No one can take this away from you

by Nhat Nguyen 27 days ago in advice

a dose of perspective for those who need it

No one can take this away from you

Imagine you’re 80, you just smoked a fat joint, you’re kicking back with nothing but your thoughts, your memories, the life that you’ve lived. Ask yourself, what would you like to think about. What would you like to take to the grave, knowing that you’ve accomplished? Basically ask yourself what memories are worth getting high for?

Would it be all the tinder girls you’ve fucked, or would it be the meaningful relationships you’ve had with your ex(es) culminating to finding the love of your life who you’re married to for 50 years.

Would it be all the nights you drank away your sorrows and misery, attempting to run away from your demons instead of acknowledging their existence and processing those repressed emotions? Or perhaps, would it be your decision to check yourself into rehab at 30 for alcohol addiction before your wife leaves you and your kids don’t want to call you their father anymore?

Would it be the pursuit of those quick highs, social status, immediate gratification — or would it be the pursuit of what is meaningful which, more often than not, require hours of work inherent in its mastery.

Would it be all those ‘that one time’ you did something stupid and didn’t regret it — or would it be ‘that one time’ you cheated and lost everything.

Would it be all the fond memories shared with mum and dad, or would they all manifest as potentialities, memories that you could have had if you cared enough to try.

I don’t know how I’ll feel when I hit 80, but I can be sure as hell that I want to know I’ve lived a life of authenticity and passion. To have felt raw sadness, to have experienced harrowing losses, to have grieved for lost relationships, to have recovered from a damaged soul. We’re just so damn use to being told how to avoid having these emotions, how to manage them — but there is little recognition of the need to ride through them and come out stronger on the other side.

If you’re the type to shy away from any negative emotion, finding mechanisms to suppress them as opposed to actually processing them, I’d like to propose to you that you’re perhaps only living 50% of your life. Maybe you’re arguably even delusional to think the glass of wine you’re having every night to fall asleep is healthy for you. We’re all prone to running from what hurts us but maybe if we find the courage within us to face these fears, those intrusive thoughts and self-deprecation may actually cease. We can’t run away forever — it’s tiring, and one day, when you’re 80 and you have no energy to run away anymore, you’re left with nothing but your thoughts, what then?

Let’s all aim to have thoughts and memories that you’re genuinely proud of. Thoughts and memories that aren’t a product of any social establishments or expectations. Thoughts and memories that are curated, unique and catered to that 80 year old version of you because at the end of the day, the achievements that you’ve forged and the knowledge that you’ve lived a subjectively fruitful life is what matters and…

No one can take this away from you.

Nhat Nguyen
Nhat Nguyen
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Nhat Nguyen
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