How quickly options narrow

Scene: the doctor’s yesterday getting three vaccines for travel. Time — four-thirty pm.

State: hadn’t eaten all day; hadn’t drank all day; was introduced to strange drugs.

Result: I blacked out a few times at the doctor’s and was taken to the hospital.

Now, I’m grateful it wasn’t worse — that cocktail of not eating, dehydration, and then being administered vaccines which caused me to pass out though, that could have happened to anyone in today’s society. A society where people rush around, don’t think about their own well-being, drink honestly impressive amounts of coffee, and just work.

It could have happened to anyone and it happened to me.

And I’m happy that it did.

Why? Because everyone needs a reminder. A reminder that these things happen, no matter how fit you are. No matter how successful, happy, or disciplined, these things can and, given time, will happen to you.

People need a reminder that we’re not here for long. That every day you put off traveling for a year or volunteering at that animal shelter simply because that’s what you’ve always wanted to do, you need that reminder that you’re coming closer to an event that may compromise your ability to do that thing in the future. Even if you had a change of heart and suddenly were willing to do all you could to make it happen. One day, you won’t be able to.

One day, relatively soon, we will die. And people purposely hide that fact from themselves although the spector of it constantly hangs over your shoulder. People choose to ignore it. And then, unexpectedly, death comes. And you wonder why you didn’t do what you wanted to do sooner.

Because everyone needs a reminder of how quickly options narrow that makes them say, Oh, fuck that law degree, I want to go work with lions in a Jamaican zoo. Because that’s what I really, really want to do.


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