I asked five strangers how they’d feel about their lives if they died tomorrow

And I learnt I was pretty shit at approaching strangers.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

There’s a common misconception flying around that I’m a confident person. This is probably because I tell myself I am and then that’s portrayed with an air of certainty when I’m talking to people or doing something rad for my blog. But just let me assure you with this: usually when I’m doing anything beyond the safety net of friends and family, it takes effort to interact with people. On the inside I’m often curled up under a bed somewhere.

I’m confident in my ability to cover up these nerves but I really don’t know when I can expect my anxiety of talking to people to subside. Thus it’s one of the reasons Comfort is for Wimps came to be; to help me stop being such a boob.

So I’ve decided to go out each week and ask five strangers different questions about comfort zones. I think it’ll be interesting to get some insight into the minds of people different from each other and I’ll have to grow some more guts in the process.

Now I know the title of this post says I went out and asked people how they would feel about their lives if they died tomorrow. But the truth is my plan was ill-conceived so I asked the question in a far more complicated and less effective way. I asked: If you were on your deathbed tomorrow, would you look back at your life and wish you lived life more to the full?


Once they said yes or no, I kind of had to milk out more information like any good journo should I guess. But only one person let me take their photo for my post, so this could all totally be made up you wouldn’t know. Or is it?

Lastly, the title says I asked five but I only asked four. The last two people I approached rejected me as if I was interrupting their Saturday by trying to sell them mothballs. I just couldn’t cope anymore and went home. Give me a break, it was my first week.

Age 18

I found Abbey working in a pharmacy and she’s a self-identified homebody who doesn’t go out much. She’s definitely not a fan of feeling outside her comfort zone. She was willing to admit that being comfortable is easy. And she’s not sure where she got this mindset from because her parents aren’t particularly skittish. Her mum is adventurous and her dad is fearless.

To be fair, Abbey is only 18 and is about to start university. In her words, “who knows how I will change”. Rock and roll, Abbey.

Age 26

Bubbly Leah was on her lunch break and didn’t feel very glam so I got a picture of her iced refreshment instead. Leah has been in a “slump” the last few years but was pleased to inform me that within the last few months she’s made loads of exciting life changes. Having moved out of the in-laws and into a new apartment, she’s joined a gym, is cooking more and is spending more time on her creative outlets. This has made her feel like she is living life more to its fullest. Ride that freedom wave, gurl.

“I don’t disclose personal information”
Age est. 44

This man was a particularly awkward interviewee. He doesn’t “disclose personal information to anybody” so I don’t know what his name or age was. In fact, did he even exist? I’d estimate he was about 44 and a half.

I also couldn’t really hear what he was saying because he spoke like an ant, but he said something about working in litigation in Castle Hill. He said that he knows he will look back on his life from his deathbed and say he worked too much and wish he went skydiving.

His last comment was “but you’re a very pretty girl and you don’t need to worry about too much”. It was directly related to absolutely nothing we had been discussing. Stranger danger.

Age 35

I approached Rachel and her French boyfriend because they were standing outside a bag shop admiring travel bags. They were pleased to report that they had pretty good lives, full of travel. They were actually about to move back to France. And they’d just been in New Caledonia on holiday. They were a friendly and approachable couple and I felt in tune with their intrepidness. Rachel also spoke French which is pretty great. Speaking another language is definitely one of those things that would make my life feel a little more full. Bon voyage, Abbey and boyf.

No one
Age no age

This person who doesn’t exist is a good example of exactly how capable I am of wimping the hell out. But if they did exist, I’d hope they were a 70+ man, who would look back on their life and tell me they nailed it.


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