Tuesday, 1 July 2014

"Only the good die young"

I've thought long and hard about writing this piece. I've started it and restarted it.. left it for weeks on end. The point is, I don't want to be morbid. But death is a pretty morbid subject, isn't it?
I chose that particular quote for the title as it is regularly banded around - true or not - I think, as a coping mechanism. Something people use to justify why a person might pass 'before their time', before they've really lived their lives.. still as innocent souls.

This year so far has seen several people I know pass away at an incredibly young age.. and an age very close to my own. Each of their own different, but all too tragic causes. It would be strange not to question one's own mortality.. and this has certainly been the case for me.

I recently found this saying..
and it gives me solace yet makes me sad all the same.
They will not grow old, they will stay as they were in our minds and hearts. They won't get to experience the rest of their lives, of growing old and moving on. They live in our memories as the 20-somethings they were. Its a lovely, yet sad image.
If I died tomorrow, would I be happy with my 23 and a half years on Earth? Have I made people proud.. have I made myself proud? Have I done the things I wanted to? They didn't have the choice..their lives were taken from them suddenly. Without warning. Without prior knowledge. Here today, gone tomorrow.

It is a shocking reminder of just how fragile life is. It makes me feel odd. Not scared exactly, but more like I want to wrap everyone I know and love in cotton wool and never let them go.
Everyone has their time, but why should someone be taken from us in their early 20's? In their prime?
It didn't make sense to me, and it still doesn't. 
The unfairness of it is still very tangible.
I can't believe any of them are gone. One person in particular was such an charismatic soul.. the sort of person you would imagine outliving us all.. but he didn't.
And I still can't get my head around it.

I'm not here to upset anyone so I'm not naming names - but it feels like the small town I grew up in has been cursed recently. Its not even an exaggeration to say that someone seemed to be dying suddenly every week. It scared me. It still does.

Its not wrong that when you're in your 20s you pretty much think you're invincible. Fresh out of your teens - you've got years to sort yourself out and find out who you are and make something of your life. But what if you haven't? What if you don't wake up tomorrow?

My life the past couple of years has been a bit of a mess. Plans falling through, minds changing, health failing.. amongst other things. Its made me question myself and my priorities.. and while I'm definitely in a better place than I was - I'm still not there. 
Its not that I feel a pressure to get myself sorted, like there's some kind of ticking clock.. but these events have been a UNgentle reminder (or kick up the backside) to reevaluate my life.. to look at what I really care about. Prioritise. 
Degrees and grades and money don't really matter.
Happiness and being content does.

I need to stop trying to prove myself to every man and his dog and just do things for myself. Do things that make ME happy and that I enjoy.
Live my life.. and bloody well like it.

I will never forget each and every one that has gone in these last few months. I hope you're in a better place. I hope that's true. 

See you again soon.