Fuck Carpe Diem

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Everyday we see articles, blog posts and annoying little Facebook status updates on how we should live our lives like it’s our last day on Earth.

 

Follow your dreams, quit your job, be free, be adventurous, do something different. Whilst I do not disagree entirely with this advice, I find it rather exhausting.

 

Carpe Diem – the ultimate motto that tell us to seize the day and enjoy life. However, it is also one of the most stressful mottos you can come across. It reminds you that your life is not great, that you are not living to your fullest potential, that you are not making the most out of your time on this planet and that you are missing out on something, big time.

 

But, what if living life to its fullest potential could be achieved by other means? What if it was all about what you want, and how you like to live? What if it didn’t involve bullet-proof social skills, a high-paid job, exotic travelling or meditating under a tree?

 

To seize the day can have a whole different meaning than the one implied by most conveyors of the message. What if you like stability, to live in the same place, having the same friends, doing the same routine? What if you value more dinner with your family than a backpack trip through South-East Asia? What if, your ultimate goal is to see your kids grow into healthy adults or dedicate your life to study some period of world history between four walls? Hardly glamorous, but equally valid nonetheless.

 

To seize the day doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to become someone else. It means that you should explore what you already are and who you aspire to be and go through with what you like and what you want to do with your life.  It means that you should be present, in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest.

 

To get out of your comfort zone is the best, and perhaps the most effective, way to grow as a human being. You can do this within your own world without becoming a different person. It is important to live different experiences in order to develop an as individual. These experiences, however can and should be within the scope of your life vision. Now, go and carpe the fuck out of your diem, whatever that means for you.

3 Comments

  1. Gotta disagree with this article, though respectfully. I’m sure the over-used “Carpe Diem” phrase isn’t intended for the stable citizen, living a life of routine, concentrating on raising respectable offspring.
    It’s meant for the true individual at a specific window of opportunity in one’s life. A married 48 year old with three kids can’t Carpe the crap out of his Diem. At his stage in life, he’s pretty much done. So is the suddenly open-minded 60 year old taking a last stab at some adventure. Sorry pal, your Diem is Carpe’d out.
    The phrase is for the young to break out of their man-made and self-imposed restraints to embrace new horizons in life. To seek aspects of existence previously unpondered and not considered. I see this as a time sensitive catch phrase that has a very short shelf life. For the rest of us outside of the “Carpe Diem” point in the timeline of life, it’s just an empty phrase.

    • I think it’s applicable to everyone and not time sensitive at all. It is a matter of interpretation. In my view, it’s more about being present, in the moment, and enjoying life. You don’t stop carping the hell out of your diem because your are old; there is always something to do, goals to achieve, moments to live. I do agree that the phrase is mostly intended for the young (at least in the way we are exposed to it nowadays through social media, etc. – which is why I wrote this post), and consequently younger people may perhaps have a more visionary interpretation of it, as you point out. This does not necessarily mean that older people cannot mould the motto to fit into their life vision.

    • You think a 60-year old is done and 40-somethings with children can’t enjoy life. Of course you’d disagree with the article.

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