20 years to live

swimmerguy's picture

What would you do if you went to the doctor right now and they told you that in exactly 20 years, you would simply drop dead, feeling just fine up to this point. How would you react, and how would you live the rest of your life? 10 years? 5 years? 1 year? 1 month? 1 day? 5 minutes? 1 second?

tenmilestilts's picture

if it was 20 years, it

if it was 20 years, it wouldn't change my life hugely, except that i'd be less hesitant to do things i wanted.
if it was 10 years, i'd make sure everything i did was because i wanted to do it, not because i felt i ought to. i'd still finish high school and go to college, but i wouldn't necessarily get a permanent job after that.
if i had 5 years to live, i would do study abroad programs to go places and meet people while i had the chance.
if i only had one year, i would come out to everybody. tell K i love her, and who cares about the guy she's going out with? i'd still go to school, but i'd stop worrying about the future, and do everything i wanted to do in life--fencing, acting and singing, learning to play the guitar properly, reading the inferno and all the other books on my list, take photos of everything, and show all my love to the people who have it.
if i had a month to live--i'd do something new every day. and take the people i love with me.
if i had a day, i would make sure i died surrounded by friends and family. and if i could, i'd die in some awesome place like olympic national park or something.
with 5 minutes to live, there isn't much i could do. tell everyone i love them, i guess.
...there's not a lot you can do in one second.

now i'm feeling morbid and vaguely depressed. =/
Two wrongs don't make a right but three lefts do!

ReinbowGrl's picture

In 20 years, I'll be almost

In 20 years, I'll be almost 40. I can probably continue to live my life. If I had 10 years, I'd travel the world. 5 years, buy a house on the beach and have a pet goldfish. 1 year, I'd be making love to my girlfriend every day. 1 month...i'd go to disney world, since i've never been. 1 week...make more lovin with my lady. 1 day left, i'd grab my surf board and release my gold fish. then more lady loving....are we seeing a patern? with my last 5 minutes i'd confess my (un)dying love to my gf. boring. :]

- - - - - - - -
Grow tall sugarcane, eat that soil, drink the rain. But know that they'll chase you if you play their little games. So run, run fast, sugarcane.

5thstory's picture

In twenty years I'd be

In twenty years I'd be practically forty. What would I do? Well, life insurance would be pretty meaningless, wouldn't it? That's one thing I know.

I guess I would keep on travelling and doing the stuff I want to do... perhaps I would change my plans a little and learn to cook professionally first. I would remain a gourmand nonetheless.

" . . . The sun does not shine upon this fair earth to meet frowning eyes, depend upon it." Charles Dickens

stardust's picture

20 years...

If I had 20 years to live I'd be almost 38, that's not even middle aged. I guess because I'm young 20 years seems like a long time, but I'm 17 and 1/2 and I feel like I've already wasted so much time. So I'd continue on with things, finish high school, go to college, pursue work that makes me happy, dive into my passions, hopefully have a family, and try to leave a legacy behind.

If I had 10 years I'd travel the world, spend at least one year living in another country, maybe go to college but might just take classes in what interests me, I'd take every opportunity I could and try to live the happiest life possible.

If I had 5 years, that's 22 years old...I'd travel, date and hope for love, I'd lose all inhibitions probably, spend time with my family, move to NYC, I'd make amazing friends, see the northern lights, I'd find my own spirituality and religion separate from what my father tries to make me believe, do volunteer work, write, read all the books I never have time to read, and make as many photographs as humanly possible.

If I had 1 year...screw high school, screw inhibitions or fear or reservations, I'd go skydiving and bungee-jumping (won't die till the year's over!) go swimming with sharks (because I always thought that would be an insane rush but I'm too chicken for it) spend time with family, have some serious talks with my friends and keep the ones who are genuine, spend some time at a monestary, read, write till my hand gets carpal tunnel, make photos, ask people out without hesitation, fall in love, come out to everyone via whatever means necessary- in person, phone, letter, e-mail, facebook- life's to short. Go on a road trip. Go to the Bonaroo Music Festival and Summerfest Festival. Try Roller Derby. Learn to cook. Learn the tango, salsa, and belly-dancing. I'd still move to NYC, it's a dream of mine. Visit Italy for a few weeks. Write about the whole year up until I can't and leave it all- poems, stories, vignettes, letters, essays, etc.- to someone important to me. Change someone else's life for the better. Fight for LGBT Equality. Have the ultimate year of my life.

If I had 1 month...I'd go a little wild. I'd party and stay out all night having fun. Have dinner with family and friends every night. Reconnect with certain people. Sleep out under the stars. Write. Wake up every day and try doing something new, go where the day took me, outside of the suburbs. I'd give away all of my favorite books, because I love them and it would be meaningful to me to give them to people I care about.

If I had 1 day...I'd come out to my sister, so that at least one person I love would truly know me. I'd go to the queer youth center. I'd run through the outside park fountain downtown- the kind where the water shoots up out of the ground and people run through it. I'd have dinner with my family, I'd see as many of my scattered friends as I could, tell everybody how much I love them and how much they mean to me. Eat all my favorite foods. Thank people I've always been grateful to for certain reasons. Call or write anyone I couldn't see. Just have a wonderful day...

If I had 5 minutes...I'd call everyone I love or just keep calling somewhere and leave mass voice recording messages to everybody. And I'd make my little brother promise me that he wouldn't enlist until the war's over, because if my family lost one kid, then two would devastate it. -But I'd make him promise me this if I had 5 years or less, but the less time, the more dire it would seem to me.

If I had 1 second...well you can't really do anything in 1 second. I'd probably hug the doctor, which is weird, but having 1 second left might make somebody want some human contact seeing as they wouldn't even have time to be shocked.

loreonpravus's picture

20 years- Chill, relax. Then

20 years- Chill, relax. Then have a major freak-out. No way am I gonna die at that age. But other than that, keep working through school, blaze through uni, all the while traveling, seeing the world- doing what I want to do anyways. Marry and have babies somehow. I would hate to leave them behind, but that's how I see my life anyways, doomed to die or not, at that age.

10 years- Speed up life. Try to fast track. Date around and be happy. Settle down in a good job, work a little, travel.

5 years- Live. Study barely enough to pass first, second, third year uni, and spend all the extra time not studying partying and having a good time.

1 year- Screw parental restrictions! It's party time. Go out and live and party and get a girlfriend, and get laid.

1 month- See 1 year, except more intensely and faster.

1 day- Find my first girlfriend (or my best friend), explain the situation and coerce her into having sex with me, because I'm not dying a virgin. Then break into that fancy car store, and drive around like a maniac in my newly acquired Lamborghini.

5 minutes- Eat as much of the food I love as is physically possible.

1 second- drop dead.

ferrets's picture

let us see then....

if i had twenty years...i would without ferrets, this world would be hell in try my best to build a kick ass castle, then turn it into a piant ball fortress
10 years...travel europe as much as possible
5 years...try to get to europe, and spend so much time with my bf
1 year...LOsE VIRGINITY TO MY BOYFRIEND after which i would probley not really do anything specail
1 month...try to win a chess compitetion
5 minutes...hold me ferret one last time, and kiss my bf one last time, and die in his arm
1 sec...do something stupid so ill always be rembered as the most fial tarded death in history

without ferrets, this worl would be hell in a hamster cage

Hakase's picture


My immediate reaction given 20 years to live: "I would need a baby NOW."
So yeah. I'm actually kind of surprised how automatic my answer was, but I really want kids, and I really want to be able to fully raise them.
I'd have to think about what I'd do given less time.

Nanook's picture

I'd like to think I would do

I'd like to think I would do as Morrie Schwartz did, and surround myself with people I love, and keep the self-pity to a low, but who knows.

Anyway, what do you mean, by "twenty years to live"? Am I going to die of a degenerative nervous disease like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or of an immune disease like HIV/AIDS? Or will I just drop dead without any degeneration in health?

Well, for the time being I assume I'll just drop dead.

Considering I have yet to complete high school, I'd like to do that. I'd continue on to university where I'd either pursue a bachelor's in public health or I'd go the pre-med route, and eventually attend medical school. By the time I'm an MD, I'll of lived ten out of of my twenty years. However, I still need to get Board Certification to practice, which is another three years, and then I'd most likely go into a fellowship and specialize or sub-specialize. So that's another five to seven years. That places me with five to three years left. From there, I'd probably just spend the rest of my days volunteering and collect no income. I mean, I'll be dead in a few years, why the hell do I need a Subaru WRX? If the United States doesn't have universal healthcare by then, then I'll offer my services to the impoverished. If there is universal healthcare, then here we come developing world!

Basically, nothing changes, except that I don't get an income from my career.

Oh, btdubs, I assume I'll of found a lover by the time I'm dead.

And uhm... What prompted a rather morbid topic?

swimmerguy's picture


I mentioned that you would just drop dead. I posted this because I've wondered what people would do if all of a sudden they knew when they were going to die, and, since 20 years is a long time, would they spend all their time dreading the end? Would they throw away their life because they knew they wouldn't live to regret it? Or just continue as usual?

"The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority." Margaret Chase Smith

Lol-taire's picture

I'd have a baby. Actually I

I'd have a baby. Actually I wouldn't because I really still need my mother quite a lot now aged 20 (which is really bloody old) and it would be unfair to leave a 19 year old motherless.

What a horrible question.

oldfoxbob's picture

Jump for joy!

Hey at my age twenty years is great...I will be lucky to live 5 years with the death Sentence my DR gave me two years ago...LOL...That means I could live to be 77...great....

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

in rainbows's picture

let's see

if i was told i only had 20 years to live...I'd do everything i was already gonna do, id just make sure not to take time spent with my brothers and sister for granted, i'd make sure that i told my girl how much i loved her over and over again throughout those years, we'd get married and spend the last few years of my life together.
if i only had ten years to live i'd finish school, and some get a decent job and travel around the world with my girl, and take my siblings with me on occasion ;) lol. id get married to her as soon as i could.
if i only had 5 years to live id finish school, move closer to my girl and just spend the rest of my five years with her, i'd invite the family out there to visit us and id just try to enjoy life. and cry every now and then. :/
(come to think of it this is kinda making me feel not so happy lol)
if i only had one year to live like loreonpravus said screw parental restrictions! I'd find a way to move closer to my girl and do stuff XD. i wouldn't really care about school anymore ( i mean im dying in a year why bother right?)
if i only had one month to live id well....same thin as one year 'cept id spend more time with Christina.
if i only had one day id call my mom and tell her im sorry for what i did, and ask to speak to the kids. id call my girl and just talk to her fr the rest of the day. and cry my eyes out of course
if i only had five minutes id call Christina right away and tell her that i love her, and id cry even more
if i only had one second id.......id flip off the doctor.

hm this really makes you think :(

"why, does she have a penis?" -Datarock
(cause im geeky like that XD)

jmy's picture

i would spend everyday doing

i would spend everyday doing anythign and everything i wanted, i would travel, love, experience and leave behind things so people will remember me. I would direct shows and write one about my death. I would put all my energy into making the world better and making sure i am remebered when i leave this earth.

kuu2's picture

very simple.

if i had twenty years, id make sure i had a lil baby boy first.
if i had ten, well i speed my life up and do all i wanted to do. fall in love, go to summer olympics, go to japan. watch every gay movie ever made. have one night stand. tell my grandma off. and kill someone...
if i had 5, basically the same. and kill someone..
if i had 1 year, i would quit school and travel the world. and come to peace with the meaning of life.
if i had one month, id quit school and go to japan and live there to ill died.
if i had one day, i make amends for life and spend it with friends and family.
if i had five minutes, i jump off a building. (always wanted to fly)
if i had one second, id say i love life. :)
Life is easily complicated.

tenmilestilts's picture

omg, i love your idea for 5

omg, i love your idea for 5 minutes! that's so beautiful and poetic. ^^ nearly made me tear up a little.
Two wrongs don't make a right but three lefts do!

l.enigma_ambulante's picture

20: I would finish college,

20: I would finish college, get my master's, figure out what I want as a career, and go for it. I would fall in love and get married... if I had my choice, it would be Becky. I would live with her and adopt a child, have a cat or two, and live for her and our child. I would spend my last days making love to her and spending time with our child.

10: I would do everything as I would do within 20 years, except for having a child. I couldn't see having a child for only a few short years before I had to leave her and the child...

5: I would finish college and travel the world for a year. Or maybe I would just drop everything and travel for a year, then spend the rest with my family and Becky.

1 year: I would drop college and move back home to spend time with my family. I would make sure to let her know that I love her and always will. I would fall asleep with her in my arms every night, and wake her with a kiss every morning.

1 month: Same as 1 year.

1 day: I would go home, pick her up, bring her to my house, and die in her arms.

5 minutes: I would call my family and tell them I love them, and to tell Becky that I love her, too.

1 minute: I would try to do the same thing as 5 minutes.

1 second: Cry a tear, and die, I guess.

[[Love means you can never be apart... <3]]

toreador_18's picture

Que sera sera...

20 years: Graduate, become a star of some sort, make millions, live a vagrant life, move to Ireland, bed a few thousand women along the way.

10 years: Graduate, live a vagrant life, make a masterpiece or two, bed a few hundred woman along the way.

5 years: Drop out of college, liquidate savings, work on my projects, live a vagrant life, bed a hundred women along the way.

1 year: Drop out of college, liquidate savings, sell everything, go overseas, seduce Lol-taire and twenty others.

1 month: Drop out, give away possessions, have sex with Azure a few more times, run away to Vancouver where it's warm and await my demise.

1 week: Skip class, stay up for days, write a song, make love to someone, anyone.

1 day: Run around town.

1 hour: Call my folks and apologize for everything. Tell everyone everything.

1 minute: Listen to the first few bars of The Replacements song Unsatisfied.

1 sec: Laugh.