Why must we wait to really, really live until we have a waltz with sickness or death?
Why must we wait to hold the sunshine gratefully on our cheeks, breathe the fresh city air only after spending 72 hours in ICU holding the hands of one we love?
Why must we wait till we’ve passed an accident and seen someone on their knees beside one who no longer knows life, to snap into our lives and start living and loving like we mean it?
Why must it only sink in, when we are feeding our parents water and coffee through a straw as they lay recovering in hospital beds?
We are all going to die.
I am going to die.
My grandparents are old and will die.
My parents are going to die.
My dog will eventually die.
My friends will die, too.
So, why do we wait?
Why must we have to sit in an elevator that tastes like metal and hand sanitizer before we are pushed to exist deeper?
Why must we wait to have an injury before we are grateful for our limbs that take us from our beds and through our days?
Why must we wait till a man in a white coat, with purple bags under his eyes, from 16 hour shifts, tells us if we don’t change our diet it will kill us?
Why must we wait till we are walking with through white and blue tiled hospital wings beside sh*tty yellow artwork, pretending to be cheerful, staring wishfully at fresh air through window with a view before we start doing what we love? Telling people how much they matter?
Why do we work jobs we don’t love, keep company that’s comfortable and sleep with a man just because he’s safe?
What are you doing right now?
Go outside. Go.
Go stand in the goddamnned sunshine and smile at someone, see the people around you.
See the pink flowers that hang heavy.
The red poppies that reach for the heavens.
Feel the air in your lungs and be grateful they rise and fall on their own.
That your heart is beating strongly in your chest without assistance.
Call the people you love, hell, get in a car and drive to their doorstep and remind them how much you love them.
We are not here to waste time not living, breathing, moving, loving.
We are not just here to work, eat, sh*t, sleep, make money, spend money—we are here to love.
Please go outside right now and look at the mountains.
Use your phone to extend some love instead of emails.
It’s not a request today—it’s a plea.
Do not wait to die, to begin to live.
Author: Janne Robinson
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: courtesy of the author