yolo and the theme park brigade

i learned a new word this week. 2 years late. hmm. make it x-years late.

yolo.

it popped up the other day when a trio of us were sharing notes about the ill-effects of ageing . someone quipped, life’s short, yolo. at 4 decades (+) old, i didn’t need to be reminded about how short life was. it was as clear as a full moon’s night.

yolo? there’s a familiar ring to it. but my processor was the 286. no amount of face-scrunching was able to retrieve that phantom recollection. something related to yoda, perhaps?

you only live once. PL explained. she must know. she’s a mother of 2 pre-teen boys.

and all this while, i’ve been living on the death star.

here’s how you are supposed to work it.

@ 14 years of age: yolo! get off my back and let me enjoy my youth in peace (inebriated)

@ 44 years of age: yolo …? omg! what have i done with my life (outraged, sobered, desolate, regretful)

there’s a more sinister side too.

that goads/taunts/incites people (mostly self) to do things that they baulk at doing because it is wrong/idiotic/silly/harmful/suicidal etc.

for example fried chicken! looks yummy! i’m going to eat them all up. yolo! 

or herion … ! i shouldn’t touch it … but hey, yolo!

or i’m driving! and i can take a selfie while i drive! how cool is that! yolo!

rip people.

well. yolo need not be all negative. in the right hands, it could evoke a heightened sense of urgency/awareness.

PL: yolo.

me: yeah. ok.

WL: yolo! go for it like going for a theme park!

that piqued our interest immediately. we knew WL had returned recently from a trip to a theme park with her 2 kids. we also knew she could be counted on to turn our thinking on its head.

now, people change, once they have kids. even the coolest ones. suddenly, when your back is turned, they’d morphed into veteran members of the theme park association. the zoo, disneyland, legoland, universal studio, hello kitty etc. in my company, the tussle for the zoo card is as ferocious as a mob fight.

where is this heading? 

see, life offers many different experiences, if you bother to experience it. like, the different sections of a theme parks and rides, some rides scare the wits out of you, some are a breeze. but when we pay to get into a theme park, we aim to try everything, maximise our time. So we study the park map and strategise, we aim to conquer as many sites as possible. we go for it without procrastination. after we’re spent, when we look back, we feel immensely satisfied with ourselves. there’s a sense of achievement.

in life, why cant we do the same?

uh-huh.

staying put in 1 location, isn’t that boring? and come to the end of it, that can we remember of “this life”. so, we should not be afraid to try. the experiences can be extremely rewarding…

sometimes, it is scary to think…if you get stuck in one place…life can be a “blank”….because we didn’t venture out of our comfort zone.

ponderous silence. then PL chipped in. 

that’s right. life is like a roller coaster, it has ups and downs, some fast days, some slow ones … you meet all kinds of people with different personalities similar to those cartoons characters… as if that is not enough, you get stuck with people who beat around bushes like a merry go round. at times, you need go through a dark and rough patch and learn to get out in one piece safely… just like the magic mountain ride !

i concur. i couldn’t have said it better.

forest gump was so wrong. life isn’t like a box of chocolate.

life is like a theme park. play it as you like, but play it earnestly.

after all, you only live once.

carpe diem.

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