I’m the type of person who loves to learn and experience new and different things whenever I can. My Parents have always shown me how exposure and experiences can enrich your life, and often times the more awkward or uncomfortable it is, the more you get out of it.
For example, recently I had a few days where I was going through some depression; the cause of which is another story which I’m sure I’ll write about someday. Being depressed felt odd since I’ve never really experienced depression before and have always been good at regulating my emotional state. This is how my mind processed the experience:
“Hmmm, this is a new feeling. Kind of different.”
“I think it’s depression…yup, I’m entirely sure it’s depression.”
“It’s an odd new feeling.”
“I have decided I don’t like it much.”
“Okay, I know how to deal with this, I will now decide to be happy!”
“Hmmm, I’m still feeling depressed, that didn’t work very well.”
Simply deciding to be happy didn’t help as much as it usually does, but instead, I eventually went for a hike where I meditated and later enlisted the support of friends. I let the feelings wash over me and they were gone in a couple of days.
Being depressed made me feel completely tired, sad and the need to be around people but somehow despised the thought of being around people. The contradiction alone was enough to keep my mind busy for awhile to sort it out.
After the fact, I find it funny that I was so intrigued by this new feeling and experience.
The Death Experience
A couple years ago the thought of death became my greatest fascination — and fear. It was brought on by some very bizarre dreams I had, where in them, I died. At first it was disturbing, and then it became something of a mental obsession.
I am a spiritual person and was raised Catholic (although, not currently practicing), so I posed this question to myself: “What if there is no after life? What happens? What’s it like?” That became a riddle for me to unwind; similar to asking about the meaning of life. The vision of nothingness appeared to me like an empty black void. “What is is like to not exist?”
That’s a hard question to answer because, well, existing is practically all I do.
The other part of the question was, “What is it like to die instantly?” The thought of being alive one moment and not the next without being aware of it, scared me. But why? It’s not like it’ll matter much after I’m dead. I wont know that I’m dead, so why should it matter that I know I’m about to go?
Sometimes I pose this question to friends and they usually say they would rather not know and just die instantly or in their sleep. This still bothers me.
I finally realized why — I want to know what it’s like to die. I want to be able to embrace that final life experience before I head off into the great unknown. (as ironic as that is) Somehow I feel that if I miss it, then I have missed one of life’s greatest, and last, experiences. Some of you reading this probably think that’s pretty sick. I’m okay with that.
For those of you who are afraid this is the prologue to a suicide letter, fear not. There are still too many experience I have not had to end this ride short. I expect to live my life long and full until I die at a very old age.
Maybe I’ll be that old guy who interrupts your conversation at the coffee shop to bore you with off color Irish jokes (“What’s the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish wake?”) or tails of grand things I [never] did. Yes I’m sure I’ll be that guy. Oh the stories I will tell.