They say, “Many people live but few are ever really alive”. They say, “Life is too short to be anything but happy.” They say… well, they say a lot of things, and I can’t help but wonder, have these people who love to give advice lived in this day and age?
As mentioned last week, I am a lover of quotes, but nothing is like the day you re-read a quote that you have loved for years and suddenly it doesn’t make sense anymore.
It’s not like you are suddenly dumb now, or that the meaning of the quote actually changed. It’s that life might have gotten harder and the meaning might have changed for you specifically.
You realize that quotes might just be guidelines to life, and that these guidelines that they provide do not account for all of the struggles you’ll hit on your way to where ever you are going.
You realize that when they say, “Life is too short to be anything else but happy”, they forgot to mention that adversity is prominent in the lives of many, especially the ones that have dreams bigger than their peers can imagine.They forget to tell you that sometimes you have to go through a few unhappy days to get to the happy ones, and that if you want the rainbows you have to stand the rain too.
They don’t tell you that happiness is a state of mind that you must find even when you feel like you can’t, because ultimately it’s a decision.
They didn’t tell you that when they said, “Many people live but few are ever really alive”, they didn’t even know what it felt to be alive. This is partly because everyone’s definition of “being alive” is different. Outside of living, breathing, and seeing, being alive is doing the things that make you feel the most free.
For some, they are most alive when reading, for others it’s writing, and for many it’s unknown, because they are too busy doing what society says they are supposed to do instead of what they want to do.
With that being said, as much as I want to be the person to say, “Forget what society says”, it’s our reality is it not?
When it comes to being alive, it really comes down to doing what you can live with. For some suppressing emotion is as easy as breathing and for other’s it’s much harder, but how much you suppress is a window to showing you how much you can live with.
All in all, I have realized that no amount of quotes can teach me how to live my life, or explain what life should be like. That is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves.
What I have realized is that, like many people, quotes inspire me to think deeper and it inspires the thoughtful ones to create definitions of their own. Allowing them to find ways that quotes impact their lives even when they do not directly relate to them like they once used to.
When it is all said and done, what “they” thought, said and felt doesn’t matter when it is you that has to make sense of your life and your current situation. Don’t be afraid to start defining things for yourself. After all, this is your life that you are living. No quote would know it better than you do.