You only live once. That's the motto. Unbeknownst to Drake, he started a care-free, buy-it-because-I-can, think-about-bills-later, live-it-up-and-drink-it-down movement. Everywhere I go the two syllables roll off the tongues of drunken girls, hash-tagged as Twitter puns or screamed in the form of resolution. Frankly, I'm on YOLO overload; just hearing the word in my head makes me cringe, but like most people I firmly stand behind the message. However, living every moment like your last sometimes seems to be the championed quote of every person that has the means to do so. Can I really afford to travel to India, dine like royalty, and find love in Bali? Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert was inspiring, but her path would become my broke-and-homeless life story.
We even have an idiom for people that live rich and lavish lifestyles, we say, "They're living the life." But, are the rich and famous truly living their lives? Sure, they can do almost anything that tickles their fancy, but if they aren't living for themselves and are restricted in a girdle of forged perfection we tend to find them on the cover of a gossip rag with some drug addiction. The very lifestyle that was supposed to free us begins to enslave us.
Don't get me wrong, I have bought clothes instead of textbooks, whispering YOLO to myself, and I definitely used grocery money to get into a party or two... or three. But that's only the meaning on the surface. My personal and frugal take on the YOLO motto is taking chances, letting grudges go, taking initiative, falling in love, staying positive, taking time to stop and actually look at the sky. Seriously, have you seen it? Watching clouds sashay against the light blue sky, and then later in the day seeing the sun dip low creating ripples of reds and purples, reminds me to appreciate just being here.
Coincidentally, as I type this I'm watching Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried run from what looks like the men in black. Apparently it's the film In Time, where time is literally money and can be stolen from the arms of individuals like pumping gas from a gas station. When you run out of time... you die. At times they're left with merely seconds to live, the desperation for life flashes through their eyes and they'll do anything to get even an hour back. It makes me wonder, how would you spend your last day? Who would you spend it with? These are questions that should lay in our subconscious, no matter how daunting it may seem, because it puts life in perspective. If I would have thought of that, I would have been less likely to snap at that girl who insulted me because I would have realized it's not worth my time nor my energy. Also that my precious life could have been taken... she was scary. However, I didn't need to add more negativity to the situation because I still went to bed that night feeling as if I had a bad day. When in fact every day is a reward and if treated as such, each would be born with positivity thus wielding more of that energy towards us.
Now Timberlake and Seyfried are playing Robin Hood, stealing time from the rich and giving it to the poor. The poor are ecstatic, it's like they've won the lottery, which in this context they have. Maybe that's the change we can make. If everyone thought about their time on this earth like currency, we would spend it wisely.
Start that business you've wanted to start for years now, talk to that gorgeous guy/lady that you've been legally stalking, get off of Twitter/Facebook and talk to someone, in person. We don't all have to bungee jump and meet the Dalai Lama to truly live a fulfilled life. I gave suggestions but there really is no guide. That's the beauty of it, it's your life and it's all up to you! You're born with a blank canvas, choose your medium and go paint it.
Now let's bury the word.
Follow Sofiya Ballin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@sofiyaballin