Warning: Things are about to become a little depressing.
The last three years have been life-altering for me and during this time I came up with the idea of living with an expiration date. In March 2019, I decided to decide to die. I didn’t want to do it so I would get caught. Nor did I want to do it so it would be sudden and shocking to people I loved. I wanted to quietly slip away and let them guess what was happening.
And I had a lot of justified reasons for doing it this way too. Not that it mattered because just as I almost succeed, victory was snatched from me and I was forced to walk around in a mask again. Alive, but dead inside. I don’t even remember the rest of 2019 until 2020 March and the world went into lockdown.
Inside, I came alive and rejoiced. This was my shot to die without anyone stopping me. While everyone was scared of dying from Covid 19, I was praying to catch it. Suddenly, I was interested in going out again. And since I was going to die, I thought why not do everything I wanted to do until that happened.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. -Steve Jobs
What Do I Mean By Living With An Expiration Date?
That March I started my entrepreneurial journey and now in 2022 I am still here, working on my business, covid free. How? Or maybe I should ask why did this happen and mind you I wasn’t vaccinated until late last year! To top it off I got no vaccine side effects! (as yet) When a bad flu raged through the household, I didn’t even get a sneeze and I have low immunity and I’m anemic to the point I couldn’t walk for 10 minutes without fainting 2 months prior. Yet, here I am.
Do you know what is even more strange? Besides, the new business, I’ve learned more about myself and the people around me. And I’ve realized, I was a fool to think the way I did in 2019. And it wasn’t all my fault. Sure, I made bad decisions, personally, financially, and career-wise, but I’ve realized at the core of all those bad decisions was a poor emotional response. And that stemmed from a lot of shit I’m still dealing with.
It still shocks me today, how that one decision has impacted my life. That one decision to live my life doing what I would love to do, today. Something with a purpose. Something with meaning that would make the hell I lived in worth it. Anything that will make me smile instead of cry when I go to sleep.
Living with an expiration date wasn’t just about starting my entrepreneurial journey. It was about why I needed to live with daily intentions, and how it became the start of a new beginning (GW), and the end of a lot of bad habits and life choices.
Why Did I Want An Expiration Date
According to a 2021 study by Pew Research Center, one of the top indicators of living well is strong family life. Others are health, wealth or material well-being, friends, and purpose in society. I had just lost my job in 2018 was being underpaid in a dead-end job in 2019, so my wealth is gone. I wasn’t social, to begin with as I am introverted, so cross off friends and purpose in society. As to health and family life, well, my family life was the reason my health, both mentally and physically was deteriorating.
Even writing about it brings on my depressed crazy laugh.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIH), 14.8 million adult US citizens suffered at least one severe manic depressive episode that lead to impairment. That is just checking only adults, not teens and kids, major depression; not other forms of depression and it only includes those who couldn’t function. We are not talking about the Billie Eilish fanbase here.
While researchers have found a correlation between depression and lack of these happiness indicators. They have also found that it isn’t just hereditary and a chemical imbalance. Oh, the imbalance does exist, but not for the reason they previously claimed.
Though not completely scientifically proven, or maybe they don’t want to say what the indicators are clearly saying, it seems one of the key factors of depression is listening to or being surrounded by assholes. Essentially, you are being bombarded with decisions, thought processes, and ideals that damaging to your own. Therefore, you end up living a life that is not your own and doesn’t fulfill any purpose, and surrounded by people who poison your soul.
How Does Living With An Expiration Date Work
Honestly, I don’t know. This wasn’t something I researched, but maybe I saw it somewhere and it came to me. Who knows? All I know is that I decided to do the things I kept putting off because I lacked the time or thought I lacked knowledge or was just plain too scared to try after being poisoned with decades of negativity.
All I know is that when I decided to live life on my terms, everyone else’s opinion ceased to matter. After all, I had an expiration date, wtf did I care about your plans for my time. My time was now mine to do with as I pleased.
For me, the idea of living with an expiration date didn’t involve taking extreme risks with my life as it probably did for some. But to me, it was more about embracing the real me and not hiding that person for the sake of appearances or to please anyone. It was about finally being free to think for me, decide for me and live solely for me.
That may sound selfish, but this quote sums it up perfectly. “Givers must have limits because the takers have none.” When you all you do is give to make everyone else comfortable in your presence without getting any of that back. You are entitled to some taking! Besides, as a giver, you will know the limits and can adjust accordingly. For some, you know you can give all and they will give all. For others, you gotta be selfish and think for yourself.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Nelson Mandela
How Living With An Expiration Date Changed My Life
Now some people may be thinking, why didn’t I just do this before? It’s because I thought I was surrounded by givers and normal people and didn’t realize the damage until it was too late. By the way, it wasn’t just one manic episode, I’ve had several over the course of my life with violent episodes and crazy highs. Seeing how I’m still here, I decided there must be a reason for me to go through all that I did and still not get my happy reward of leaving this miserable life.
So when I made that one small decision to live as though tomorrow didn’t matter. A lot of other things stop mattering. My financial situation for one thing. Debt don’t matter to the dead and if God wants me alive so bad, He’s gonna have to figure out a way for me to live. Cause I was done, worrying about money.
Aside from dismissing people’s opinions on things, that was one of the most stress-relieving thoughts in my entire life. Another was realizing I wasn’t who they decided I should be, but who I was created to be. I started reading the bible and realized a lot of what I knew of the bible was merely church doctrine and not actually the word of God. I read more books, took a few courses, started exercising, and changed my entire view of people, loneliness, my religion, and what constitutes a family.
All by not worrying about tomorrow or how what I’m doing will affect someone else. I woke up every day with ONE goal and it was to have a good day. One where I was productive, content, and surrounded by peace. And despite my living circumstances, I started to have more good days.