“Brace for impact”

11th of September 2016

So, you are in a plane, and you’ve just heard the captain. “Brace for impact”. You might die. What do you do?

A few years back I was stuck in an elevator in between floors. I thought I would die. I pictured the elevator cutting me in half on my way out. I was an extremely pessimistic teenager who aced at picturing worst case scenarios. But that’s a different story. 

What I did? I started writing my goodbye SMS. To my dad. I realised that I’ve never told him I love him. And it took me many years to be able to say it. Although he says to me every time we talk.

Of course, I never sent that SMS, because in no time we were all out and safe. 

I am very good at empathising. So at the movies today, I started crying. That’s the first thing I think I would do if heard “Brace for impact”. But why? 

Is it because I don’t want to die?  Then why do I smoke? Why did I drink that whole bottle of champagne on Friday? Why don’t I eat more healthy? Why don’t I exercise daily? And most importantly, why do I stress? Why do I put myself in painful situations and relationships? This is all slowly leading to an early death.

Is it because I’m sorry for the people I leave behind? Then why did it take me 25 years to tell my dad that I love him? Why don’t I tell people how I feel? Why didn’t I ever tell Nikos how much he inspired me? Why didn’t I tell Bjarne he’s the best teacher I have ever had and that I went from 0 to 12 only because of him? Why didn’t I call Britta again? Why did it take me 1 year to thank Codreanu?  Why didn’t I approach that guy last Saturday? Why don’t I write to Bogdan? Why didn’t I ever tell my sister that I understand she did her best?

Is it because I think death is sad? I know it’s not. I know I’ll come back here again. Death is not the end. It’s just the end of life as I know it now.

Then is it because I love myself? Is it because even though I know my soul will come back and envelope another body, I still want it to be with this body? Then if I love this instance or myself so badly, why don’t I show it more often? Why do I torment myself with guilt for things I did when I didn’t know better? Why do I always have to measure myself by these perfect standards that are impossible to reach? Why can’t I recognise that I’m doing my best? Why can’t I tell myself I love me and want to be with me no matter what? And if I could choose myself again, I would? 

Is it because I feel I still have things to do here? Then why don’t I? What’s stopping me from going for my dreams? What fears are greater than the one that in the next second I simply could stop existing in this form? Financial insecurities? Fear of judgement? Fear of being judged by myself, to be more precise. Why do I keep feeling like a fraud? I can choose to be a real engineer, I could start all over again, I could become an entrepreneur, I can try and make them all happen. But when will start enjoying? I know I’m not a complete fraud, because I do love my job. So when will I be satisfied with what I have? Coming back to those standards…

So, what is it about life that I so much want to keep having? And what am I doing to make it happen?


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