I remember ten years ago when the thought of death put me into an immediate panic. I couldn’t bear to think that all I am will cease to exist. I didn’t want to believe that one day everything I did to become the best man I could would disappear for all eternity. I’d push the thoughts out of my mind like I’m trained to do by Western culture.
Now it’s rare that a day goes by where I don’t think of the grim reaper. I hold death real close to my chest, using it as the main way to act instead of waiting for tomorrow. The reaper pushes me to go against what my upbringing has indoctrinated me to do, to fit my peg body into the college-career-mortgage-marriage hole.
The more I think of death and the more I use it as a tool, of knowing that there is a clock on my life that ticks every second of every day with a random deadline that I can’t predict, the more it has pushed me to take the tough steps of making big changes in my life.
It’s now clear to me what I have to do so that I will not be upset when the end is near: I have to complete as many of my dreams and goals as quickly as possible. It’s a bucket list I must work on while still very much alive, not when I turn 50 or get diagnosed with a life-ending illness. I’m in the prime of my life, but I’m living as if it will soon end.
I believe the more times you can say “been there, done that” on your death bed to all the things you set out to do, the more peacefully you can go. These can range from the insignificant to the lofty:
- Banging a big Brazilian booty
- Writing a book
- Learning a foreign language
- Starting a successful business
- Living in another country for one year
- Playing a few songs on a musical instrument
- Fucking cheap hookers who loved you all night long
- Paying off debt
- Owning a restaurant or bar
- Starting a nonprofit organization
- Beating someone up with your bare hands
While it will be impossible to complete everything you want to do before you die, there is a point where you feel like you’ve done enough, where you’ve gone far above your human duty and any extra day you live on earth is gravy on top of what already was an exciting life where you acted instead of waited. When it’s your time to go, you can say to yourself, “I had a good run,” and close your eyes with no regrets. This is what I want.