This is something that I wrote sort of as advice for my future self. If you’re an overly sentimental, paranoid, and fearful little child like me, you might find it somewhat interesting or helpful.
Don’t be afraid of your last day of high school. Don’t be afraid of saying goodbye to your friends and family. Don’t be afraid of growing up. It’s reality, and as an Arthurian necromancer once said, it’s in the nature of time to fly. Unfortunately, attaining such a state of fearlessness is almost impossible. But what might help in such situations is a simple consideration of alternate possibilities.
Take the example of the last day of high school. Everyone is shedding tears and wondering how those four years went by so quickly. And you, if you are me, are wishing that it wouldn’t end. You don’t like change. You don’t like it when things end. And so you weep and weep in fetal position and keep it all to yourself. But what else could you ever want?
Do you want to stay here? Well, you can. You’re just going to have to do it by yourself. What’s that you say? Oh, you wish everybody else would stay with you? Well, they can. You can all stay together as a happy family, until you all starve to death. What’s that you say? You wish that you would all be supplied with all the food and shelter that you would need for the rest of your life? Okay, sure; you guys can stay together until you all die naturally of old age.
But is that what you really want to do? Do you never get bored? Do you never just get tired of everybody around you? Do you not think that these feelings will recur and be amplified over an entire lifetime?
Don’t you want to learn? Don’t you want to explore the world and meet people? Even if you don’t, have you never thought of how perpetual your life would be if you stayed in high school forever? Of course you haven’t. All this time, you’ve been watching it slip right under you, bit by bit. You never got to realize how awful it would be if it stayed the same forever. That’s how it is with life.
Of course, everyone is afraid of change. But what you don’t realize is that if it wasn’t for change, nothing would exist. Nothing would happen. Shit needs to happen. That’s how you came to be in the first place, shithead.
So now you start to consider an alternate solution––what if everyone died? What if the whole world ended? That sounds nice–you’d never have to say goodbye to anyone. But reconsider the scope of what you’re talking about. So many things are so amazing in life and in the world that it really would be a tragedy for it to all end (there are bad things going on too, but that’s always going to happen).
Now, you start to wonder: what if only our little group died? Again, consider how many lives you would be ruining. Sure, it would all end, nobody would have to say goodbye, and the whole world wouldn’t have to suffer for it, but you’re still ending the lives of a good number of people. People that could have and would have done so many things. And now you’re saying, fine––I’ll just die. What if I just killed myself?
Well consider this: you’re in your class, and it’s the last day of high school. All of a sudden, you suffer a heart attack. The look on your face traumatizes everyone around you, and your teacher is desperately trying to revive you while getting someone else to call an ambulance. An ambulance comes, and you are carried away. Now imagine the looks on your peers’ faces as they watch you go. Aren’t these the same people you love? Don’t you think they would miss you? Don’t you think they would be sad? And to make it worse, to have such a traumatizing event occur right in front of them on such an emotion-filled day?
You object again. You say, “what about just getting rid of the razzle-dazzle and I die a dignified, quiet death with no one around?”. The reality is, however, that you can’t change death–it is what it is. You die, and you are gone forever. When everyone realizes that, they are going to be just as sad as if you had a heart-attack. And we haven’t even considered family yet.
Finally you realize, you can’t make things stay like this forever, you can’t make the world end, and you can’t kill yourself either. And at the end of the day, even if you proved to yourself that doing one of these things would be okay, it’s still better not to. Sometimes, things in life just suck, and you can’t logically dig your way out of them. Just try to follow in others’ footsteps––the billions of people who have gone through this before you.