Don’t Take Life So Seriously

Note to self, from an old friend.

Even writing this, I’m still appalled by my feelings towards the statement. I know he was right. He is right. But I can feel how romantic I am about how wrong the statement is.

Why should I not take life seriously? I’d say. How dare you? People die every day. Life is a really, really serious thing!

He remains wise beyond his years. Even though we don’t talk anymore. It has taken his absence, and more, to make sense of all the tense feelings I bore towards the utterance.

Life can shoot balls of fire anytime. Shit happens. Literally — you could walk down the street with your clean white shirt and a bird shits on you.

You could get your heart broken in many ways. You could lose a valuable friend.

What he was saying was: to always keep a sense of humor; always be ready to forgive — even those things I never understood.

I, on the other hand, was a drama queen: I thought I had figured everything out. I thought I knew what was right, how humanity was expected to carry itself.

The joys of the early twenties, eh?

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

I still take life seriously. I still think the little things matter; that what we do has an inordinate impact on who we become in the future.

I also understand that my feelings about the matter — as well as my values and beliefs — are mine alone.

I need to respect other people’s values, even if I don’t understand or accept them.

We don’t need to agree on everything to have a constructive conversation.

Life can be very serious. It can also be very funny. Sometimes, we just need the right mix of perspective and empathy to live well together.

That is something he taught me that I’ve never forgotten.

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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