Book No. 23 – Before I Die

25 Jan

Okay, so recently I’ve been told by several people that I have been majorly slacking with my book blogs. For the very few people who actually read them regularly, SORRY!!! I will try to keep up with them better, I promise. I have still been reading as regularly as I can, but I just haven’t been posting the blogs on the books. Eeeek. But anyways, book number 23 is called “Before I Die” by Emma Downham. This book is about a 16 year old girl named Tessa who is dying. At just 16 years old she has two choices, drown in her own self pity and squander what little time she has left OR accept the cards she has been dealt and live while she still can. She chooses to live. As much as she can. Before it’s too late. So, she forms a list of things that she hopes to accomplish before she dies, but what she realizes is that once you are faced with death many of the things you have always wanted don’t seem as important… and the things that you have always overlooked have never been more important. This book addresses the complexities of facing death at such a young age and expresses Tessa’s emotional journey in such a profound way that this book will not leave you. No matter how old you are.

We are all faced with death at some point in our lives and up until that point death is just a distant thought, a reality that we refuse to acknowledge is coming much sooner than we’d like. Nobody wants to die. (I hope..) I know that I don’t. The thought of celebrating my 20th birthday in April sends me spiraling into a depression for goodness sakes! 20 already? Thats like celebrating the fact that 1/4th of my life is over if I am lucky enough to live till 80. I am one of those people who thinks of death often. Not in a depressing emo kind of way, but in a way that reminds me I only have a limited amount of time on this planet. It’s weird you know, we have endless amount of possibilities as humans, but there is one thing working against us. Time. I am still coming to terms with the realization that there will never be enough time to do all of the things I want to do in this lifetime, before I die. It’s ironic… we have and endless amount of possibilities and yet we are horribly limited because there is never enough time. Never. We will all die before we are ready. My dad says, “There are three things in life nobody can ever fully prepare for. Getting married, having kids and dying.” He is so right. Which is exactly why we all need to try and live every moment that we can. Laugh until it hurts and cry until you just can’t cry any longer. (I hope this blog doesn’t seem too morbid!) I think those of us who think about death more than others are the ones who appreciate life more. Life is by no means easy. It is hard. It will throw you curve balls. It will try to break you. I am convinced that life’s mission is to harden us. To turn the optimists into pessimists. To make the happy people sad. And our mission is to never let it. Never let life harden you. Never let it take away your happiness. Your hope. Your love. No matter what hand life deals you, you must never let it win.

Upon reading this book I realized a couple things about my own life. One of which, is to try to start living more. Experiencing more things rather than immersing myself in my books and school work and only hanging out with my doggies. I don’t want to look back on my life and be like- “oh yeah, I read some good books in my day and I had some damn good dogs for friends…. but what the fuck else did I do?” I have this theory. Most of us are afraid to live. (Or is it just me?…) Many people are afraid to live because living brings you too many unexpected things, both good and bad. Staying in that dark place is so much easier. Some people cling to the dark because it feels safer, easier even, and others are just addicted to the misery that it brings. Either way, it is a habit that needs to be broken. So, no matter how old you are, listen to these words.

Stop holding on to what you haven’t got. Stop being afraid. Fight. Find the light in the dark and never let go. And for fucksake, let yourself live already.

“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live.”


Taylor Jordan


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