I’ve been thinking a lot about life lately. How strange it is that we, as humans, are living out these lives never knowing when our time in the bodies we inhabit will be over.
I can recall two conversations, one with each of my best friends at separate times, one more recent and one from years ago.
The one about the bigger things.
I’d say it was about 8 years ago, my best friend Alyse and I were preparing to go on a family camping trip, one that (we now know) we would never forget. The night before our long drive to Shaver Lake, one of the many boys who lusted after Alyse decided to TP her house. Probably because we had previously TP-ed his house but we were enraged nonetheless. We plotted to stay up through the night incase the boys were to come back (to scare them of course). We sat in the darkness right next to her front door, porch lights off, screen door closed, stars painted across the night sky and a perfect summer breeze flowing in. The time passed and the boys never came back, but we got to talking and things got deep.
There we were, two 16 year old girls, friends since we were just little kids. Alyse is like my sister and in many ways she really is the sister I never had. Growing up we were so similar, we liked the same things, our dad’s both loved to fish, we were both horrible at math and we could even pass as sisters when we met new people. I had two brothers and she was an only child, therefore we both needed each other. I became the sibling she never had and she became the sister I always wanted.
On that night when we were 16, we expressed to each other the kind of things that we would think about but never say out loud. I like to think of it as opening our souls to one another. We were relieved to find out that we had both wondered similar things, that we weren’t the only ones who thought about the world beyond what we know. Beyond Earth, space, and even that big galaxy of stars that we were staring right into. We also talked about the mystery of life after death, whether we go on to lead new lives in heaven or even as new souls on earth or if the end of our lives is just nothingness and our existence is permanently erased.
It’s what I see when I’m laying in bed at night, struggling to fall asleep and for whatever reason my mind gets to thinking about death. Not every night, only once in a while. I play out my whole life in my head, it seems to be going faster as time goes on and there is nothing I can do to slow it down and then boom. The unknown. Darkness. Death. The end of my story. My body feels numb, and my heart sinks into my stomach.
This has happened to me ever since I was a little girl. Back then it was even more terrifying to think about. I remember trying to fall asleep one night and these thoughts consumed me. I left my room to find my mom who was folding clothes on the couch. I explained what I was feeling and she comforted me with a hug, told me to pray whenever my mind wandered that way and tucked me back in.
Prayer really does help. Whether you pray or meditate or whatever it is that you do, it’s beneficial to take a moment to remind yourself that there is something bigger than what you know, than this life and this world.
It doesn’t happen to me very often especially as I’ve gotten older but when it does, it’s almost always when I’m in bed trying to sleep. For the first time in a long time, these thoughts consumed me again just the other night.
Unlike when I was a child, I’m no longer so scared about the thought. I’ve come to the conclusion that everything happens for a reason and this life is a part of something much larger.
The one about LIFE.
That second conversation I mentioned at the start of my entry occurred just last night. I was on the phone with my other best friend Alina.
Anyone who knows either of us is aware that we’re as close as two girls can be. We like to say that were soul mates but in a friendship sort of way. We just get each other and we always have. I honestly think that I would be a very different person if she hadn’t come into my life 12 years ago, kind of like there would just be a hole in my life that was never filled. But like I said, everything happens for a reason.
Coincidentally, it came up in conversation while we were on the phone last night. Death, Life, what have you. We both admitted that thoughts of our time on earth, in these bodies and what is to come once we leave them had recently crossed our minds.
I thought about how peculiar it was that we had both been thinking the same deep thoughts around the same time as each other. And then I realized. It’s not peculiar at all, there are probably millions of other people thinking the same thing. After all, we are all human. We are all living out our lives, day to day, knowing that at some point they will be over. The end. Done. But still, we keep going.
Why wouldn’t we occasionally stop to think about our unescapable deaths?
Because it’s scary is why. But does it have to be?
As I get older, these thought’s seem more like a privilege than a curse. A reason to remind myself of what I want my life to be. A reminder that I need to do what I love and not allow anyone to make me feel differently about how I should be living. There is no ‘forever’ in this life… This life is temporary and it should be enjoyed.
You see, normally this is the type of thing I would keep to myself. Maybe I’d write it in my personal diary. But come to think of it, I have this one lifetime to express myself though writing, so why not put it all out there?
Hopefully, if anything, others will relate and find comfort in knowing that they aren’t the only one who wonders.
There’s a great big ocean out there and we are all in the same boat.