We Just Go.
I said back to her, "Just do it. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you can have it for the rest of your life. Money comes and goes. We? We just go."
There was this long period of silence, after which she said "That was profound."
I don't know how profound it is or isn't. It just popped out of me. I wasn't trying to be profound, I was trying to be honest.
It's not really a personal motto, but it's absolutely the underlying tenet of how I live my life. Some might attribute it to my having already died once and faced death a few other times. Who knows. I don't hold those memories in my mind, and I don't obsess over the narrative they provide. They're not something I bring up in conversation. I don't wait for the perfect moment during someone's story, reach out, lightly touch their shoulder, look into their eyes and say "You know, having already died once, I can tell you that life is precious and you should live it to the fullest!" and all that sanctimonious horseshit.
But I do have a very keen grasp on the fact that, day by day, minute by minute, my life is being lived.
This does affect my decision to do certain things. It made me realize that, if I don't organize and exhibit my Akira art collection, no one else was going to, and if I wanted the world to see it, I had to do it before I die. It made me write and then publish my first book, and before that, blog in front of an audience who could have very well torn me to shreds. It made me ask my wife out on our first date. It made me who I am right now.
And sometimes, that underlying tenet isn't enough to break the barriers down; not on its own. I still haven't shown you guys any of the graphic novel I've been agonizing over for, oh, 18 years -- because I haven't drawn any of it. In fact, the few drawings I've shown you were done explicitly as an exercise to help overcome my phobia of drawing. But I'm working on that. I'm working past it. It's slow. In fact, it's the one huge wall in my own brain I just can't seem to crash through like the Kool-Aid man and yell "OH YEAH!" as I enjoy a pastime I've ached to do since I was a child.
But it's getting me there. And at some point, I'm going to realize that in the race between my "getting there" on drawing and my life being lived to its terminus, life is winning. And I'm going to have to kick the drawing thing into high gear and keep up. Because here it is, writ plain before both you and me: you get one life, and it's happening right this second.
Whatever it is you've dreamed of doing; whatever it is you want in life... You need to realize that simple fact. Your life is being lived. Right here, right now, as you read this. Sitting in a cubicle at work; reading your phone or iPad on the subway; stealing a few minutes away from doing the laundry and housework by reading my blog...
The clock's ticking. And one day, it won't be. So get to it.