Are You Living or Are You Existing?

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Are you living or are you existing?

This question was posed in the movie “The Family That Preys“. I often find myself wondering if I’m one of the people that are just here going through the motions until it is over. To me, living means taking opportunities as they present themselves and acting on them. Existing means just being here going through the motions while life continues to go on around you. For the past three years, I have just been existing. I feel like I have been watching life zoom past me while I’m standing still. You may remember from late night blues that I lost someone close to me two years ago, but things actually started crumbling around me the year before.

In 2013, my uncle became ill with cancer. Before this moment, I have never seen someone close to me fight a battle that was so hard and so long. During this year my family came together as much as we possibly could. My whole family put our cares aside and took care of my uncle until the very last day. He fought his fight with grace and elegance and in turn, taught me so much about myself. He knew what was to come but he still chose to be the leader and teacher that he had always been. July 2013 through July 2014 was all about him and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

July of 2014 is when my uncle decided that he had fought a good fight and was ready to rest peacefully. This was very hard for my family. We are so close and we love each other so dearly that we were happy that he was no longer suffering but sad that we no longer had him in our lives. I never really found myself after this. I began to experience symptoms of anxiety and only wanting to stay in the house. Depression soon followed.

Roller Coaster

At this point, I was engaged and in the process of planning the wedding. The whole planning process was a blur, but with the help of my mom, we had a beautiful wedding. During our first year of marriage is when my husband became ill. We found out that he has Chiari Malformation. I began to dwell on the things that were happening around me and become sad instead of embracing the lessons that life was attempting to teach me. This has been tough for me, but I hold my composure and stay strong for my husband. 

In my attempts to be strong for the people that I love, I have lost myself. Today, I realized that there is a way to do both. There is a way to support your loved ones while at the same time living your life without regrets. I made a promise to myself today to love me and actually live my life. There is no reason to look back and think about the things that I should have done and the places that I should have gone. I should be able to look back and say that I have lived a full life. Each person should leave a legacy and I can’t do that by standing still waiting on “things to get better“.

There will always be something going on so I need to suck it up and make the best of each situation as it occurs. I have to remember to see the adventure in the struggle. I promise myself today that I will take opportunities as they come and live with no regrets.


Question of the day: Are you living or are you existing?

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  1. This is such a heartwarming, heartfelt post. Thank you so much for posting.
    It’s so important to take the time to ask yourself often, if you are living or just existing!

  2. Girl, I totally feel you. I get so wrapped in things or life throws me off course. It’s frustrating, confusing, and distressing. I’m sorry for your loss and for the other events that have occurred. But realizing that you’re “not living” is kind of the first step to getting back to “living.” Find things you want to do, that will make you feel alive, and go out there and do them. You can live life.

    Good luck to you!

  3. Love the sentence “I have to learn to see the adventure in the struggle.” The older I get, the more I am trying to make this a reality in my life. Great blog.

    1. I think this is an area that most of us can stand to improve. It almost feels unnatural to continue living when people around us are going through things. At least we’ve admitted the issue and now it is up to us to find a way to truly live. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Hi there.

    This is a heartwarming story. I think many go through life existing or being the person we think other people want us to be. Eventually we seem to come to our senses and start being the person we want to be and living by our own values.
    I often find that for many people it can take a sad event to change their thinking. It seems such a shame that we do not realise sooner.
    In answer to your question, i think i flit between the two. I mostly would like to think that i am living 90% of the time.


    1. I agree with you. It is a shame that it takes a sad event for us to wake up and enjoy life as it happens. I’m glad that you living your life and I hope to reach 90% with you soon!

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