The Tragedy of Life

Are you waiting? Waiting for inspiration, for experience, for the life you want to come to you? I think we all are, at least a little bit.

I’m in college, still a freshman. I can’t help dreaming about the future. And yet, dreaming is only good for so long. I had aspirations of getting published when I was 11. Now, I have novels, poetry, short stories and a novella to my name, but none are published. What I do have published are some articles in the school newspaper, a few award-winning poems, and my blog. I think it’s a good start; yet on some days all I can think of is what I haven’t written and the things I haven’t done.

Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. ~Wayne Dyer

Expect an early death — it will keep you busier. ~Martin H. Fischer

I’ve lived these quotes. Some days I’ve tried to accomplish everything I possibly can, with the idea that by the day I die, I’ll have missed nothing, done everything, completely used myself up in life so that there will be nothing wasted in death.

But you know what? After a long day of work, just before I’d go to sleep, I’d know that even though I did so much, accomplished bazillions of things, there were always more things to be done. And all I could see were those remaining tasks on my endless mental list.

Live every day as if it were going to be your last; for one day you’re sure to be right. ~Harry “Breaker” Harbord Morant

I’d never be ready to die at this rate. There would always be more to do. Not to mention that it’s terribly difficult to plan for the future with this mentality. What’s a mortal to do?

Workaholism is one extreme. There is another extreme that many more of us are guilty of, especially when it comes to writing.

We wait.

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. ~Author unknown.

That’s a quote I can live with.

Before I discovered NaNoWriMo, I was actually waiting to live life so I’d have enough experience to write something good. What did I, a mere youngster, have to contribute to the world anyway?

How wrong that mentality was. Isaac Asimov began selling his science fiction stories when he was 19. Mary Shelley published Frankenstein at age 21. Helen Keller published her autobiography when she was 22. I look at these authors, and glimpse what I can be if I choose to act, instead of wait.

Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think. -Chinese Proverb

Life is not about doing everything you possibly can. It’s also not about waiting. I’ve found that doing something, joyfully and perhaps slowly, and growing in that experience, is more important than doing just the right thing at the right time and doing it perfectly.

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake…” –Francis Bacon

What’s holding you back?


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