I’ve been wanting to do a post about “YOLO” for a while now. I guess after a two-and-a-half month hiatus is as good a time as any.
Sometimes it takes death to realize just how fleeting life can be and how important it is to treasure the time you have. When I first heard the phrase “you only live once” in that Drake song I thought it was a little dumb how people took it as an excuse to go all out partying all the time, drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having reckless sex and engaging in other irresponsible behavior just on the premise of “hey, you only live once.” I like it how Chris Rock put it in the movie “I Think I Love My Wife.”
“You know, some people say life is short and that you could get hit by a bus at any moment and that you have to live each day like it’s your last. Bullshit. Life is long. You’re probably not gonna get hit by a bus. And you’re gonna have to live with the choices you make for the next fifty years.” -CR
My favorite line of that movie hands down.
Here’s the thing: For the majority of my life, I’ve been pretty responsible. Straight-laced. Square. The most “out of control” thing I’d done before leaving my parents’ house was maybe sneak a swig of liquor from the liquor cabinet when no one was looking. I was like 17 and the alcohol I ingested was probably the equivalent of accidentally swallowing mouthwash. I remember even after I’d been away for college for a semester and came home on break, I felt like my mom was just expecting for me to go out with my friends from high school and stay out all night. I think my homebody ways concerned her. Haha. But that’s just the way I was.
I say “was” because now I do get the concept of YOLO. Did I miss out on a lot from being Miss Goody Good? Not really. I had great friends, some really good memories and an academic foundation that got me into college for free and led to my early graduation. But I did miss out on some things — namely trying for a relationship with the boy I crushed on a huge chunk of my elementary/middle/high school years all because I was scared of … well, I’m not sure what I was scared of, but I was too scared to make a move and I just knew he’d be around forever. But he wasn’t. And, of course, it was too late and when I realized it I couldn’t go back because you only live once.
I didn’t do a complete 180 after learning that lesson, but it’s an experience that has stuck with me and probably will throughout my life. Since then I’ve loosened up. I still probably act too mature for my age, but I’m better at taking risks and living it up in the moment. I have much better “wild and crazy” stories. I won’t mention them here. Heehee.
But as I said in the beginning, death has a way of making people recognize how precious life is. This post is in dedication of those lost this past week, dear ones who have greatly impacted the lives of my friends. Their passing impacted me indirectly by reminding me to treasure those close to me while they’re still around and to live my life in a way that will leave a legacy of which to be proud.