re going home. Then when he lets you go, go to the park and stare at a tree. Talk to someone you don’t know. Read a book. Do SOMETHING. SOMETHING! Get the hell out of your element, out of your comfort zone and live your god-damned life!
If you’re a fat bastard and have always wanted to change it, get a gym membership and go every morning before work. When you’re done work, leave that shit at work. If you have always wanted to do something, do it. Always wanted to take a trip to Europe? Do it. You have the knowledge of the universe at your disposal. Use it. Take a chance. Put something out into the world that makes you happy.
Better yourself. Make yourself the person you wanted to be before reality came in and shit on your dreams. If on your deathbed you can look at your loved ones and say, “Damn, life was fun” congratulations, you’ve won life and if on the off chance that there is a heaven, I’ll bake you a cake. If the most memorable thing you can say about your life on your deathbed is, “I increased my corporate profits by .09 percent every quarter” congratulations, you died a LONG time ago. You may have more money, you may have a better car, but I’m happy and ALIVE.
Your life is ending before it begins. Get the hell up and live your life. Eat lightning and shit thunder. Climb the highest mountain and punch the face of God. Bite off more than you can chew, then chew the hell out of it.
“I-I am going to be a storm-a flame-
I need to fight whole armies alone;
I have ten hearts; I have a hundred arms;
I feel too strong to war with mortals-
BRING ME GIANTS!”
– Edmond Rostand
And remember, you’re not doing it alone. I’m with you. We can both do this. Let’s fuck shit up together. Remember that guy you were yesterday who was doing things a bit worse than the guy you are today? Let’s go kick his ass.