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Are you truly living?

Posted on September 02 2014

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Ever since I could remember, my parents have always encouraged me to travel, to experience the world, other cultures and other people. I can recall stories of my mom jetting from Brazil to Sweden to Germany and my dad from the UK to Spain to Egypt. It’s not surprising that my parents met on a plane even though they both lived in the same city. It’s also not surprising that I caught the travel bug at a young age. From France, Italy, Ecuador and many other history rich nations, I’ve made it my life’s mission to experience the world the way it was meant to be experienced –present and in person.

When I moved to the U.S with my family at 13, I was so excited to embark on a new journey. America was the land of freedom and opportunity. A place where dreams came true and where you could live an extraordinary life if you so desired to make that happen. I didn’t come from poverty. I lived a great life with amazing parents and siblings and all the love and comfort I needed in Nigeria. But this great nation –The United States of America was going to be a whole new ball game and I could not wait to give it my best shot. If you’re wondering if I actually thought in this manner at the tender age of 13, the answer is yes.

Going through high school, college, internships, my first job, etc however, opened my eyes to another reality. Life was fast becoming a series of mundane activities that prepared you for one thing –getting a job, a mortgage and eventually getting trapped in an ordinary life. Worst of all, it was a life that so many accepted as normal.

I recently read a quote that stated “I tried to be normal once…it was the worst 2 minutes of my life.” This pretty much sums up how I feel about being “normal”. I often think about the system that’s been put in place to help us feel “normal.” Many graduate with student loans that they’ll probably never pay off in order to work at a 9-5 that they actually despise, so they can live in a house that they don’t actually spend much time in thanks to that 9-5 that usually turns into a 9-8. They spend most of their time at that miserable job where they’re let out for 1 hr during the day to run around and pretend like they still have their freedom. Only, they’re expected back in the cage after that 1hr is over.

Forgive me but this cannot be all that life is supposed to be for us. There is no way that we were meant for a life of the mundane. Even if you love your job and are passionate about what you do, are you truly experiencing life or just shuffling from home to work and then doing it all over again the next day? Are you meeting new people, discovering new places, tasting new foods? Are you utilising all of the gifts that you were given or waiting for a special day when everything lines up perfectly to do that? Are you treating yourself well or waiting for your future retirement to relax and enjoy life? Most importantly, are you happy?

Just because everyone happens to accept the norm doesn’t mean you have to as well. It’s time to re-evaluate your life and ask yourself. If something happened to me today, can I say that I have truly lived?

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