YOLO. Oh No!

By Tanya Viala

YOLO. Oh No!!! Let me tell you who coined this phrase before anyone, my 86 year old Grandad- but he used real words. He told me not to live with regrets. His words have spurned me on to change my whole life and so began a journey of living through fear not letting fear stop me from becoming the person who I am today.

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Over the last few years there’s been a rise in this YOLO party culture, a culture of young people who believe in ‘You only live once.’ In fact, didn’t this phrase ‘YOLO’ make it into the dictionary along with ‘chav’? I get the concept totally, but don’t you want to live a long life too? The stupid stuff I’ve seen and heard these young people talk about- and what I did myself at that age- can have a knock on effect for later life. Or worse case scenario, injure you or kill you-nothing YOLO about that. On a separate spiritual note, I actually don’t believe we live once, but that’s another blog entirely…

I’m almost 30 and I’ve recently been meeting a lot of young people ages 19-22, these recent encounters have made me think about age and how what you do as a young person affects you as an adult. I don’t want to get super serious on your ass and be a kill-joy but heck, as a 19-year-old I was dumb and stupid. Or was it that I just knew no better? Being the eldest sibling with no real role models I had to make it on my own and well, I made rather a hash of it.

I’m still getting over the cruel things I did to my body as a younger person. I love being older and I don’t think it’s natural to idealise your youth or wish to be young again. To me age is for those who do not know any better. Not because I’m trying to pretend, because simply it isn’t. The average person is living to well over 85 now, with the advances in medical care and healthy living. The key to a long life is to keep changing and adapting for the better.

I’m not saying we can’t have fun, but with the rise of the ‘party’ culture and idealisation of celebrities I truly feel for the well being and safety of the young people of the world. Social media was not such a big thing as it is now and neither were mobile phones. But hey, I’m not that old. Yes, I do know how to use YouTube and yes, I know what google maps is- I’m 29 not 109! I specifically remember (or perhaps vaguely) that I would constantly binge drink at 19. The doctor told me I had high blood pressure. This was certainly not from eating because I have a serious eating disorder, but the sheer amount of alcohol I would consume. As a young person, we are led by examples and the examples for today’s young people make me sad inside.

There is so much more to life than risk taking behaviours, but I understand that we only perceive life the ways we understand it. If we realised how connected we all are, that we are one, that what you do starts a butterfly effect- perhaps we would think more before acting.

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So, to the young people out there and those of us who have younger siblings or adolescent young children, I just want to say YOLO- Oh No! Live a full life, have fun, put down your phone, make memories- but real memories not fake copied ones because you’ve seen some idiot on the internet or social media do it. And most importantly, take care of your body, what you do as a young person follows you into your adult life.

 

Love, Kindness and Honesty Always,

Tanya Viala

 

 

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*Images provided by Tanya Viala. Personal and Google Image search.