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Dying Young

I have always thought, from a very young age, that I was going to die young. As a teenager, I didn’t even think I’d ever even have sex before I died.

The only thing I could imagine in my future was being alone. At a very young age I remember wanting to be a writer. Living alone on an island with a dog. I never imagined anything else for me. No kids, no relationship, no friends, no family.

Even now, I don’t think I’ll live beyond 50. I know 50 is young. Too young to be imagining myself dead. I’m kind of surprised I’m still alive now at my age. There was a time when I didn’t think I was going to make it to 30. And now I am almost there.

In fact, during my heart surgeries, I didn’t think I’d make it to 26. But that was more an acute fear rather than a general one.

Where did this fatalistic view towards life come from? I didn’t WANT to die so young. I just always felt it was inevitable. I never imagined myself getting married, buying a house, being happy.

Wanting something like that seemed crazy. Like wanting to eat the entire moon using a tablespoon.

Nowadays, I am pretty happy for the most part. I have friends now, and a good job that I love. I write all the time. I still don’t have the dog, but it could happen. I can almost imagine myself even getting married someday. Not to just anyone. But maybe to the right someone.

My life experiences have made me way too realistic to ever expect some kind of romantic fairy tale ending for my life. My highs will probably never be all that high. But that might be okay.

Because now, I can imagine being in love. I can imagine being in a happy relationship.

And it doesn’t feel like trying to slowly eat the moon.

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2 responses »

  1. I think that the fact you can picture it now is a huge deal. I didn’t necessarily think of myself as dying but I can recall feeling, for years, that there was absolutely nothing I could dream up that would make me happy. I’d try to picture anything and everything I’d ever want– and then imagine myself getting it– and I’d still be like “No, that doesn’t make me look forward to the future.” At some point all of that changed and I think it’s that mental shift that allows you to be capable of having those things you once couldn’t imagine.

    Reply
  2. That’s exactly how I felt too. The hope that I am beginning to feel is so precious to me. Even if things don’t go well sometimes, knowing that I can imagine good things is so incredible. I am currently reading a book on PTSD, and that inability to imagine a future is a symptom. Among others.

    Reply

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