Dying To Be Alive


Are you living a life worth writing about?

For many years I’ve contemplated the term “dying to be alive” as coined by a song I played on repeat over and over and over from the time it was released in 2000 until I graduated high school and still sometimes after that. Let’s not go through our lives without dying to be alive. I got it and I didn’t understand it. I forgot it and the song. I let it fester. I allowed it to breathe.

And here we are, thirteen years later and what? It’s still so relevant to me. More relevant at times because I wake up from seemingly comatose state where I realize: I am here. And where do I go from here?

In order to live a life worth writing about, you must be dying to be alive. You must search deep into yourself and pull out experiences that are meaningful along with be able to find meaning in the mundane aspects of life. You must be able to appreciate the beauty in folding laundry fresh out of the dryer while also being willing to do something outside of your house, your comfort zone, your ordinary life. Assuming content is a seven letter word to you.

If you are a blogger or a writer or a reader or a breather I tend to assume you want more out of life than falling into sync with the mundane.

I struggle with making routines for myself because I don’t want to fall into that ordinary daily grind. What I forget is that routines can be useful – and necessary – and yet they’re meant to be broken to the outside life.

It’s hard sometimes not to fall into the complacent trap but I’ll tell you right now that you’ll have a lot less to write about if you’re complacent. I know I do. It’s hard to get into the outside world, to break free and be.

Some things I do or have been doing that break me out of the daily grind are:
going to live shows, travelling to see friends for an extended weekend, trying new restaurants and new cuisines, taking dance classes and attending graduate school to earn a masters degree.

Sometimes this doesn’t seem like enough, and yet other times it really feels like too much. But it’s good to stop and take inventory occasionally along the way.

It’s summer right now and I feel like I’m not living to my summer potential. It’s the second week in July and I’ve swam once in a pool, on Saturday. I watched fire works once and dug my feet into the sand. I don’t have nearly enough bug bites (this isn’t true. I have too many. One is too many).

But I haven’t made a routine out of bike riding, mastered the art of perfect iced tea, bought an ice cream maker and made ice cream, gone strawberry picking, attended enough concerts, had enough laughs, spent the night in an air conditioned house marathoning movies, gone swimming in a pond, been sun burned (though that isn’t ideal either) or spent the time I want to on my novel (perhaps outside in the shade with some amazing iced tea).

Honestly, it’s been in the mid-late nineties or raining lately. It’s hard to do anything with that weather, especially since most houses – mine especially – don’t have central air. Time to hunker down in cinemas and claim corners of libraries and jump into the ocean no matter how cold.

How are you spending your summer?


5 thoughts on “Dying To Be Alive

  1. Sometimes I get stuck in that I-should-be-doing-this-or-that rut. Like I should be outside tanning or reading books on the beach or dancing or whatever. But what it comes down to is what I really want and I’m trying to go with that flow. Screw what should be done (and why should it?). It’s about how we want to feel, not how we think it should look.

    • I feel like I’m sticking myself in that rut for the most basic (and more necessary) things. Like taking time to take care of myself, exercising, making sure to do laundry, etc. I’m more willing to sitting on a beach reading and “checking out” so to say. You’re totally right that it’s about how we want to feel, though!

  2. Steady on! It’s only just summer, there’s plenty more to come. And it sounds like you’re doing it at the best possible pace: leisurely. I really like what you wrote about ‘struggling to get into a routine’. I like that you embrace the lack of routine. That feels very summery to me 🙂

  3. Pingback: Reflections on 2013 | Melanie.Kristy

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