How it starts is, you make a checklist.

Because if you're going to die, despite the urgency and inescapable nature of your problems, you want to be totally sure that you didn't miss anything really crucial. There's no real reason to be imprudent about all of this. You're going to want to make sure you've seen all the Star Wars movies, for instance. And you'll want to listen to a symphony from start to finish. And you definitely don't want to die before you've gone skydiving. So you make this list.

What happens next is, the list grows over time. It never really stops. So, if you're like me, it only takes a few days before you realize that you're going to be waiting at least a few months before you're really going to be ready to go. These are your last few months on Earth, remember, so it seems logical enough. There's no reason to feel guilty about splurging when you're on your way to the afterlife.

You want to make sure to dine and dash somewhere that's extremely expensive, somewhere totally out of your price range. You'll want to test drive a few sports cars that you have no intention of buying. You have to remind yourself - You don't need them where you're going. It becomes important to point that out to yourself pretty often.

Relationships take turns for the better. After all, you're not going to see your friends again, so you might as well tell them the things you've always meant to but were afraid of. You don't worry about your appearance, either, because you don't exactly have time to foster a romantic relationship. You'd hate to go and kill yourself in the middle of a good thing. Apathy somehow turns out to be a valuable asset.

And soon you've only got one real secret: That these have become the best days of your life. You want to believe that the closer you are to death, the greater the chances of uncovering some wonderful truth about life. You are disappointed to find that you don't, but content because the world seems to have a different consistency to it, and every once in a while you're pretty sure you belong in it. After a few days, that stops feeling like a weak distraction. After a few months, you realize you're almost happy. You begin to wonder if maybe you can move around like this forever, doing what makes you happy and shedding responsibility until you grow old and fall asleep without waking up.

You can't, and you know that in the back of your mind. But you can remember that invisible strand of optimism that randomly seems to hold the world together in those fleeting moments of hope. Because maybe life looks ugly a lot of the time, but there's something undeniably gorgeous about the fact that it goes on despite itself, and in the midst of it normal people find a way to be happy. I promise you, it happens every day.

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