It’s been a few weeks now since the final and epic episode of Breaking Bad aired, and I’m still thinking about the whole TV series and how it ended. What an amazing show.
But there was one line that stood out more than any other line, for me at least…
And that was when Walt said he didn’t feel alive until he knew he was terminally ill with cancer.
What is it, that makes us finally appreciate the time we do have left, and the choices we can still make with the time remaining, once we are intensely reminded that the time we have left is critically limited?
I think the line in Fight Club stands out, when the narrator, played by Ed Norton, said: “Let all that which does not truly matter slide.”
It’s like weeding out the fat, and keeping all the healthy nutrients and good parts of the meat.
And although Walt didn’t make the most noble of decisions throughout his two years of rising to power, he did feel alive due to staying incredibly determined to keep his empire growing, even while repeatedly risking his family’s safety and Jesse’s life. He was truly committed and believed in his choice.
I often wonder how I’d conduct my own life if I only had 6 months to live. Would I still dress the way I do? Would I still spend time doing what I currently do (shopping would take up a huge percentage of the pie chart if I put how I spent my time up on the blackboard)? Who would I spend time with, and what remaining activities would I pursue? How would I invest the remainder of my time wisely? What choices would I make?
And the other fun thought exercise inevitably pops up when I think about a shortened life. How about if I had all the time in the world because everyone died and I had the entire world to myself, like Will Smith did in I am Legend….what would I choose to do then?
Would I still dress relatively high end and sophisticated like I do now, or would I drastically shift to a more relaxed style due to the threat of feeling insecure being completely removed? Would I start wearing sweats with combat boots for practicality? Would I still want a nice car, or would I drive a truck or a vehicle much more adaptable for multi-purpose usage? Would I still conduct myself the same, and have the same inner dialogue and critiques about myself?
With societal scrutiny and pressure removed, would I still beat myself up for transitioning later than I would have liked? Would I still want to doll up to feel pretty from time to time because of the age old notion that a woman “has to feel pretty every now and then?” Or would I truly not have the urge anymore?
What would I do with my free time to feel alive, like Walt did? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t cook crystal meth, but you never know with these things. People change…and with such dire circumstances and living alone (which I don’t currently deal with too well, but I’m working on it), lord knows I would be apt to snap and try new things to keep my mind occupied. Those meditation tapes I’ve been diligently using each night haven’t really made as big of a difference in my mind wandering and intruding in my daily life as much as I would have liked.
I think I would simplify my life. I really would, just out of sheer practicality and necessity.
And that thought, that notion, bothers me. And I think I know why.
In my mind, I would like to consider myself someone hip, cool, and exciting. And the thought of becoming extremely boring as a result of humanity on the borderline of being extinct, bothers me.
I don’t like the idea of being boring and predictable, even if I can simultaneously be original along with boring and predictable.
I suppose there is still something missing inside me, and until I find what is causing that void, I will be unhappy regardless if I’m in good health or dying of cancer, like Walt.