Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Die Young

Posted at — Feb 20, 2021

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this feeling that I will die young.

A feeling of a fleeting life.

Like I’m standing on a rug that’s being pulled from underneath me.

This feeling heightened when I started to think about death more deeply. Particularly, last summer when I explored this concept in these posts: death, memoir.

When I look at my Grandma, or even my Mom, I have this feeling that I won’t ever make it to their age.

When I hear someone is 85, I can’t fathom living up to that age.

I realize not everyone thinks like this, which is why this is interesting. I’ve understood life to be so brittle, so I truly have internalized that today may be my last.

When each day can be your last, thinking thousands of days down the line feels futile.

I’ve said in the past, “I plan on doing this when I graduate”.

Who’s to say I’ll make it up to 22, though?

As humans, we carry with us a certainty of life. Most would agree there’s a really high chance I’ll make it to 22, but a lower chance that I’ll make it to 65.

So, in conversation, I may not make claims about post-retirement, because that’s too uncertain right now.

Where does this certainty come from, though? The obvious answer is past experience. We’ve lived life, and have evolutionary knowledge about the human life cycle. There’s the probabilistic and statistical view, too. The average life expectancy is X, so it’s fair to use this to inform how we live.

I’m extremely mathematical, so when I think through this, I feel like I should be convinced.

I’m not, though.

I take this angle with everything else, but with my own death, the numbers don’t convince me.

I’m planning on buying a motorcycle this summer, but then I think, I may not even be alive to buy one.

I’m choosing which courses to take this summer, but then I think, I may not even be alive to take them.

I’m working on assignments, but then I think, I may not even be alive to submit them.

Perhaps, this is all rooted in me not actually accepting my death? I like to think I have, but maybe I haven’t. I know it could be tomorrow. But, have I really understood what that means? Have I done what I’ve needed to do and said what I’ve needed to say?

The positive aspect of this quirk is that I feel truly encouraged to live in the present moment.

All my stress is insignificant.

I have the power to take each moment and carefully decide what I want to do with it.

I didn’t think I’d make it past 19, but here we are.

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