PUBLISHED June 18, 2019

It’s 11:00 PM and my first time in Chicago

I think we all find ourselves to be incredibly interesting. It’s impossible for us not to center life as we experience it around ourselves. We are the center of the universe–all of us uniquely.

Sometimes it feels rather claustrophobic, to be perpetually stationed within your own mind. I suppose that’s why we (generally speaking) are drawn to art. Or are drawn to create art. No other species on earth is aware of its own finiteness like humans. Or rather, aware of its own mortality. It is what, the philosophers state, is one of the most defining qualities of our species–that we know we are going to die. We are so aware of ourselves, and the inevitable outcome of all life.

I don’t feel particularly afraid of death, though. I am afraid of painful and gruesome situations. I am afraid, for instance, of being in a fire, or a plane crash, or to be eaten alive by something. It’s not so much that I fear that happening to me and so it affects my decisions, more so I have imagined countless times with incredible pronounced and graphic detail what it would feel like to be in those situations. And it terrifies me.

But I’m not afraid so much of the idea of dying. That may be the result of being only twenty-eight; it doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s closing in. But I do fear an un-lived life. I fear what many members of modern society do: that I won’t reach my full potential; that I’ll be unremarkable; that I won’t ever fully realize my passions and dreams. This too is unique to humans. We are, as the philosophers put it, defined by our will to do better. We are perpetually striving.

Content text