Why Am I Existing When I Should Be Living?

By Amari D. Pollard

I wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I found it exhilarating to color outside the lines, when I was brave enough to test unchartered waters. But now, even thinking about attempting to do those things makes me anxious.

I can’t remember when I became this timid, fearful little thing who finds it comforting to just blend in and go unnoticed. I remember when I was fourteen my best friend turned to me and said, “Amari, you seriously have to stop being so square.” I didn’t understand what he meant by that but he made sure to explain it to me. “You’re edges are too sharp. You need to loosen up and become a circle. See I have so much fun because I’m a circle; that’s what you need to be.”

Ever since he said those words to me I’ve tried extremely hard to transform my shape. I’ve tried to step outside of my box, but it is much easier to say I’m going to change than it is to actually take the needed steps.

Now that I have come to college I feel the need more than ever to mold myself into that circle. In college it’s all about stepping outside of your comfort zone in order to meet new people and experience new things. And recently I’ve realized something about myself, something that I’m pretty sure a lot of people can relate to: I’ve become much too content with just existing, when I should be living.

Even though having that epiphany is all well and good, the question of “How does one truly start to live his/her life?” still remains. I guess it all starts with deciding on who you want to live for.

So many times you see parents consumed in their children’s lives, living for them. While that may be good for the kids, so often you find parents losing themselves within them. By the time the kids are all grown up and off at college they’re stuck trying to find out who they were or are or want to be. The situation can hold true for the kids too. They find them playing the sports they’re told to, wearing the clothes that they’re told to wear, acting the way they’re told to act. As a result it can take kids longer to discover who they are since they’ve been told who they’re supposed to be their whole life.

There comes a point in time when you need to step away from everything and decide how you want your life to play out.

In some aspects and situations this is a selfish statement, but at some point people have to start living for themselves. In life you’re always going to regret things, but by doing this, that list can be a lot shorter.

I know I’m only nineteen, so I haven’t had the chance to experience a lot of life, but I have had the option of living. If I were to die today, looking back I would have wished to have more fun, to open up more, to take more chances. Maybe that’s why I fear death so deeply; because death is only scary if you haven’t properly lived.

I think it’s time we all stop going through the motions and acting as if this life won’t ever end because one day it will. So appreciate every day, round those edges, and live for yourself.

Picture courtesy of http://www.gaurdianspress.com

http://www.thedolphinlmc.com/opinion/2013/12/05/why-am-i-existing-when-i-should-be-living/#sthash.x3UHT922.dpuf

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