In the last two years, what was the scariest moment you recall? It’s a simple question, loaded with implications. I won’t contaminate the results by providing examples. Be as honest as your conscience (and readership) warrants.
That's easy. But, with all due respect to the Grand Slantmaster, I'm changing the rules on this one just a small amount. I'm going back three years. It's relevant.
So, there I was, sitting in the Clackamas Red Robin with The Wife[tm], and I'm enjoying my favorite and least guilt-ridden item on the menu, the turkey burger (it really is quite excellent, folks, you oughta checkitout). Be it duly noted that I am largely erasing whatever benefits I'm bestowing upon myself by liberally partaking of the bottomless steak fries, because, yummmmmm, steak fries.
I'm sitting there, and all of a sudden I get this...feeling. There's an emptyness in the chest, and there's a hitch in my breathing. Now, I'm a bit of hypochondriac, and it comes out at the oddest times. Like this one.
Crap, I think, am I having a heart attack?
When the panic finally consumes me, I gulp down two asprin and ask The Wife[tm] to signal for help. The medics show up soon after, and I'm loaded up into the ambulance and whisked off to Providence Milwaukie and duly examed. I get this horrid tasing orange-colored beverage that is loaded with potassium and wait whilst they take readings and look me over.
They are nice people and work efficiently and quick. There are definitely worse places to find oneself in in a percieved medical emergency than the E/R at Prov Milwauke. Please make a note of it.
I get a chest X-Ray.
Long story short, nothing. I'm okay. There isn't even any reason to keep me there. I'm released in about an hour and a half. The Wife[tm] and I go for a ride, pick up a bottle of rum at the Liquor Store at King Road and Southeast 82nd Avenue, and we make ready for a drive to see SCA friends in Idaho Falls next day (we amounted to the An Tirian ambassadors to the royal court of Artemisia, but that's another story).
Ever since then, I've been a little less afraid to try things. They say you only get one go-around, and I suspect it's true, but until you have to really think am I dying, you just kind of rationalize it all. It's just a philosphical conceit until you get stuck in such a situation.
Until that time I was toying with the idea to go back to school and studying art or design. Before long after that incident I was registered for classes.
Sure, it's kind of cliche'd. But many (if not all) cliches, I think, have thier basis in authentic human behavior. People who have had health scares realize that they may only have one chance at it and characters do change. Ever wonder why Larry King is always on the radio advertising anything that may give you a few extra minutes of life? He's probably still devastated after he was declared clinically dead for a few minutes during one of his heart events and didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing. So, depending on your POV, he's either going to the bad place (which might very well be the Plaid Pantry at the corner of North Interstate and Going) or just going out into oblivion at the end. His behavior seems very desparate to me. But I digress.
Others of us act to try and achieve some goals that we've been putting off in the interest of comfort for a very very long time. And for me, that was to let my inner artist and designer out. I've always wanted to carve a niche for myself, and this seems to be the way; with the writing and editing I'm doing lately, it seems to be paying off.
Of course, I hope there'll be more. I desparately want more; if I leave this mortal coil having little else to show for my productive life than the last twelve years at a place I'm not so proud of, then I will close my eyes at the last being a very disappointed man.
Another cliche' is, that you'll never know what can happen if you don't try and strive, and at least, I'll know that I did positively and constructively try something.
(PS:no, I apparently have no heart problems at present. And, as far as I can tell, I'm nowhere near death).