Life on the side

Always spent my life waiting to live. Watching others live. Thinking: that’s not for me! Too risky.

Some people never feel fully grown up until both of their parents are gone. They did not want to grow up that way, but it’s unavoidable. Life is the great waiting room outside of death.

You can think this way until your midlife and then suddenly have a change of heart. You wonder who you even are. And you decide to try life on for size. Take it off the side burner.

You smile vigorously for the camera. You start doing the thing most people supposedly fear worse than death: public speaking. You decide to travel to the comedy epicenter of the world and take a class. You become a stand-up. You experience both great power and vulnerability.

You learn the only way to feel fully alive is to allow yourself to simultaneously feel happiness with the fear and sadness of the constant loss of life.

Photo credits:

Dick Williams (top)

Rodney Norman (bottom)

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