JB's Dying Letter of Life Lessons

There’s an article that’s going viral lately about a young woman’s last letter to the world as she’s fighting cancer. While similar things like this usually circulate every few months, this particular one made me realize that I’m dying, too. So are you. We’re all dying; some of us are given timelines and others are just caught off guard. They wake up and say good morning to the day, but due to tragedy, accident or some other unforeseen circumstance they aren’t given the chance to say goodnight.

So this is my dying letter of life lessons I think everyone should remember before it’s too late. You are dying one day at a time. Some more quickly than others. Really think about that for a moment; think of your mortality. Do you feel your heart racing? Sweaty palms? Knot in your stomach? That’s fear. Embrace it. And use it to empower your life and fuel the choices you make from this day forward.

What are you doing with your life anyways? Are you proud of it? If not, why haven’t you done something to change it?

Stop whining/complaining. Traffic sucks. Waiting in an extra long line isn’t ideal. Having someone mess up your order can be frustrating. We all get it; we all experience things like that throughout our days. But stop whining like a two year old and lock it up, buttercup. Why waste so much energy on such insignificant things? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound sometimes? When others are struggling with their health or to feed their families and you’re over here like “the weather changed so my flight was delayed 15 f*cking minutes and then don’t. even. get. me. started. about how horrrrrrrrible my Uber ride was…”

Let that shit go. Just breathe.

Choose love. Always. Can we make it a thing in 2018 that “I love you” aren’t scary words to say? Take back the power and bliss of love and stop feeling vulnerable. Loving someone shouldn’t make you weak; it should lift you. Tell your family, friends, significant other, neighbors, whomever, that you love them. Remind them daily.

Don’t let temporary desires distract you from true love. That once-in-a-lifetime-but-I-know-I’ve-loved-you-in-another-lifetime-also kinda love. Don’t walk away from something great thinking that there might be something better out there. This isn’t settling or complacency; this is being grateful. There isn’t enough gratitude in the world.

Don’t confuse love with ownership or attachment. No one is really yours to keep, and they owe you nothing. Don’t hold on too hard; understand that every human needs to feel free and not smothered. Give people room to breathe and reason to want to come back to you. Stop expecting other people to fill your happiness bubble if you can’t even manage to do that yourself.

Don’t wait until someone is out of your life forever before realizing all the things you wish you told them. Don’t leave words unsaid. Write someone a letter. Send a text. Singing telegram? The method of delivery is up to you.

Laugh. Until your stomach hurts and your mascara is gone.

Be good to your body. Appreciate it and feed it well. Oh, and don’t forget what Baz Luhrman said about wearing sunscreen. Move your body every day: at the gym, jiu jitsu, yoga, dance parties in your kitchen while wearing your favorite skivvies, whatevs.

$$$. Stop buying an excessive amount of things and shit you don’t really need. Spend your money on experiences instead and then maybe be responsible and save the rest.

Travel. And if you’re unable to see the world then seek out as many people as you can from different cultures and backgrounds and ages and have genuine conversations with them. Learn about their lives and how you’re more similar than you might think. Hello future BFFs.

Help others. I’ve donated my time, money, clothes, blood, hair, and a smile (x 1000). There are SO many ways you can do things for others to help make their lives a little easier or brighter. If anything, just be kind.

Kids. I get so upset when I witness some parent-child interactions in public. Stop treating them so condescendingly. You brought them into this world. Love them. Empower them. Teach them to be good people. Read to them and turn off your phones. Make them feel supported. It’s much easier to raise strong kids than to fix broken adults. And if you are a broken adult, stop blaming your past. You have a choice today to dictate how the rest of your life will go. Break the cycle.

Let go of grudges. I have every right in the world to hold hate in my heart for the man that killed my brother, but I choose to let it go. Harboring negative energy inside does absolutely nothing for your life: it won’t change what has already happened or bring anyone back. No matter the type or extremity of a grudge in your life, find forgiveness. Be bigger.

Take risks. Understand that everyone will face failures at some point, and it is from these moments that we get better. Live a life on the edge of uncertainty for growth is never found on a comfortable path. Nothing is permanent in life, so stop worrying. 

And last but not least, live fiercely. Today and for as many tomorrows as you’re gifted.

Oh, and don’t forget to breathe.

All my love,

JB