What would I do if I knew I had only two years left to live?

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I recently began listening to a podcast called Not Overthinking created by two brothers Ali and Taimur Abdaal, and I came across one of their episodes called ‘How would you spend your time if you knew you’d die in 2 years?’. Before even listening to the podcast my mind was beginning to answer this question and the answer greatly surprised me.

I actually came surprisingly quickly to a confident conclusion of how I would want to spend those two final years:

1) Studying chemistry to the absolute best of my ability

2) Being cheerful, positive, and caring towards others

3) Being the best friend that I can be and making those I love feel loved

4) Laughing , reading, and dancing to music as much as possible

5) Not caring so much about what people might think of me

The thing that shocked me most about this answer was how simple all of these things are. I didn’t feel like leaving university and travelling the world, I’d simply want to be the best version of myself and to find out as much as I can about the things that interest me.

I’d want to read all the books I have in my mental ‘to-read’ list, listen to all my favourite songs and discover all the other great songs out there that I haven’t yet stumbled upon.

I’d want to show the people in my life who make me feel good how much I appreciate them, and do my best to make them feel good too.

I’d want to be unforgivably me. The real me who rambles freely about life and moral issues to my Mum while she’s preparing dinner and who can actually be quite witty when I let my guard down. I want to be all the things I am, and could be outside of my home and close circle of friends, if only I wasn’t afraid of what others would think of me.

Obviously I would want to spend plenty of time outdoors too but I don’t feel the urge to spend the time travelling. Laying on the grass in my garden looking up at the stars at night or marvelling at the view from the top of the mountains an hour down the road from me would more than satisfy me.

And the thing I like most about this question, is that even though it’s a “What if…?” question, it actually could very well be true. I don’t know how many days I have left. None of us do. I spend so much time worrying about other’s opinions of me, when really I could be gone this time next year and would never see them again. We often act as though we know how long we have left. We worry about the future, worry about not finding that special someone, worry about not getting that dream career, but really we can’t even be certain if we’ll make it to that stage of our lives. Obviously it’s important to think ahead and plan because there’s also a very good chance that we will make it to then but at the same time, worrying about those far ahead days that we might have could just be wasting the day that we definitely do have, today.

This question put a lot into perspective for me and I’m definitely going to try live my life in the way I would if I had two years left to live, as who knows, I could. Being 20 I sometimes mistakenly take life for granted and envision another 3 lots of 20 years in front of me but really, I can’t be certain about this. Therefore, I don’t want to put off being the person I want to be any longer as I risk running out of tomorrows to do so.

Thanks for reading through my ramblings of today haha 🙂

Take care,

Emma x

Published by shestooblessed4stress

University student chatting and exploring all things mental health :)

2 thoughts on “What would I do if I knew I had only two years left to live?

  1. This is a lovely post Emma. Thanks for sharing. Definitely does put a lot of things into perspective. We must do our best to be ‘unforgivably’ ourselves (as you eloquently put it). Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

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