Questioning mortality.

4 11 2010

On Tuesday, as the world mourned the loss of Andy Irons, most of us began to question our own mortality.  For some of us, this wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve reflected upon our lives and wondered what would happen if we weren’t given another day on earth.  Would we live with regrets?  Would we be able to say that we’ve done all that we’ve wanted in our short lives?  Did we show our loved ones how much we cared about them?  Did they know?

As I skimmed through the numerous tributes to Andy on Facebook upon the wake of his passing, I came across one that will clearly stand out in my mind forever — “I would rather die young taking risks and living my dreams than to slowly die playing it safe and holding on to regrets.”  You have to give up the life you planned to find the life that is waiting for you.  Throughout my entire life, I’ve been raised to “play it safe.”  And as I reflected on this, I watched my 94-year old grandfather get so angry over something he had no control over, nor grasped the understanding of.  I thought about he and my grandmother’s lives, taking very little risks and sticking to what was comfortable to them.  They were resistant to change, and often ignorant to diversity.

Perhaps because we lost Liloa at the prime of our adult lives, I would naturally question my own mortality earlier than a person who hadn’t experienced losing someone close to them.  Liloa and (now) Andy’s deaths proved how precious life is and how it can be taken away at any moment, no matter how good of a person you are.  There comes a point when you have to ask yourself what makes you happy… and I think I’ve reached it, many times over.  I don’t want to live a mediocre life.  Not to say that my grandparents lives were mediocre, but they didn’t crave life when they were my age.  They didn’t feel the necessity to explore the world. They were comfortable where they were.  Then there are my parents… who stick to what they know, what they are comfortable with.  Throughout my adult life, I have been continually faulted by them on the risks that I’ve taken in my career and relationships.  But, I don’t regret any one of those choices, as they eventually led me to something better.  This is not to say that I never questioned my choices along the way, nor did I escape hurt, but those risks all served as building blocks of some sort, to lead me closer to the life that I’ve been destined to live.

I understand that my life isn’t by far, as close to what I want it to be right now.  I’m trying to not be so angry, and mostly to let go of the things that I cannot control.  I would like to live my life with an open heart, in hopes that people won’t take it for granted… and not waste my time holding grudges against the people who do.  And, I don’t want fear to keep me from my dreams.

Life is precious.  The sudden, shocking death of a world champion just proved it.  So, not knowing when your time is going to end, how are you going to live your life?

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