To A Life Well Lived

The ending of first season of “The Big C” television series packed such an emotional wallop, it stirred in my head most of the night. For those of you just coming into this discussion it’s a Showtime series about Cathy (Laura Linney) who is diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer and how she deals with coming to terms with how it’s impacting her life. Several years ago I was faced with all these same anxieties when I was diagnosed with stage 1 Lymphoma and spent a summer undergoing chemotherapy. Laura Linney and the cast and crew give such amazing life, dignity and honesty to this story and bring such realism to the process of learning the value of simple life and how precious each moment needs to become.

It’s got my mind racing and questioning am I really doing the things I adore? My days are filled with a flurry of activity and no two days are alike. I have big dreams and big aspirations and am constantly consumed with passion. Yes, I do wear myself out and become weary, but at night that exhaustion becomes a calming satisfaction that settles into my body and heart. I don’t really allow negative energy into my day, there is no time for it. In the beginning I felt that this need to overachieve was based on fear, and I think a great deal of it was, but as I begin to write and work on this project I now know I am the farthest from fear a person can get. For I have known my greatest fears, faced them and they no longer impact me. It gives me a certain amount of freedom and flexibility. There are no longer any limitations as to what I can achieve.

I see so many people around me not really enjoying their lives, desperate, discontent and filled with despair, not passionate about anything. Waiting their time out, they grumble about this and about that, but never doing what they want, never exploring anything new within themselves. Unfortunately, we live in a time of great mental escapism, to sit and only watch television hour after hour, day after day. To take drugs and become carefree and oblivious of time and spend hours and days addicted to the internet, woven into other people’s lives, desperately trying to escape our own, wishing we had something better or we were someone else.

I recently photographed a kid who was so filled with negative energy toward himself that he could not see the beauty of what he was standing there in front of me naked, and was not willing to explore where it could possibly take him. I know, I too have been there as well. I have recently met a brilliant young artist and film maker, who also dwells in the misery of a broken relationship that seems to drain all his creative ambition. And I have tried to befriend a 25 year old (a recent seroconversion to HIV positive) who thinks his life has ended and only wants to smoke dope and send harmful venomous energy toward others. Though he proclaims to live in a state of Namaste, he doesn’t really know what the full concept of the thought means. I want to reach out and say, “Don’t waste your lives!” Every experience is of value and worth having. I know I cannot change others and bring them to any kind of realization and perhaps it is my fatal flaw to want to want to help others living in desperation. I certainly don’t know the answers to it all, and don’t want to. I can only impact my corner of my world and lead by my example.

YOUR LIFE IS YOUR OWN, in the end it’s all you really have, don’t put it in the control of others, because they are probably having a hard time just maintaining themselves, much less someone else. You are the only one who is in control of it, MAKE IT WHAT YOU WANT!

3 thoughts on “To A Life Well Lived

  1. Marklin

    >Carpe Diam , carpe donuts, carpe beer, carpe friends,Carpe passion,Carpe whatever…….just Carpe!!!! Well said Terry, well said.

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