Every day, it's something else.
There's a headline on the news stating another tragedy or another horrific story about death, terrorism, racism or guns. We watch, even though we don't want to watch. It stings to see our world taking such a grotesque path, pushed forward by people who believe in hate, when peace and love should defeat everything else.
It makes us wonder: What will become of this world? Is anyone safe? What if something happens to me or someone I love?
The scariest part about all the bad things happening is, anything can happen to anyone, anywhere. There is no way to prevent it. And unfortunately, it's inevitable to think about our lives and the potential bad things that might happen.
It makes us wonder, "Are we living our best life? Did we do all we wanted to do? Did we say all the things we wanted to say? What should we have done differently? What do we regret?"
Now, I'm looking at my life right down to the nitty gritty of every good day and every bad day, every big moment and every little one. Am I happy? If something bad happened to me tomorrow, have I done everything in my power to live a happy life?
It made me realize I am not happy. The list of things I wish could be different is so unbelievably long. I feel stuck. I feel lonely. I feel like things went wrong somewhere. I'm jaded. I'm mean. I'm sad. I am all of these things.
But why? How?
I am a smart person. I know I have a good heart. Don't I deserve to be happy?
It's so easy to get caught in life's little ruts. But, it isn't so easy to break free from it. There's so much I want to do. There's so much I could do to turn this all around. But, it seems I am too scared, or maybe I am just too logical.
What if this happens? What if that happens? I over-analyze all of it, staying comfortable and playing it safe. Then, I read another headline on the news of something so awful. And then, I realize — more than I ever have before — just how precious life is, how numbered our days are and how fighting for your truest happiness is all anyone should ever go after in this world.
And so, I'm quitting my job. It just isn't worth it anymore. To me, the position is meaningless in the grand scheme of things, and I want to pursue something that will actually help make a difference.
And maybe I'll be poor. Maybe I'll lose all my things. Maybe I'll have to move to another place because I can't afford to live here anymore.
But, I don't need things. I realize now that if I'm not leading my life with a full heart, I will never find my way. My life could be taken from me at any given moment. There is no time to waste being unhappy, being too scared or being insecure. I only have one life. Why am I going to waste it, if at any second, it could be taken away from me?
Maybe I'll go to Paris and read Hemingway. Maybe I'll go to Thailand, Tokyo or my parents' house. Maybe I'll start painting. Maybe I'll tell that one person I never told just how much I love them. Maybe I'll make a mistake. Maybe I'll swim or hike somewhere wild. Maybe I'll have nothing but the clothes on my back.
But I know, perhaps for the first time in a long while, that I'll be happy. Because I did what I wanted. I did what I believed in, and even if I failed, at least I tried.
This world can be terrifying. But all we can do is learn from it, believe in the good and realize just how precious every moment can be.