It is an error to divide people into the living and the dead: there are people who are died-alive, and people who are alive-alive. The dead-alive also write, walk, speak, act. But they make no mistakes; only machines make no mistakes, and they produce only dead things. The alive-alive are constantly in error, in search, in question, in torment.

Yevgeny Zamyatin

Are you dead-alive or are you alive-alive? Don’t be so quick to answer and reflect on how you have lived, how you are living, and most importantly ask yourself how you intend to live.

Many people are nothing more than machines. They know how to move something from one point to another. They can’t wait for Friday and their one week vacation in Cuba. They can’t wait to have a drink, to post a selfie, to tell their children ‘because I say so’ and so they produce, making no mistakes. They produce nothing of value, nothing to be cherished, and everything that dies.

Your life can be different. That hour upon which you take your last breath you will be One day divided into the living and the dead. You don’t have to spend much time on this because it will be done for you, when you least expect it, and this is done so you can get on with the act of living. That is why you were born, to live and to make a difference in the world.

So the only thing remains to decide is if you’re going to live like a machine, like so many other of your friends and neighbours, or if you’re going to truly live and accept a life of torment. The word torment gets a bad reputation. It means pain, suffering, anguish, affliction, and misery. Don’t be afraid of words, they are only there to help and torment is not such a bad thing, not when compared with the irony of being dead and going with the motions of living.

You have two choices when you wake up. You will choose to act or react. You are going to watch or you are going to create something worth watching, worth talking about, tasting, listening to and enjoying. You have a choice to give or to take. Taking means death. Giving means life.

Come to terms with constantly making error of judgment. Fall in love with searching and seeking something you know is worthwhile, but something that frustrates the hell out of you. Fall in love in questioning the purpose and existence of everything you deem worthwhile. Most of all, don’t turn into a machine or an automaton. 

Don’t scroll social media sites because you always scroll social media sites. Don’t click like because you feel you need to click like. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Stay silent if you have to. Shout loud as well. Embrace failure, disappointment, confusion, misunderstanding, subtle forms hatred, and anything else that comes along with meaningful living.

You are alive-alive, or at least you should be. Dead-alive goes to work on Monday, bitches and complains all week long, and drinks themselves to sleep on the weekends. Their years blur into a forgettable mist of pity and tiredness. They busy themselves with things that matte, which is why tormenting yourself with being alive-alive is so important.

Being alive is not for the faint of heart. It is a privilege and a mission you should accept and obey. You’re great. There is no doubt about it, so show off your greatness. In your mistakes, in your uncertainty, and despite meaningful torment.