Okay, here it is, my unpopular opinion of the day: I disagree with Eminem. Vehemently. I have to, I just have to. I cannot – nay, will not, allow myself to believe that we only get one shot. One shot? And if we miss our chance to blow? Opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo). Once in a lifetime? No. Just, no. And I’m fairly sure “she” would disagree, as well.
If I buy his sentiments – however much I dig the song and as well appreciate the statement the Artist is making – it’s HERE, the time is NOW, dammit! Seize that fucking moment & roll with it! – then I’m fucked. Just fucked.
My kids would roll their eyes in annoyance if you were to ask them just how many times during their childhood I spat out idealistic encouragement about the shortness of their young lives – to enjoy every moment because real life was creeping up on them, and eventually – and sometimes suddenly, death. I wasn’t macabre about at – I don’t think, anyway – although maybe one could draw conclusions…
But once my mother died, these messages of just do it, already became increasingly important for me to convey to my kids – as well as just about anyone who would listen. We would all die – every last one of us slowly marching toward the end, so we’d better enjoy the time we gots, dammit. What’d I say about macabre?
It’s just the whole “one shot/missed opportunity” thing- I don’t buy it. I mean, I’ve been capitalizing on shots and opportunities for years, publishing my work in several anthologies and magazines. I enjoyed working as a writer, itching a life-long scratch to have my work published, but for the better part of my life I’ve expressed that I wanted more, visualizing a big, fat book with my name in large red letters at the bottom and a bestseller sticker affixed to its cover. And then, for all my efforts and dreaming? (More of latter, no doubt.) I quit writing. Don’t ask me why, I’ll shrug and roll my eyes at my lack of self confidence and inability to DO. (ADHD, much?) And I went back to a day job. So, was that it? Did I miss my shot? Am I SOL, the end, no more? And if so, why the hell bother?
And then sweet redemption. Just a few verses later an ad-lib lyric of that same song reminds us that we can do anything we put our minds to – no caveat about timing, no single shot, no passed moments. And that bias I can get behind, if only because of my supposed eternal optimism, but moreover because the message is that nothing is impossible, we can do what we wish to do, and we fucking got this.
And with that reminder my Eminem evangelism is intact. And I feel much more confident about the idea that opportunity still lies ahead of me, rather than behind. After all, I’m not quite yet 50 years old – still just a baby. And, man, I’m just getting fucking started.