Severe case of midlife crisis

I had a bit of a scare a few months ago. When I was undressing in the evening, I noticed blood on my shirt. I looked to see where it had come from and discovered a new mole - large, irregular, and bleeding.

Of course, I have googled images of skin cancer in the past. I am that type of person. When I saw something like that on my skin, I felt a surge of nausea. I did not sleep well that night.

My GP told me that after forty, all sorts of strange things appear on the skin. Not all of them are malignant. No need to panic prematurely, she said. A specialist will look at it and tell you if it is cancer or not.

I have a vivid imagination. During those few days of waiting, I repeatedly imagined, in detail, that instead of my small and innocent worries, I could soon have real ones - hospitals, nausea from chemotherapy, and thoughts of death.

The good thing was that my usual worries suddenly lost importance. There were a few waves of intense anxiety, but also several surprisingly good moments when I imagined that in a few days, they would tell me that I didn’t have cancer and everything would be great. Having an unfulfilling job and no money did not matter anymore.

And I was lucky. It was benign. What a relief! I was enjoying the pure joy of life for approximately two days. On the third day, a colleague pissed me off.

This guy has a method. He takes what I say and twists my words into something absurdly stupid. He then pretends that I am the one saying the stupidity and refutes it (at least he thinks so) with such a condescending tone that the Dalailame himself would lose his nerve.

But this time, after a few minutes of annoyance, I realized - I don’t have cancer. Some people do have cancer, and they would surely give anything to exchange their horror for a little argument with a fool. Arguing with him would be like a shot of Absinthe, which makes you shake with disgust at first, but after a minute, you feel alive.

The truth is, though, that I was lucky this time, but one day, I will die. It could be years from now or tomorrow. I usually live immersed in my small worries (I forgot to do those tax forms) and do not think about how precious each day is and how soon it can all end. But now I can’t stop thinking about it. And I’m afraid I am not making the best use of the days I have left.

I saw a commercial years ago that somehow stuck in my head - a man resting on a bench notices that Death with a scythe is staring at him. Everything stops. There is that moment when his whole life flashes before his eyes. And it was an interesting life - trips to exotic places, fun with friends, sunsets with beautiful women… that sort of thing. And the ad says: “When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure there is plenty to watch.”

It’s probably not the best idea to draw life wisdom from a TV commercial, but there’s some truth in it. My life isn’t that bad. I shouldn’t complain… but damn, I’ve slipped into utter monotony over the last few years! I brush my teeth, go to work, leave work, make dinner, eat it while watching “funny” videos on YouTube, brush my teeth, and sleep. Every now and then, a brief escape on vacation.

I spent a summer working in the United States, way back when I was still at college. It wasn’t easy. But it was intense. I have so many memories from that summer. And even more than twenty years later, those memories are still vivid and heartwarming.

Not much from the past few years has stuck in my memory. And now, all of a sudden, I have a terrible longing to experience something like those times in the US again. To have something worth watching when the time comes.

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