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Live every day to the fullest, even if the world isn't ending

Life is what you make of it. Some people choose to spend their days on Earth worrying about what could happen to them, or basking in the negative things that happen throughout the day, and others (such as myself) choose to make the best of every second we breathe.

My motto as a child was to live every day like it's my last, and last Thursday I took that a little too literally.

It all goes back to when I was 14. I remember it was July, and I was spending time with my family out at my lake cabin, and my cousin Kelsey was in town from Denver with a band of friends of hers (who happened to be playing at the 10,000 Lakes Festival).

I remember we were all having a good time playing cards and talking about stuff. Kelsey was very rarely in town (in fact I don't think I've seen her since) so we were discussing everything we could possibly come up with.

That's when the 2012 topic came into play. Her friends (Paper Bird, the 10K Lakes band) were apparently into conspiracies a little bit.

They started talking about how in December of 2012, the world was suppose to end. I had never heard anything about this at the time, and being 14, it immediately caught my attention.

I started asking questions, and they were all so excited that somebody was actually listening to them that they started giving me every possible detail they could. They started feeding me all these apocalyptic possibilities that were supposed to come into play in 2012, and was taking every option into account.

They told me how the sun was supposed to give out extreme solar eruptions that would in turn screw up the Earth's magnetic fields, causing the north and south poles to switch places -- all and all changing the Earth's rotation.

They also told me about how Planet X was suppose to collide with Earth, knocking it way out into the middle of nowhere -- obviously destroying life as we know it.

I'd like to say I didn't listen to a single thing they told me, but I did, and the first thing I did when I got home was research on the Internet all the possibilities I had learned about.

The results freaked me out, because I found websites describing everything they had told me, word for word. I remember sitting at baseball practice with no focus because I was so convinced the world was going to end.

After a year, I had basically forgotten everything about 2012 -- until the movie came out. That just made everything worse. I thought that if it was known well enough to make a movie, it must be all the more possible.

I guess I got slightly smarter with age, because the older I got, the less possible it all started to seem. But when the 12-21-12 deadline neared, I realized I believed it all a lot more than I even knew.

Last Thursday, I took living the day like it's your last to the max. I called people I loved, and said goodbye, just in case.

I woke up Friday slightly surprised to be alive. I walked outside and looked at the sky, and realized not only did the sky look the same as always, but I had spent the last four years secretly thinking the world was going to end, for no reason.

All that hype, and all that stress, was completely pointless, but it taught me something.

It reminded me to cherish everything I've been blessed with in life, but not to such an extreme. I need to take likelihood into account, and not think so much, because your own head can be as deceiving as a movie made for the sole purpose of making money off scaring people.

Jonah Bowe is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School.