I fear for what happens at the end of life. Not death, but whatever it is we experience eternally thereafter.
“The dead are at peace, but the heroes are the ones who have to keep going.”
Now, I’m just a human, like everyone else. I obviously have no idea what our final destination is, but I try to live as if I have the answer. Most days, I am sure I will live to be 1,000 years old in a robot-body, my brain downloaded in, like any sane person dreams about. However, in an effort to keep things more realistic, and for the sake of my own cathartic moment, I’m sharing what I think our final destination is with the world for the first time in my life. It’s the genie wish granted. It’s the solution to the ultimate existential “would you rather”. I imagine, and hope, that at the end we’re presented with an opportunity for review. An infinite chance to relive our lives. Every moment.
I can’t say I fear much in this life. I have walked many flaming paths that no one will ever hear about if I’m not getting paid STACKS for putting it in a book. I’ve lived more “can’t get worse” scenarios than most. But this is much bigger.
This is the moment we’re all walking towards, eventually. Morgan Freeman walks out, obviously. It has to be him. He gives you the remote from Adam Sandler’s criminally underrated flick, “Click”. You now have access to relive it all. The Life and Times ofInsert Your Name Here. The good. The moments that brought you to your knees and delivered you faith. The nights you spent growing up with your friends walking around neighborhoods until the sun rises, having talks that defined who you would be for the rest of your life, the first listens of the album that soundtracked your early years. Your first love. Your last. The championship game you won. The championship game you blew. The award ceremonies. Also every bad that you survived. That carved you out of stone. The break up that broke you. The rejections that showed you what you needed rather than what you wanted. The family that passed. The moments soaked in tears. When in his final moments, you promised your father you would do something great to change the world. They’re all organized into folders that you’re free to look through.
What’s there for you? What hath Mr. Freeman showed you? Does your remote have a DVR of years of tender memories? Moments of elation from life’s biggest obstacles overcome? People impacted by your existence? How many hours of connection to family, your community, your friends do you have to sort through for ETERNITY? Enough?
How many more hours, days, are in your Animal Crossing folder? Your Twitter folder? Your 2 hour daily tik-tok binge (compounded daily over 70 more years that’s 51,100 hours. Enough to completely master 5 different skills, according to the wise Malcom Gladwell). That’s one half of your life, by the way. I don’t mention these statistics to disqualify anyone, or make you feel inadequate. It’s just the modern world that we live in. The near unanimous majority of us spend our time this way. I bring them up to reframe the way you view your time.
When Morgan Freeman hands me the remote, I know I have a folder of moments spent that I am SO indifferent about reliving. It is currently much larger than the folder that I’m proud to relive. I’ve chosen to live in fear of this disproportionate ratio. When you frame things this way, it could break your heart. It breaks mine.
(I was born into the internet and technology. I’m 29, and grew up with evolving tech, Apple Keynotes, and tech bloggers, self help and business gurus ((pimps and snake oil dealers)) that taught us social media was the currency of the future. It’s not my fault I was born into this addiction and social infrastructure we ALL have had forced upon us on some level. I don’t let the past define my future.)
When I blink into this place (hopefully like the office in The Good Place where Ted Danson and Kristen Bell will prepare me for Morgan in my fur coat, with my favorite jewelry, rose gold teeth, on my golf cart) I’m hoping to open one folder aptly named after a feeling I spent the rest of my Earth years chasing. When I realized I was wasting away in a digital desert void of real experience, there was one feeling I kept coming back to, finding the most in. A feeling where the most growth is earned and deepest experiences occur. I want to relive feelinglost.
They say education is the only thing laying around in abundance in this world that you can take as much as you want for free. I’ve found another resource I’d like to add to that very short list. We have 525,600 minutes a year (lol) to exist, right? Imagine being able to use every single one of those (the two thirds that aren’t spent getting a solid 8 hours) in the way I use it: lost. It’s a state of willingness, even gratitude in accepting that you can find the excitement, joy, and light in whatever happens one minute from now even though you don’t know what it is. It literally creates an infinite well of adventure, positivity, and sunlight and is 100% an intentional act of will.
To me,lost is the feeling of your next adventure.
It’s the feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen when you decide to travel to a new place every month of the year.
It’s the feeling when you walk down the block in a new city.
It’s the feeling before you have your first taste of sea urchin when you’ve been eating Publix sushi your whole life.
It’s the feeling before you walk up to that stranger and introduce yourself, and everything changes.
It’s the feeling, and I amnot pandering here, when you walk into Disneyland or Magic Kingdom and realize you can build an entire world from a piece of imagination.
It’s the feeling you have when you get fired or broken up with and you realize your life is a piece of play-doh and you’re motherfucking Vespasian about to design the Roman Colosseum.
I’ve chosen a life of uncomfortable because it all leads me there. The greatest feeling in the world. It’s abundant, infinite, if you’re willing to be lost.
What you have to understand is, I don’t just fear the end moment for myself. I, more than I’d like to, worry about it for everyone. I don’t want us all to get to the end and have Morgan look at us and say, in his tone, exactly how he would, “why the FUCK were you spending so much time farming crops to sell for bells to buy land from a computer racoon, but never went for a walk around your neighborhood to see a single damn flower bloom”? I choose to live as if this is a certain fate I will meet because I want the pressure to be driven toward intentionally putting myself in a state of lost.
Technology and advertising have adapted and clung to our lives so quickly that we never got to tell it what it’s place is in our lives actually should be. Death is not meditated on enough. I worry over the fact that the world changes so quickly everyday, that our brains default to shuttering among the chaos. We default to comfort,to a fault. We default to stagnation for familiarity to mitigate and balance the constant change around us. We are addicted to screens. We would rather create second lives and applyliteral rose gold filters to our current in an attempt to avoid our own existence. We mute emotional stimulation, paradoxically, while being the most emotionally capable and intelligent creatures in known existence. It is history’s most bitter irony.
That doesn’t mean we’re all fucked. We don’t have to be the depressed robot from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I just reread that last paragraph and it’s bleak. But that’s not the intended takeaway here.
I challenge you with another paradox. Findlost.
I don’t mean live every day like it’s your last. That’s unsustainable, chaotic, and fucking lunacy for all of us. The solution for that is intention. I beg you to be intentional with every moment of your life. Not even in extremes all the time. One step at a time. One experience at a time. One moment of falling gives you one moment of freeing.
I have that folder of time wasted I’ll never get back that unfortunately me and Morgs won’t care to look through...like ever. Bummer. But you know what? My folder of moments falling in love with others and myself, my folder of moments of inspiration, creation, and action, my folder of time spent crying, good and bad, my folder of absolutely absurd opportunities and stories I created for myself, meals enjoyed. miles walked, friends hugged with an “I love you,” those folders are all so full. They’re worse than my mom’s AOL account from 15 years ago that she still uses. (I know, that’s the scariest part of this entire essay. But you needed to know.) They weren’t always. I have to work so hard every single day just to achieve half of what some other people are naturally able to do. But I am so much better off for it. I know that.
So why do I fear the moment and why should you? Fear is jet fuel, not something that has to slow you down. Remember, the point here is fear can be turned upside down to access its dualistic opposite. The romantic part of the unknown. The feeling oflost. Like when meditating on death, it’s not meant to be something to be afraid of. It’s to dare you to live your life.
When you wake up every day, if NOTHING else sticks, just remember this. Morgan Freeman is watching, and you guys are going to spend a lot of time together. So live enough to have some great stories to explain to him, and an eternity worth of cherished memories worth reliving.
Being lost is scary. I know that. What’s scarier is the thought of an eternity spent reliving a life that was not lived.
Let’s get lost.
Most things I’ve mentioned here I’ve framed as negative and life consuming,intentionally. Here’s why you shouldn’t stop loving the things you love.
I love twitter. I swear on the universe there are literally tweets I will show Morgan Freeman that will make us laugh until we can’t breathe, and I’ll remember the forever nights spent on my couch laughing with my best friends.
YouTube is AMAZING. I’ve learned 90% of my beginner skills in so many areas on Youtube. People make careers doing amazing things on YouTube, inspiring change, teaching people to do things they couldn’t have learned so quickly 20 years ago.
While I don’t understand constructing a second life and working for a pimp named Tom Nook, that’s a conversation for another time.
I would never imply you shouldn’t enjoy what you enjoy. The important thing, with anything, is to be intentional with your time, and the things you allow in.
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