i've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of being alive.
not physically living, breathing, pulsing, but the kind where your soul is alive.
from here

if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that this idea is nothing new for me, so in writing this post, i fear that i'm kind of just repeating myself and you all will just discount it, but i need to get it out.
my fingers are trembling at the keyboard because i have so much to say, but i don't know where to start.
i feel like maybe this post will wake somebody up.
i hope it'll wake somebody up.
or maybe it's just to remind myself to stay awake.
either way, here it is:

this time, it started with The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. i'm not usually one to recommend books because i feel like everyone is looking for a different thing in their literature, whatever. and i don't want to do a whole synopsis here because most of you probably don't care. but the lines in this book, the words she chose, the stories she told, they all just screamed out to me one thing: "be alive". be present, wake up, open your eyes.

and on date night this week, Ben and i went to see "Jeff Who Lives at Home". we went in expecting a funny little movie [it is Ed Helms and Jason Segel, after all], but i left with tears streaming down my face. Jason's character, Jeff, is this 30 year old guy who still lives in his mother's basement because he's just a little lost, but he's the kind of person who finds meaning in everything and is trying to figure out his destiny. His day starts with something he thinks is a sign, and he leaves the house to run an errand for his mom, but ends up following all of these signs, runs into his brother, and has this whole adventure with him in a day. but this brother, Pat [Ed Helm's character], is the total opposite of Jeff and doesn't see meaning in anything, he doesn't find beauty in his world. he's going through his life with his eyes closed. and their mom is the same way. but throughout the movie, with Jeff's help and also the help of the mom's co-worker, both Pat and the mom wake up. they realize that this is their life and they have to live it because what's the point if they don't?

what's the point of living if you're not really experiencing it?

so i cried because i have this wonderful man in my life who makes me feel alive. loving him makes me come alive. and i'm so blessed with that. and i'm so thankful for that. because i have all of these people who love me and these hobbies i enjoy and this life that i love living. i cried because i'm so thankful that i realize this. i'm thankful that i'm alive enough to really enjoy living.

but i also cried because there are people who aren't alive. megan writes about passion eyes, the tears you get when something moves you to the point that you feel a little full. i got passion eyes then and i'm getting them now because there are people going through life without really living it. people that i love are living like this. i'm sitting here, trying so hard to really really live and there's someone i love with all of my heart that seems stuck, with their eyes closed. 

and what am i supposed to do about it?
i'm not trying to say that i think i'm better than everyone because i live like this.
i understand that there are things that happen in people's lives that force them to shut down. they have to shut off their emotions and close their eyes in order to get through the shit that life brings them to.
i've been there before and i know that i'll probably be there again someday.
but it hurts my soul to see people i love living like that.
i want to shake them and wake them up.
i want to tell them:
            "you only have this life. wake the hell up and live it. feel the emotions! even if they're awful ones that make you want to curl up in a ball and just cry. don't wipe off the tears as they stream down your face; just feel them fall and let yourself hurt for a little bit. and then, once you're good and cried out, open up those red, puffy eyes and look around. look at all there is that's beautiful in this world. sure, there's some real junk, but don't focus on that. don't focus on the shit. focus on the wonderful things. the birds chirping, and the breeze across your skin, and your dog getting so happy every time she sees you, and your family who loves you and will always always be here for you when you need us. you have this life and it's up to you to find the things that make you happy. they're not just going to stumble across the road and land in your lap- oh, here's happiness. no. you have to look for it. you have to open yourself up to finding it. even if that means going through hell first. in every movie, story, folk tale, and book, there's a conflict before the happy ending. fight for your happiness. fight for your life. no one else can do it for you. and then when you find it, embrace it. when you find that happiness, hold onto that and don't let it go for anything. things are still hard, but that's life. and that's what we're here for. hold on to the people who support you and love you and will always build you up. we're the ones that matter. just please, i beg of you, live your life. live every single last part of it."

i'm trying to live every day, and thankfully, i think i'm pretty darn good at it.
but lately, my biggest struggle has been my phone.
i've been needing to make a real effort to put my damn phone away.
iPhones are awesome- there's twitter, instagram, blogs, facebook, pinterest, all those fancy things that are right there at my fingertips.
but my life is at my fingertips too.
there's so much more that the world has to offer than that tiny screen does. 
i tried kidding myself that i can, but i really can't put everything i have into a relationship with anyone when half the time, i'm checking twitter. 
and my loved ones deserve more than that.
the man i'm going to marry deserves all of me.
my little sister, my mom, my brother, all of them, they deserve all of me while i'm still here to give it to them. and i want to experience all of them while they're still around to give it to me.

i know that this post is a little bit of word vomit.
i know it's a little redundant, and to some of you, a little trite.
but i just feel so full.
i want you all to feel this alive.
why would you ever shut yourself down and let yourself get stuck in a life you don't love when there's so much more that the world has to offer?
i beg of you, wake up.
fall in love with your life again.

"for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, 'Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.' " -Ephesians 5:14, NLT


Debbie said...

I have SO been thinking the same about my phone. I check it every 5 minutes and I'm always taking pictures for this and that (the blog). I make more of an effort to just leave my phone in the car now. And then we can really be together. But it's hard. The phone is such a little devil.

Debbie said...

I have SO been thinking the same about my phone. I check it every 5 minutes and I'm always taking pictures for this and that (the blog). I make more of an effort to just leave my phone in the car now. And then we can really be together. But it's hard. The phone is such a little devil.

M. Flynn said...

Aw, I love this post. Honestly I think just living in the moment and being awake is the best cure for my more anxious times. It's all very Buddhist, and I like that. Thanks for mentioning me, Passion Eyes are something I love and I'm glad I'm not the only one!

~ callee ~ said...

I am reading The History of Love right now - such a good book and yes, the stories. Oh, the stories are so perfect and resonate with that theme of being present, being alive right now, being awake.

It is so easy to get sucked into the doldrums, where every day is {nearly} the same and there isn't anything to look forward to or be excited about or to enjoy in life. It is so easy. It is much harder for me to challenge myself to find the beauty in the crappy days, to find the joy in the tears, and to find the life in the living. It's always there, though there are times where it's more difficult to find it.

Life isn't a test drive. It's not a practice test. We only get one shot. I want to make mine count for something.

Thank you for your word vomit post {those are the best, I think}. This is me leaving you a word vomit comment :-)

Ciara said...

The worst thing I could possibly imagine happening is waking up one morning and realising you hadn't lived your life at all.. This post was inspiring :)

Just trying to start my own blog, if you wanna check it out that'd be awesome :)

Tiffany said...

Love this post--so true! This is something that I really do try and focus on all the time....REALLY living! I read a quote (and it's now on my blog!) that said, "The world is full of people who never really live, she did not intend on being one of them." Amen!


Alexis said...

I am so glad I came across your post. All my life, I've been attempting to do just this--fall in love with life. You expressed these feelings in the very best way. Thank you so much for sharing!

Jamie said...

I found your blog through Alivia's blog......and this post made me teary-eyed because it's so so true. I keep telling myself to let go of the petty things...or to maybe even (dare i say it) get rid of facebook and twitter for a while because i get wrapped up in everyone else's business & ultimately just get aggravated. Living is important & your words held a truth i really needed to hear. Thank you for that!