One night, I thought I was I was near the end of my life. I was on a Geography field trip with my University class in New Zealand and we had woken up to a tsunami warning. We evacuated our dorms and rushed up a mountain. We reached a point where our professor thought we'd be safe, though I sure as hell didn't feel like we were. Our class stood in the dark and looked out to the ocean… waiting.
I thought I was being handed my biggest fear - to be taken out by the scariest of natural disasters. Then some interesting thoughts came to me.
I quickly got over the grimness that my fate would be death following some tough growth through 15 years of school. I was getting started on life! I just landed my first boyfriend dammit! And then, I surrendered. I looked up to the sky to acknowledge whatever/whoever gave me a life and said, "thank you”.
It was then I realised that nature was bigger than me. I didn't get to decide if I can stick around. That whatever/whoever did.
The next thought delivered me my grand realisation. That was, "How much did I love?"
That question I posed to myself meant two things: how much did I care for living a life that was true to me? And did I devote the time and energy to my family and friends that they're so deserving of?
Gladly, I felt at ease with it. And if, at that moment, those were the number of years I were to be handed, then I had accomplished all I could do. And I was at peace with being ready to leave earth with loving thoughts of my family. Some people don't even get the opportunity to assess their life before they go, so I was thankful for that too.
You may have seen an article in an email forward or float on your Facebook feed: Top five regrets of the dying. Number five is the one that informs all points in the article and most importantly, how we should live. And that is, "I wish I had let myself be happier”.
"Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
This is a daily quest. And though I was resolute back then, I'm reminded most days of the preciousness of life.
That night, thankfully, the tsunami didn’t come. But I know I’m not going to be living on this planet forever.
How much do I love? It matters with everything I do, every experience I have and everyone I share life with.