Monday, 30 June 2014

The Blessed Curse of Understanding Life

I remember it was late on New Years Eve when I was thirteen years-old, when my long partied-out Uncle drunkenly slurs to me;

"How in god's name did you get to be so wise for just a kid?'

And I think that was the first of many times in my life that I realised I'm actually probably a little bit crazy.

Not like, 'oh that crazy gal, what is she like' or a little bit Zooey Deschanel kooky, but I'll try and keep this a wee bit more upbeat and say I've always had.... 'times' when I've gotten a little too over-involved with stuff inside my own head.

And this year, it has become clearer to me than ever that it boils down to the fact that I seem to live in this constant state of hyper-awareness. 

And despite the inadvertent positive outlook it brings to my life... it plagues me. 

You see,

I'm very aware of how insane this sounds, but I pretty much live everyday convinced, if not certain, that I'm just about to die.

And I don't mean, I 'live every day like it's your last' or any of that carpe diem high-talking which has now lost all its meaning, I mean, as I watch the light fade each day, as I climb into bed and close my eyes and think about life and myself and the universe, every single night without fail I somehow convince myself that I'm going to die in the night. That there's literally zero chance that I'll live to see tomorrow.

Crazy, right?

Perhaps I actually wish I was a little more ignorant, that I didn't have to be so persistently, permanently, painstakingly aware that my life is ticking down steadily and inevitably to my own extinction.

But I don't think it's actually death itself that scares me. 

It's going before I've done any of things I've always planned to do with my life. The sheer dumbfounding uncertainty of having absolutely no clue when it's going to happen, but knowing that it absolutely positively bloody well will.

It's this 'meantime', the anticipation of waiting, expecting and wondering, knowing irrevocably that there's no way its ever not going to happen but not knowing when - that's the hard part. 

A part which haunts me on a daily basis, because in this case, this 'meantime'...

 Just so happens to be called life.

And so despite being a plaguing force which lurks like a shadow on my every action and consumes my thoughts daily... It is, in fact, quite a beautiful thing.

Living every day expecting to die really does put things into a certain kind of perspective in life.

It allows you to easily understand what is worth holding on to, and what is worth letting go, to know what you should say to the people who mean the most to you, and what is best left unsaid. It makes me want to cram as much life into every single day I wake up and realise I've somehow made it to another day, like finding out you got your flights wrong and you've actually got an extra day on holiday - you're sure as hell just not gonna sit around in bed doing nothing.

It allows me to have more tolerance and empathy with a lot of things, people in particular - you can be effortlessly more forgiving if you feel you're never going to see that person again.

And I guess, in a really twisted backhanded way, it really does make me appreciate life and urge me to make the most out of it, to push forward on making my dreams a reality, let the small worries fall away and focus on just generating a happy, positive existence. 

Because the truth is... I am dying.

It's not just this fictional paranoid idea my mind has driven into a phobia - We're all dying from the moment we came into living, because none of us escape it. 

And I think, however morbid and depressing it might sound, it would actually do so much good to remind ourselves of that once in a while.

If the world was ending, certain death was unavoidable and this was your last day left on earth - what would you do? Who would you go to and what would you say? What would you see, listen to, experience before the end?

So why not do that today?

As I now write this, (typed up from a notebook ramble) I am sat on a swing in Brighton with someone - a long lost figure of my past who I haven't spoken to in three years - and we are watching the sunset behind the ghostly silhouette of the burnt-out West Pier, talking about love, life, and death, a low gentle hum of peace, satisfaction and serenity gracing my heart.

And I think to myself, if complete oblivion lay just beyond the horizon, if the delicate hairsbreadth between where the ocean meets the sky held utter worldwide devastation and these were our last few moments left on earth...

Then you know what?

That would actually be pretty okay with me.


  1. Really great post, you're a very talented writer! :) I loved the last couple of paragraphs about being with someone you haven't seen in a very long time. Can't explain why I liked it, but I just did! Keep up the great work lovely!

    Frankie x

    1. Aw yay thank you so much Frankie, you're definitely right! There's something about meeting up with a really old friend who you haven't seen in years - definitely brings you back to your roots!

      Thanks for reading girl x

  2. It is always so amazing eye opening to read your posts :) what is your opinion on the undying nature of legacy? (assuming that everything continues after we die)

    Sorry for commenting anonymously (everyone has their own fears and nerves)

    1. Don't apologise, thank you for reading and commenting at all! I always find it amazing that anyone would care enough to read my mental rambles haha. I'm not quite sure what the undying nature of legacy is - does it to pertain to what we leave behind after we die and how we will be remembered? x

    2. Yes, that is what I meant by legacy. Is what most of what we do truly worth it because we are so insignificant when compared to how long humans will continue to exist for? And what do we live for if this is the case? Making the world a bit better for everyone to come? Make lots of money becoming an engineer or lawyer to give our kids a better chance at this than us? Do we follow what the universe has in store for us and live every moment? I have my answers to these. What is your opinion?

    3. Well honey you'll have to stay tuned and read my book, 'cause that's pretty much EXACTLY what it's about!

  3. Your mental position comes with both great weight and great freedom. May you always comfortably wander the roads in your own mind and may you never become lost upon them. Thank you for sharing with us and reminding us to live with purpose.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and I wish the same to you too :) x

  4. Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.

    1. That is one of the best lines I have ever heard and so true... thank you for sharing x

    2. thanks cutie xxx

  5. Beautiful post once again Katie. I always think about this too, and I often think that if I died, although I would probably have no recollection, it would be sad to see that I've only ticked two things off my bucket list. I'm so glad to see you're living life to the full, every one of your posts inspires me so much! Also love the new layout! xx

    1. Thank you so much Jordan!

      Indeed it's things like the incredible Stephen Sutton which really puts it into perspective, why are we all waiting to do stuff on the assumption that we actually have time? Go out there and do it I say!

      Thanks so much for reading girl :) x

  6. I can totally relate to you, most of the time I don't think it's a bad way to live at all because it does you good to remember that today could be your last day. On the other hand though, sometimes I can be so damn exhausting thinking about morbid things like that.

    Rosie x

    1. Definitely - most of the time I think its a positive thing, but sometimes it can really mess me up in the head... like when you get a sudden chest pain or a headache or your fingers go numb, my instant thought is 'That's it then, I'm as good as dead' haha.

      Thanks for reading Rosie :) x

  7. You're such a fucking good writer! Literally blows my mind everytime.

    I've always been fascinated by death from a young age which is probably a bit weird but I guess it's just that I could never grasp the concept of how someone can't exist anymore. But like you said I think it pays to dwell on it a little because merely existing is probably all you'll do.


    1. aaaaah thank you so much girl!

      I must think about it at least three times a day - I literally don't know how people don't... It's hard not to get stuck on it though, I've had times when it's really got to me, it''s important to find a balance of how it affects your time alive! x

    2. Definitely, I think people get so comfortable sometimes that they forget how little time we have. I hate having days where I feel I've done nothing and I'm like well that's been a waste of 24 hours.
      It's important to just live in the moment but not to let it consume you so you end up burning out or whatever.

      Can't wait to read your book, i'm sure it will be nothing short of amazing.


  8. I am so glad it's not just me who feels constantly aware of how short life is and how we could die with our dreams and wishes unfulfilled.

    Beautifully written, and a wonderful perspective.

    Jo xx

    She Wears Burgundy

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