I went to Spain a few weeks ago. It was my first time out of the country, and first ever solo vacation. My tickets were purchased after a few drinks last December, one of the many ‘few drinks’ nights that plays partner to the single person’s cyclical holiday dance. Though destructive, those nights spent pondering and exacerbating the agony of my loneliness led to an ironically uplifting ultimatum with myself. I decided that, since I was spending so much time loathing my life, I would finally give in to the nagging voices that were constantly taunting me to end it completely. The only conditions being that I had to wait until 2014 to do it, and that I had to spend the entirety of 2013, and subsequently my retirement account, doing the things I always wanted to do but never did out of fear, responsibility and insecurity.
It sounds morbid, I know, but it’s the truth. People kill themselves all the time out of impulse and emotion; at least I had planned it out and weighed the pros and cons. This was a smart decision on my part and, for very different reasons, I still believe it was a smart decision. The method with which I was going to implement it was meticulously planned with minimal impact to anyone around me, which pretty much mimicked my influence on others while alive. What money I didn’t spend would be allocated towards the disposal of my body and gifted to the select few important people in my life. I could give an exact breakdown, but the details aren’t relevant now. The point is that I had a plan, and that plan never deviated from my mind since its inception. It was not an idea borne of impulse. (Just like I believe yours wasn’t, B. I went to where you went. I found the answer to my question of why. Thank you for providing it to me.)
The great thing about making a choice about something creating resistance within you is that, at the very moment you make it, you feel instant relief. It was liberating to make a solution for the pain, thus allowing me to find joy in the formulation of my death. Sometimes one has to die to actually live, even if it’s just conceptually. It gave me the freedom to start planning for 2013 with intention.
Immediately, I booked trips to Spain and Ireland, registered to run a 50K, two marathons and three half-marathons throughout the year, paid tuition for courses at a community college, changed my diet to only include non-processed foods (sorry, Yogurtland), signed up for mixed martial arts and yoga classes every day of the week and even paid for an online dating service. I was going to do what I’ve always wanted to do; travel, start a career, obtain six pack abs and date men that were actually good enough for me.
It took the knowledge that I would be dead soon to get the courage to do these things for myself. How fucked up is that? It reminds me of something the Dalai Lama said:
“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said:
‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.’”
Who knows what the meaning of life is, but I’m pretty damn sure it has nothing to do with wasting our good years doing the same freaking thing every day without passion, drive or new experiences. To me, that is the opposite of living. This is why I needed to die…it’s not like I was living anyway. Plus, my rent was unbelievably low for Los Angeles. It was wrong of me to withhold this rarity from someone who may have been less of a waste of space.
Right now, it’s May 18, 2013. Halfway through my year of blazing glory. I spent the morning practicing for my gold belt test in MMA which, paired with yoga, has introduced me to beauty of mindfulness and enlightenment of Zen Buddhism. Sobriety naturally ensued with the elation of being clear-headed. I’m halfway through a Project Management certification with high marks. I survived ten days alone in a foreign country with no trace of a comfort zone. I knocked 24 minutes off my marathon time. Oddly enough, my retirement account is at an all-time high. I wake up each morning excited because I know anything is possible. I am no longer reserving my time for people who can’t hold genuine conversation with me and, for once, I don’t feel resentment about it. I feel more valuable alive than dead, and I’m only halfway through my goals. I’ve never loved myself more than I do now. Never. And fuck it feels better than any feeling I’ve ever felt.
I made a pact with those voices that I’d kill myself in 2014 and, though they weren’t a positive influence on my life, I still had a dependent love and odd devotion to them. They were always by my side when no one else was, and I should have been more loyal.
That’s the only thing I really feel bad about. I killed them instead of myself.