A little less than three weeks ago, on April 5, 2018, my dad died at the age of 49.
In fact, I got the news a few hours before taking an international trip, something I'm known for doing pretty frequently, as it's become somewhat of a hobby of mine.
When death hits home or close to home, it suffocates you and takes your breath away. It's like a wind that knocks you off your feet or a string of electricity that freezes you in place. No matter how often death happens to people around us and celebrities we know, we're never fully prepared for when it happens to someone we love and are used to having in our lives from birth. Especially when it happens unexpectedly at a relatively young age. But death is a lesson. And, weirdly, it gives us a gift. The gift of a reminder.
I've recently began adopting the principles of Stoicism, and one popular Stoic phrase is "Memento Mori", which basically means "Remember you must die." Thinking about your own death and mortality may seem morbid, but it's necessary. We must live as if tomorrow is not promised, because it's not. We all know death will happen to us eventually, so why wait for anything? Why take anything for granted? The inevitability of death should humble us, and then motivate us to take full advantage of life as soon as we can.
My dad was known for his saying "We don't get out much." I was never certain of the exact meaning of that phrase, but I think I know what it meant. It was sort of a rallying cry for anyone who feels held back to finally start living. Your dark place doesn't have to engulf you. And when you finally escape it and start living, you'll be able to scream out as passionately as possible "We don't get out much!"
I know for a fact that my dad wanted to do more with his life. I have no doubt that his last 49 years would've been better than his first 49 years. Since his death, everyone has said how proud he was of me, which gives me even more motivation to continue exploring the world, taking advantage of every opportunity thrown my way, and living life as best and as unabashed as I can. Also, in a cliché way, his death has given me a renewed appreciation for my loved ones. I can never take their love for granted again. But, honestly, I don't think I ever have. The support I've received from my loved ones since birth has led me to the person I am today, and I'm extremely grateful.
If you're reading this right now, you have time. Whatever you want to do, you should start doing it right now. Not in 5 or 10 years, because you might not exist, at least physically. Live unabashed, live passionately, live uninhibited, live unapologetically, and most of all, don't wait. You are going to die. Don't forget that. But, for now, you get to live. So go live.
P.S. - We don't get out much. ❤️ ✈️