30 days is enough

I had a dream the other night. I‘ll make a long story short – a friend of mine, student of medicine, told me she‘s so sorry to tell me that I have a terminal cancer. She could see it on my face. It was a type that was not yet described in medical books. She said that I had 20 to 30 days left. I looked at my other friend, also a medicine student, hoping he would disprove it. But he nodded.

With both friends, I‘ve searched for some information on the internet and we came across an astrology journal, which mentioned this type of cancer. It starts with blood stains appearing around eyes and spreading across the whole face. Patient is usually pale and very tired.

I looked at myself in the mirror. I was pale, tired and I already looked half dead. I was still coping with dying. It felt surreal. We were hanging out on the beach, something I never truly liked (such a “waste of time”). On that day, I enjoyed it immensely. I had this moment of clarity – realizing that 30 days is enough to enjoy life. I knew I had to grab every day as tight as possible and live it. Live it with my whole heart.

Later on, I went to the school. I had a statistics class. Spoiler alert, I‘m having an exam on Tuesday. I sat down, restless, and awaited the arrival of our professor. She showed up and immediately felt my anxiousness and she called me out on it. I walked up to her and I said: “That‘s it. I‘m quitting. I‘ve got some 30 days left and I don‘t intend to spend them studying statistics. I want to live. I want to feel. I‘ll be done in a month, you know?” Then I addressed the rest of the class. “And I advise you to do the same. How much time do you think you have left, hm? 50 years at best. 50 years. And you‘ll die. Maybe tomorrow, maybe when you‘re seventy. How would you really enjoy living your life?” and I left.

I do not recall what I did in the rest of the dream. At some point, I woke up. My heart was pounding and I felt heavy and so vulnerable – I was clutching at my life. I was so afraid that there might be someone behind the door of my room, someone who would come and kill me. I did not want to die. I kept breathing deeply into my belly.

I had 30 days in that dream. I don‘t know how many days I have in my life. There might be a Black Swan waiting round a corner. Who knows. I‘m living as if I am never going to die. So I am sitting here, knowing that this afternoon, and tomorrow, and during the weekend, I‘ll be studying statistics. I‘ll be preparing for my exams. I‘m afraid I shan‘t be doing it…

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About Petr Klíma