Dying, Not the Worst Thing

My first book comes out next year. Somewhere in all the craziness of my life, I think that has been kind of lost in the crazy, you know? Or maybe it’s just been taken for granted all along.

Something else that’s been lost during my three months of recovery and bliss in my new digs was that drive to be better, to be the best I can possibly be.

That’s the thing that starting to come back.

And that’s a pretty awesome feeling, too.

Some of that has been sitting down and going, OK, how hard am I willing to work? How badly do I want it? Because getting the money under control means budgeting for things like my expensive haircut, and Chipotle. More than that, it means a commitment to regular gym going and shunning pizza. Because I’m not really getting anything from pizza or *not* going to the gym. Being better means finishing the damn fucking book, expanding on to other projects. It means getting ready to present myself to the world as, like, a real author. It means a mean haircut and a search for some new kickboxing classes.

I want to be better. The best. My best.

When my drive isn’t self-hatred, isn’t fear of becoming somebody I hate again, then it’s gotta be something better, something more. It’s about potential. Some people are afraid of dying alone. Or dying unmarried. Or dying without kids. Or dying in a nursing home. Or just, you know, dying. I’m afraid of dying without living up to what I could be. Having it all end and knowing, there at the end, that I wasn’t doing everything in my power to be the best I could be.

That’s my real fear.

When I came out of that coma two years ago, as I recovered over the next few weeks, I thought a lot about dying, about how OK I would have been with dying. And you know what? I realized that, at that point in my life, it would have been OK to die. Because I was doing everything I could to be better. I’d traveled around the world. I had a decent job. I was plugging away at my books. I’d been to Clarion, I’d dated a little, I had a great life. I was working toward my goals. I hadn’t given in, given up.

And that’s the sort of life I want to have every day, that life that says, “Hey, you know, I could die today and be happy.”

That’s always a pretty good day.

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