Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life. Bertolt Brecht
I used to live life close to my chest. Like in poker, I didn’t want other people to see my cards. If they saw my cards, they might judge me, and god forbid I should be judged.
As a result, I confined myself to what felt like appropriate avenues in life. I contained my enthusiasm and other emotions to what felt like appropriate levels and hid the ones that weren’t appropriate at all. I played it safe.
If you’d ask me about it at the time, I would have denied it. I would have said, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
But I can recognize it now. I remember feeling closed in. I remember letting my Democratic friends think I was a Democrat and my Republican friends think I was a Republican. I recall being afraid of lots of silly things there was no need to be afraid of. I remember distracting myself with pointless T.V. shows so that I didn’t have to ask hard questions about my life or feel the pain of not fully expressing who I was, what I wanted, felt, hoped for.
I lived a mild form of death that could go on indefinitely until my body stopped functioning.
But not anymore. Now I want to experience life before death. I want to use all of my senses and emotions and talent, and leave this life thinking, I gave it all I had.
And I can tell you, it feels so much better.