This one seems to be making the rounds--and starts with a reality slap upside the head.
'Note to self: None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you're carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There's no time for anything else.' - Nanea Hoffman.
It's the first line that gets me.
"None of us are getting out of here alive...."
I mean come on! Holy CRAP! We all KNOW that ---I mean if someone asked you---you KNOW that there is no escape from it. It is not like death only happens to "somebody else". There were living beings on this earth millions of years ago but they are not here now because, hey, THEY ALL DIED.
So why, when I read this, does it feel like a punch in the gut?
I am going to blame zombies--zombies and every other post apocalyptic pieceof media that has captured our attention. Through them, we see the end, but the characters we love....well....they DO get out of it alive! And we harbor the hope that even in the worst situations, where maybe your child has become one of the undead and is trying to EAT your brains, you can still get out alive.
This explains the "If Daryl Dies we Riot" Walking Dead contingent out there. We have seen various key characters buy it in some pretty gruesome ways over the seasons, but Daryl always "gets out alive".
We are hopeful that even not so good, rather rough around the edges, imperfect, average humans can pull through some scary stuff -- so maybe we can too.
We want, no----DEMAND that SOMEONE GETS OUT ALIVE!
(Yes I am using my loud capital words because frankly the whole reality of it all freaks me out sometimes!!!)
Ok so enough about zombies.
Our reality--you, and me and everyone else we share this planet with--will NOT get out of this alive. (again, punch in the gut).
Someone--again I blame the media--(they are on my radar as evil today) create this message (oh for fun, let's also blame organized religion, the government and capitalism) that seeds a sense of scarcity in our very souls. We are not young/smart/rich/thin/fast/athletic/beautiful enough .... and we spend most of the rest of our days trying to achieve these things.
And some people do. Only the scale keeps sliding and that fabled finish line is always just around one more corner.
I am reminded of a conversation I had recently when my bff took me on a hike among the hills behind her home in California. It was after a long day of walking around San Francisco..... I was in a skirt...... the wrong shoes..... and she promised it would be a short hike.
"Ummm ok, but we are not doing your whole normal hike right? I mean look at my shoes."
"No, no, just the ridge here and around that tree. It gets REALLY pretty up there," she waved vaguely toward some trees.
"Ummmm ok but it's getting dark right and didn't you say just up here a bit. How far is a bit?"
"Well a bit more than around the corner. Really, I mean you have come this far, and look at the view! Up ahead it is even better and when we get back we can ..."
"Ok I know what you are doing."
(pant) (pant) "You are trying to distract me with all this chatter." (pant)
"I call BULLSHIT!" (pant) "You think I DON'T know what you are doing? I KNOW you!"
"I'm not doing anything! I am just saying that we are so close. Just over that ridge...."
"WHAT RIDGE!! FIRST IT WAS A HILL AND THEN A CORNER AND NOW A RIDGE?? ARE YOU INSANE? DO YOU SEE MY SHOES!!! I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!"
Finally I had to dig my heels in and stop. Yelling wasn't working so I tried logic.
"Ok look. We need to head back before dark you said because we don't want to fall or get eaten by coyotes or step on rattle snakes or....."
"It is cool out so the rattlesnakes will actually...."
I waved off her protests and tried again.
"Let me check my phone....ok sunset is at 8:10."
"What time is it now?" I hissed.
Too often in life we are distracted by the promise of the "beautiful view" that is "just up one more hill", and are so consumed by the "chatter" along the way (and trying to NOT step on rattlesnakes) we forget to notice the journey.
Ill equipped, we try to accomplish tasks with the wrong tools (or shoes!) and end up suffering and wondering why our struggles are WAY harder than they need to be.
For Nanea Hoffman...the journey includes jumping in the ocean or being weird or living your heart's desire as you walk the road that takes you to the end of your journey.
Much like the zombie movies, I may not be getting out alive, so I am going to need to make the mad dash as much fun as I can.