So…I saw this list on Buzzfeed, (because sometimes I’m on the internet and I get lost in dumb things) of really bizarre or outright stupid questions that were college essay options…and I saved the link because I thought, “well, those might be amusing to take a stab at answering on my blog when I lose interest in my melodramatic and narcissistic fictions about myself…”
Here is the first one.
“What does #YOLO mean to you?”
I don’t know about the #, but assuming that YOLO stands for “you only live once”, I think it’s a terrible idea to be tossing around. Just terrible. In the classic sense, of course, sharing roots with terror. Because while some people might shout “YOLO!” before trying a bite of cow’s brain, or jumping out of an airplane, and others might use it as an excuse to try a drug, or as motivation to ask out that special person they’ve had their eye on…I can’t think of it like that. All I can think of is the numbered days ahead of me, and how each one that passes means I have one less.
One day less. Every day. And I don’t feel that rush of excitement that would lead me to dare myself to step out of my routines. Instead, I feel that dark panic of being so far outside my comfort zone that nothing grounds me anymore. Nothing touches my tenuous existence. Not cow’s brains, or the feel of the wind as I hurtle toward the earth with one hand on my parachute cord. All I can think about is the cow, and whether she had a good life and got to lie in green shade and chew her dinner a second and third time. Whether she got to roll in mud. Whether it was worth it for her to die so I could spit a bit of her brain into a napkin when I don’t like it. All I can see is the ground. And it rushes and rushes up at me, and I know that even if I pull that parachute cord–maybe not this day, but someday it will not open and I will hit the ground.
And what then? Well, I have my beliefs. But even they do not stop the tremor in my hands when I think too long about hypothetical hitting the ground.
One of my favourite authors had whittled it down to three possibilities–“I would die. Perhaps by violent misadventure, or by wasting disease. Or by my own hand.” I don’t think he’s wrong. And when someone smiles and exclaims, “YOLO!” to me, that is what I think about. I don’t think about the things I haven’t done or seen, but about the comforts of my routines, the familiarity of my haunts, and the dearness of the creatures I am closest to. Most of all, I think about the inevitable truth that this one life that people would have me cram so full of nonsense must end. And there’s nothing I can do about it.