It Turns Out Jim Morrison Was Right

bridge to eternity

Lately, I’ve been contemplating my own mortality a lot.  Yeah, I know.  That’s a little heavy right?  If that makes you uncomfortable, I personally think that’s a good sign.  But if you don’t want to ‘go there’, then feel free to stop reading right now, because ladies and gents, it’s gonna get a little real up in here for this one.  So you know, your choice.

Still with me?  Awesome.  I knew you were one of the brave ones. 

So yeah, contemplating my own mortality.  This is not something I’ve ever really done before, unless you count the obsession I had with death for a short time when I was a kid.  Don’t judge, I hear that’s normal.  Even if it’s not.  Have you met me? 

Mostly, I’ve walked through life with a, perhaps irrational at times, sense of immortality.  See, me and Noel Gallager (and I'm pretty sure Keith Richards) all had the same plan, to ‘Live Forever’. 

If you’re gonna live forever, why stress about stuff like living your truth, finding more joy, taking care of your physical/mental/emotional health, being comfortable in your own skin, not messing up your kids, making an impact, and that kind of thing, right?  I mean, you have all the time in the world to be who you were meant to be, to live your best life, right?  There’s always tomorrow to think about that.  Except that there isn’t. 

Friends, you heard it here first… It turns out that Noel and I (and maybe Keith) were wrong.  Really, seriously, fucking wrong.  It turns out that Noel and I, and maybe Keith, and maybe even you too, have been living in denial this whole time.  It turns out that none of us is actually ‘The Lost Boys’ (or girls) and truthfully, I’m only now, at 47, starting to fully come to grips with that.

I’m not entirely sure why this is so.  Why now?  It may be because so many of the world’s big souls have crossed over the last couple of years.  People like Bowie, Prince, Robin Williams and many others.  It may be because of some deaths closer to home, people I knew, people like Scott Dinsmore, a mentor who had a huge influence on my life and inspired me and countless others to live our legends.  He died suddenly last year, while practicing what he preached. 

I’ve actually lost quite a few people in my life, many of whom died untimely deaths.  So it may be that this is just now legit sinking in.  It may be because my own parents and kids are getting older, which must mean I'm aging too.  It may be because my Chiron return is approaching (it’s an astrology thing).  I can't really be sure.

Whatever the reason, over the last little while, I’ve been jolted into the realization that eventually, I’ll be leaving this earth too.  We all will.  Sorry Noel, even you.  And probably, although the jury's still out on this, EVEN Keith.

At first, this was pretty sobering.  Like, thanks for ruining my buzz universe.  I suddenly wanted to go back in time and regain all the hours I’d lost on things like co-dependence, being hungover, people pleasing, doing a poli-sci degree, watching mind numbing TV, fitting in, living in denial of how fucked up some of the people in my life were and of how much that affected me, which made me in turn, kinda fucked up too. 

But once the initial downer was over, I started to think how lucky I was to have had this awareness.  I mean really, if I’d carried on with my head in the sand/clouds, I would’ve risked getting to the end of my days (whenever that may be) and not having given it my all.  In my opinion, that would totally suck, because I’m a recovering perfectionist and really don’t like not doing my best. 

It would also totally suck because I’ve witnessed way too many people in that situation, people who just never wake up to the fact that life is really not a dress rehearsal.  People who just go around thinking and behaving like nothing they do or say really matters.  People who choose the role of the helpless, powerless victim.  People who think they have all the time in the world to deal with their demons and get their shit together and then one day they die, still never having really lived.  Yep, I’ve witnessed a shit load of that in my day and it’s heartbreaking for all involved. I so don’t want that to be me, and I imagine you probably don’t want it to be you either. So becoming fully conscious of the fact that I, like all of you, am a mere mortal, is something I’ll be forever grateful for.

This whole ‘I’ve been in denial of my mortality’ confession may sound a little strange to some of you because let’s be honest, it’s not like I’ve been following ‘the rules of life’ to a T over here.  It’s not like I’ve exactly been a total conformist.  Especially the last five or six years, but in some ways, ever since I was young.  I’ve made a lot of choices that from the outside, might look like I already had this whole thing figured out, like I already knew that my time on earth was finite so I better damn well carpe diem.

Looking back on some of the choices and changes I’ve made, I really must have already known on some level, that I wasn’t actually going to live forever.  Otherwise, I’d still be slogging my ass to a job that sucks my soul every day, being a cranky bitch more often than not, and bending over backwards to please everyone but me.  And that my friends, just ain’t happening (except on occasion still the cranky bitch part, because hormones).

So it would seem that my intuition has had a firmer grip on reality than I did this whole time.  If we’re being honest, it always does.  It was just being patient with me and allowing me to wake up slowly, instead of throwing an icy bucket of water over my head.  Thanks intuition.  I appreciate that.  I think.

Except in some ways, I’m not sure the icy bucket of water approach would have been so bad.  If it had resulted in me getting my head out of my ass sooner, and having more time to do the things I want to do and be the person I want to be, then I would've gladly suffered 100 buckets of icy water.  But at least it happened before it’s too late (my definition of 'too late' is when you're not breathing anymore.  Until then, it's never too late) and for that, I am eternally thankful.  At least now that I've really faced the facts, I can stop resting on my laurels and get my ass in gear, because time really is a wasting! (I wonder if reading this will be somebody's icy bucket of water.  If so, I'm both sorry and 'you're welcome' all at once).

Yep, it turns out that Noel and I, and possibly Keith (time will tell), were wrong but that Jim Morrison was right, “No one here gets out alive.” The sooner we all face that reality, the sooner we can start really and truly living our lives like they matter, the sooner we can carpe every diem as best we can, the sooner we can do whatever it takes to live joyfully more often than not, and the more likely it is that we’ll cross over that final bridge with fewer regrets, smiling wide, playing air guitar (o.k. maybe that will just be me) and high fiving whoever meets us on the other side.

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