I believe that many things in life can have an expiration date. Obviously, there’s food—an important type of thing to pay attention to since no one I know likes drinking curdled milk. And there’s make-up, which a lot of people (myself included) either forget about or ignore. But a lot of different things can have expiration dates:
Relationships. Roommates. Education. Life itself.
Relationships are mostly a hidden expiration date. Sometimes you start dating someone and you know that this thing has six months tops. Other times you’ll just be going along your romantic way and you’ll never see the expiration coming, but it does. And sometimes the expiration date of a relationship is death, the ultimate separation. Sometimes it’s good that relationships have expiration dates, because it can let you enjoy the moment. The guy I dated on my first trip to New Zealand is a good example of this. I was only there for three weeks, we both knew that a super long distance relationship was something we didn’t want, and so our five total dates were all fun and wonderful. And sometimes it’s bad, because often only one person within the relationship will sense the end while the other doesn’t.
Roommates are a complicated affair. There’s the obvious expiration of a lease ending, but those can be renewed so sometimes it’s not a guaranteed thing. There are sad expiration dates here, like when an awesome roommate moves out for one reason or another and you miss them very much. There are happy expiration dates too, because the day that a bad roommate moves out is like the clouds parting and angels singing, “Hallelujah.” Often times knowing that a lease is ending is a light at the end of a dark tunnel because it’s knowing that the expiration date is coming within a few months.
Education is a finicky expiration. There’s the (usually) absolute end date of the K-12 time, sometimes longer or shorter than average. College, if someone chooses to go, is a huge variable. Some people intend on doing the four years, and do it. Others realize half way through that it’s not for them and expire. Some come for the four years and stay for five and six, and some never stop learning. Education is something that can expire quickly or can last forever; it all depends on the person.
Life is a tricky expiration. The only true determination of when you die is often suicide (which shouldn’t really be an option in most cases), but otherwise we never know when our time will come. You could be 96 years old and die in your sleep, or 21 in a car accident. That dumbass phrase from a few years ago—YOLO? It’s not too bad when you think about it. If you live each day, knowing that the expiration is coming or that it could come, then you’re probably going to do a little more than just veg out on the couch watching Bones. But then again, don’t be a dumbass and do crazy, dangerous things just because YOLO.
Expiration dates are a good and bad thing. They can keep us safe and healthy, help us make it through a sucky living situation, appreciate every day like it’s our last, and move on from things that have ‘died.’ Sometimes thinking of the end is a sad experience—in the case of an aging relative—but sometimes it’s a great way to hold on and keep going.