What It Means to Be Alive

It can be easy to get caught up in the minuscule things in life: going to work, going to school, doing everything that you are told to do by society in order to be a successful being that exists within the American Dream community. I get lost all the time, wondering if I’m doing things "right" or if I’m doing the things I need to be doing in order to be successful. Most of the time, on the outside, I look like I have every piece in my life in order, like I have everything I need and that I am doing everything in the "right" way. But in reality, I am always second guessing, just going through the motions and hoping that it will help me accomplish my dreams. I am a child growing into adulthood. Everything that my parents and school prepared me for is coming to the tips of my feet, and I don’t know how to walk forward sometimes. Being awake almost starts to feel like I’m just existing rather than living, and lately these feelings always come creeping up when I’m trying to fall asleep, or when I am alone in my own head. Today I want to share with you what I think it means to be alive.

To be alive is something that I can’t even put into words. It’s not a life changing quote that I can give you so that you know how to live your life, so I’ll start with the small things. To be alive is feeling the wind on your face, to feel the cold or warm breeze kiss your skin as the hairs on your arms and legs stand up in sensation. To be alive is to feel happiness, pain, embarrassment, excitement, jealousy, love, and confusion. To feel human. Being alive is looking around you, seeing the sky and the ground, knowing that you are a living being on this small planet. Being ant-like in a way, but having the ability and power within your own finger tips to change anything and everything even though you are so small. Being alive is feeling connection and bonds with those around you, learning lessons from each person that crosses your path, and being able to grow and be the change you want to see.

Being alive seems so easy. But being alive doesn’t mean just breathing. Are you doing everything in your life the way you want to? Are you putting your phone down to enjoy the small seconds you have with a friend, a loved one, or anyone? When you wake up in the morning, does your heart feel full? And when you go to sleep, do you feel satisfied? It so easy to exist. But it is not easy to be alive. Look around you. Don’t just see—evaluate. Being alive is only temporary, and that’s a hard thing for most to swallow. So when I ask if you can feel the wind kissing your skin, if you wake up with a full heart, and if you go to bed satisfied, these are things we get when we are alive. These are minuscule things that are unseen in our everyday lives. I want myself, and you to be able to answer, “I am alive and I feel alive,” because being alive is something that everyone gets the chance to feel, but most of us don’t.

Take a breath, feel your heart beat, close your eyes, and feel the comfort of feeling hidden from everything around you for just a second. Be hidden from the politics, the Facebook posts, the constant battle of comparing your lives to others, the hustle and bustle of work, kids, school, LIFE. Try to remember what makes you feel alive, and do it. The small things in life are big, and the big things in life are small. When you notice the small things—when you appreciate the little things, you will feel alive. Your life is your own individuality, your choice, your road map, everything and anything you want it to be.

As my toes and skin start to become a raisin from sitting in this bath tub of mine, I will leave you with this: You can watch every talk show host, TED Talk, life psychic, read any self-help books you want too, but, what do YOU feel? What makes you feel like you have purpose? I am telling you, the greatest gift in life is having the chance to be human—to feel alive. Take it.

 

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