YOLO (as defined in Urban Dictionary):
- An abbreviation for “You Only Live Once”
- “Carpe diem” for stupid people
Dude 1: I’m gonna go smoke poison ivy and see if my lungs get a rash. YOLO!
Dude 2: Why doesn’t he just say carpe diem? It sounds way better.
Dude 3: Stupid people don’t speak Latin. That’s why they say YOLO.
From what I remember of the YOLO era several years ago, everyone who shouted that acronym was doing something that had a significant chance to end their lives or leave them in a coma. I struggled to understand why so many people interpreted the idea of one life to live as cause for taking unreasonable and unnecessary chances. I always thought, “Yeah! I only get one shot at this life. I don’t want to die from being an idiot when I’m not even old enough to have a properly funded and vested 401k.” Then again, I’ve always been concerned about my investments. Like my pogs. When those things got banned from my elementary school, I knew they were immediately valuable on the Black Market. So, I put them in a safe spot while I searched the yellow pages for an address, but that store wasn’t listed. Now I’m just waiting to remember that secret spot, so I can start to cash in. I’m sure they’re just starting to come in to the vintage range so I’m probably gonna be set for a few more cruising seasons.
You may be shocked to hear that I am, by nature, risk-averse since I’m writing this while living an “alternative lifestyle,” but I’ve been evolving over the years. I’m still not willing to do things that are risky beyond reason, but I’m no longer willing to let life pass me by without fully participating. Old habits are hard to break, and I still catch myself mitigating risk, or trying to make life easy. Most of the time, I’m just trying to avoid embarrassment. I don’t know if I’ll ever truly be carefree enough to go wherever the wind blows or fully follow my heart’s desires, but I think there’s a good middle ground for which to aim. Somewhere between chasing adrenaline and placing myself in a protective bubble, I imagine that I am not alone in hoping for a life full of adventures, good wine, a comfortable (extra firm) bed, and a functioning political system.
I’m willing to concede that we didn’t have to sell all our possessions, move onto a sailboat, and leave the country in order to seize the day. It was a big leap. But we aren’t getting younger, and this specific dream won’t get easier. So, we’re doing the sailing thing for now, and for as long as it’s fun. And even when this chapter ends, I still have other goals – many of which are land based, believe it or not.