I’m sure my downstairs neighbor really appreciated when I knocked on her door the other morning and asked “Are we dying a slow and painless death right now?” These are not words that should come out of your mouth in any serious-type fashion, and certainly not the way any individual should start their Saturday morning. Typically my M.O. for these particular days would be to roll out of bed very slowly, saunter into the kitchen sans pants, and then make myself a cup of coffee. I’d catch up on the most pertinent celebrity smut, decide if my current level of hygiene warranted a shower, and then meander down the road to work where I’d live the dream: slinging burgers and brews into the night with some of my best friends.
Instead of this sacred routine being my reality, I woke up to find out there was carbon monoxide leaking throughout my apartment and that it had been for quite some time. In case you’re not aware carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. Now all these traits make it sound kind of cool and sneaky, what I failed to mention is that while it is sneaky, it’s definitely not cool because, oh yeah: that shit can will kill you.
In the interest of making a very long story short, with the exception of being displaced for two days, and having some mild carbon monoxide poisoning – I and everyone else in my residence is lucky to be alive and kicking it at this current point in time. The two little cherubs that live downstairs will continue to be kids, and I get to go on with my ridiculous life as planned. Had it not been for chance (our gas company came out on an unrelated issue and discovered this) I might not be here updating my blog, trying to make light out of a situation that was in actuality pretty dark.
In everything there is a lesson to be learned and as a wonderful friend half-jokingly proposed to me in regards to this situation: What did you learn from this? Well for starters:
Keep your eyes peeled out for odorless, tasteless, invisible gas.
I kid – but seriously consider this your PSA for having functioning carbon monoxide detectors in your house. That shit is sneaky like a fox and it will kill you quicker than a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the face.
However, I really did learn something and what really resonates for me is this:
Kiss your friends goodbye every time you see them. Don’t be afraid to love passionately or recklessly. Be completely who you truly are, 110% of the time. Smile when the urge hits you, and sit in that moment for a minute before moving on. Meditate on what makes you happy, and accept the things that don’t. Laugh as much as humanly possible. Enjoy each cleansing breath that makes its way into your lungs and breathe it in deeply like it’s your last. Don’t worry about what other people think of you, or adversely what you think about yourself. Fuck money, and if you have something to say – just say it already. Be content with the sheer fact you’ve had the chance to engage in living. Don’t fixate on finding your soul mate, your dream job, or waiting for the other shoe to drop – just be. Take chances because you might not get another one. Surround yourself with positivity and remember every day is new. Know that you can only start from where you are and not where you’d like to be. Be patient, and most importantly, compassionate with yourself. Have gratitude for everything, even when you hate the world. Appreciate the opportunity to experience the good & bad. Be grateful for having obstacles to overcome, pains to struggle through, and pieces of yourself to fix. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Let your friends and your family know how much they mean to you. Follow your heart, do the things you want to do.
We’ve all only got one shot at this, and life is too short to be anything but happy.
My landlord had the actual audacity to complain to me about how much money he had to spend to fix the problem – it was a whooping $10,000. All I could do was hang up the phone before something really unrighteous came out of my mouth. Life is priceless, and I know for a fact – mine is worth far more than any number could ever represent.
So I will take this experience, and understand that I am safe and sound and that everything is okay. It was hard to come back – I felt like everything was covered in toxic energy and no amount of all-purpose cleaner could take that away.
Turns out my landlord hadn’t serviced the furnaces in years. Instead he chanced the lives of six people, and decided we weren’t as important as saving a few bucks. I refused to set foot back in my own apartment until there were new carbon monoxide detectors installed. He brought two over along with formal letter stating he had dropped them off and to contact him with any problems. His priority is covering his own ass, and no – I never got an apology. The situation left me perplexed between deciding if people are inherently good or inherently bad. Despite what you may think – I will not be choosing the latter.
Per this experience I can’t help but to be overwhelmed with the greatness of my friends, and co-workers, who did everything in their ability to make sure I was okay, loved, and taken care of. They feed me, gave me a place to stay, and showed their appreciation to the sheer fact that I was alive. It’s easy to complain a lot of the time, get stuck in a rut, or to feel frustrated with life. However, it’s dually important to have a reminder once in a while just how precious and beautiful life really is.