Survival to the Point of Emptiness

I’m of the opinion that most people are just ‘surviving’. I’ve been there my fair share of times; when I need to, I know I can, but in the long-term it’s only a viable way to live if you want to be less than alive. It’s the bare minimum, and is only noteworthy in the face of hard times and genuine adversity. “I survived,” means, “I made it out breathing,” but that’s all it means. Once you’ve passed beyond a certain threshold of a situation, relationship, etc. it’s not enough. That is, unless you want a lack of fulfillment, purpose, satisfaction, or enjoyment. If an empty life isn’t the aim though, then there’s a point where you start living again.

Surviving is what you do when you have to, and existing is what most survivors do in between their struggles. Living is what you do when you don’t have to do anything, when all that life requires to keep breathing is that you go through the motions until shit hits the fan again. And I can tell you from experience, simply existing – without a sense of being alive – is miserable. It’s not good enough.

An excerpt from Invictus, a post on Christian Mihai’s blog…

One of my favorite poems is Invictus by William Ernest Henley. The story behind the poem is also impressive: Henley contracted tuberculosis of the bone when he was 13. At age 17, physicians had to amputate one of his legs.

Yet he wrote that:

“In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.”

We often say (or think) that life’s not fair, that life’s complicated. We always seem to spend more time dreaming than trying to achieve those dreams. But the thing is that life’s pretty simple: you live or you survive, and either way you’ll die.

And it’s entirely up to you. →Read More

I just passed a basic motorcycle course today, one more step to my license, and – you may have noticed – I recently started this new blog along with another. Add to that the fairly stable job I’ve got which, worst case scenario, is an excellent placeholder and, best case scenario, is a business I can take over and expand in the foreseeable future if I decide I want to… and I’m not doing half bad. And tonight I come home and read Christian’s post. As I read it… I’m thinking to myself, “Fuck Yeah!”. It’s hard to articulate the sentiment much better than he did.

(Written March 17th, 2013)

♦ ≡ ♦

I wrote the above about a week ago and forgot to ‘finish’ and publish it. I’m still not sure it’s exactly ‘finished’, as in ‘time to post it’… but I’m not going to worry about it. If I want to come back to it and have another try at articulating the difference between existing and living, and how survival plays into it…. I can do that whenever I want.


 

(Originally Posted Here on March 23rd, 2013)

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