“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts;”
~ William Shakespeare
Life has been compared to many things, to a dance, to a boat, even to a box of chocolates. But this comparison plays a tune that I just can’t get out of my head. It’s a grand illusion that life is something we can control, manipulate, and be safe from 100% of the time. It’s foolish to try.
It is only after the realization settles in that death isn’t merely the end of life, but an integral part of it, an equal and opposite force, that your eyes can really see all the beauty that exists. This is the moment when life truly begins.
I’ve studied Bushido and read over and over “keep death in mind daily,” understanding the words, but I never realized until much later, just how much deeper those five words go. It isn’t simply an awareness that one isn’t immortal, and death may take you at any time. Even that mentality pushes important things to a later time, thinking that the end will come, but not for a time.
Being touched by death, and still remain living, pulls the curtain surrounding everything in life. Entire mindsets are reconfigured as the realization sets in.
We are born and we die. Everything else is up to us. We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how it affects us, and what we’re going to do about it.
You can let people tell you how to live your life, or you can make a stand and rule your own existence. You can wish for your problems to go away, or you can work to overcome any obstacle.
Or, as was my greatest decision, you can choose to let your cancer destroy this one life you’re given, or you can fight.
This is my story.