Resolution and Independence: In search of that ‘better life’

By Phil Grech |

I’m a sarcastic, skeptical English and philosophy double-major who rejects cheesy inspirational messages that tell people to “live, laugh, love” or “‘live every moment like it’s your last.”

YOLO has recently replaced Carpe Diem as my most hated inspirational catch phrase. Did anyone think that we lived more than once? Clearly some trite, cheap, superficial, and abhorrent advice like YOLO is insufficient to inspire meaning and engender change.

But something happened to me last spring. My close friend, Katie, died unexpectedly on April 27, 2012. She had reminded us of our ephemeral lives that can be taken without notice. That we should live happily and beautifully — not weighed down by unpaid bills and daily worries.

Needless to say, 2012 didn’t make the list of most exciting and auspicious years of my life.

As I mentioned, I woke up in a Georgia lake house to see my best friend screaming for someone to call 911 because Katie had died in the room we were sleeping in.

Later on my girlfriend and I broke up (amicably at least).

I spent New Year’s Eve alone on my front porch with a bottle of gin. I consumed enough whiskey and gin during my winter break to earn a position on the TV show, “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.”

Something had to change. But, it takes an incredible amount of strength to apply a maxim to my life — to employ it in my daily activity.

I’ve pondered this for two months, fully aware of what I can do to make my life better. But I’ve stalled. I’ve delayed. I’ve procrastinated. I’ve had trouble igniting the catalyst. I’ve even tried blowing off the idea altogether.

I considered going to the “experts” — the Tony Robbins of the world. Instead of Tony Robbins, I found John Di Lemme, who founded Life Style Freedom Club, which assists people in expanding their personal development.

I emailed him and he agreed to do an interview, but he never responded to my questions. So I thought, “I’m a fairly intelligent person. I can figure this out on my own.”

Memories of Katie, and how she viewed the world, made me realize it was time. That I needed to undertake a completely new lifestyle based on one notion: Any one of us can do something — anything — to improve our lives.

And so I will.

My first assignment will be: to forget myself.

I don’t have any crippling emotional baggage, but I do feel more aware of existential and world problems. They require a higher sense of empathy than perhaps many people around me experience. This sense of empathy is important, but it can also hinder.

Forgetting myself merely means to stop looking inward, and to look outward more. Hopefully this will alleviate me of the hindrances. This clearly won’t be easy, and surely won’t be made any easier by the vast American ocean of greed, materialism and narcissism. Like many other things, I predict it will be like quitting an addiction: there will be calls and desires to turn back. But I’m determined to persevere.

I’ll be chronicling it all right here, in this blog called, “Resolution and Independence.” Here I will chart my success (or lack thereof) as I go forward. So, here’s to a future without YOLO, and with something much more meaningful instead.




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