They say that when you die you can’t take anything with you. It’s a jab at those around us who value their material possessions. Whenever I hear that saying I think of the Gilmore Girls episode where Luke’s uncle dies, and Luke has to buy an extra large casket to fit all of his uncle’s belongings that he wants to take to the afterlife with him.
I think we focus on what we have and what we wish we could take because we are terrified about what we’ll leave behind, or rather the lack of what we’ll leave behind. In reality are own personal experiences are just a drop in the bucket of the universe, but we hope to be that drop that ripples forward and inspires others or at the very least inspires one person. You hope to leave behind a life that has been honorable. A life that was filled with loving and kind gestures to everyone around.
I was going through old documents on my computer to rake up some inspiration for today’s post. It was like a tiny time capsule of my writing. An old story that I drafted in high school. A few poems from when I became obsessed with spoken word poetry, and countless word documents of a paragraph or two of an idea that must have hit me in the middle of the night.
I began to think what would happen if I was gone tomorrow. I know it’s grossly morbid to think about your own death, but we won’t say dead. We’re going with gone. I have my books. Those takes up a lot of space, and I have my clothes, and shoes, and so on and so forth. But these word documents are more me than anything else. They are my insecurities and my fears. It’s all of the emotions that most of us try to keep a lid on in the fear that they make us unlovable.
And I kept thinking, “this is what I would leave behind?” A blog and some unfinished word documents. There is this great scene in the Freedom Writers where Hilary Swank’s character is outraged after a drawing is passed around that depicts a classmate in racial stereotypes. She says, “no one is going to want to remember you because all you left in the world is this.” It got me thinking more about what I hope to leave behind. Now obviously from birth to death you are not going to have brilliant revelations every day, but I think when you look at your interactions and work with intention you have the potential to create something worthwhile.
Ask yourself daily: what do I hope to leave behind in this day? How do I want to be remembered? I think these questions can help guide you towards living a life that you’re proud of, maybe. I’m rather tired and to be truthful I was planning on making this a short post about writer’s block, but I think this was better. Live your life with purpose folks, and make each moment count. After all, none of it is going with you.
Feature Image: Buzzfeed