With all due respect to the above title statement and the people who quote it, hashtag it, and supposedly live by it, I only have one thing to say to you: I have not been served a bigger dose of bullshit in my life than that aforementioned statement. There, I feel better about things. How about you?
I’m just going to come out and say it, so sit down and buckle up. You only DIE once. Finito. Over. No coming back (unless you truly believe in a zombie apocalypse – and even then if you are unable to think and feel you’re not really living). Pushing up daisies. Six feet under. You get the gist don’t you? Death comes but once. A near death experience may be more frequent, but if it doesn’t kill you, you haven’t died have you? Sure, you can die for a moment or two and be brought back, but that’s not dying. And if you think it is, haven’t you just blown your whole “You only live once” argument out of the water anyway? See, you should just agree with me.
I’m of the opinion, believing, mantra – whatever you choose to call it – that you live every day. Not but once, but every damn day. You make choices every day, and these choices affect all your future outcomes. Is this not living? Sorry to get very “deep” here, but this post calls for it. For fear of dragging this post on too long, I won’t get too technical or too preachy, because really, who needs that shit.
I’m 43 this year. I have, if you subscribe to such things, less than half my “life” to live based on current average figures. If half of my time here is over, maybe I should be content to just ease into the sunset. But that’s not like me. I love being the centre of attention. I want people to look at me and remember me. I want them to laugh with me, at me, about me. I want them to live through me. I plan to never stop exploring, learning, laughing. In order to do that, I need to live every day. Each day presents a new challenge, a new decision to make, a new opportunity to laugh, to fail, to succeed, and maybe even to get laid or fall in love. If I didn’t want to live more than one life, I would be happy with all the previous firsts I had accomplished.
I have been a laborer, student, waiter, retail sales clerk, technical writer, amateur athlete, world traveler, avid but crappy photographer, published author. I have won scholarships, tournaments, trophies, respect and admiration from friends and peers. I have loved, been loved, lusted, been lusted after, hated, been hated. I have seen more wonders than I probably deserve and hope to see many more. I have succeeded where I should have failed, failed where I should have succeeded, and probably had things work out the way they should more times than not. I have changed my job, my career, my educational choices more times than my old college roommate changed his underwear (don’t ask). And you want to convince me that I only have one life to live!
You can enjoy your “one life” all you want. I’ll live my many lives in my time here. I’ll continue to learn, to grow, to laugh, to explore, and to delve into things I never thought of the day before. I’ll eat Mopani worms in Africa again. I’ll continue to look for new and exciting places to set up shop. I’ll strive to become a published novelist. There’s no way I could do that in one lifetime. It’s a good thing I live one pretty much every day.