Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain

Emma prefers to share her thoughts with a microphone rather than a physical human being, so thank god she has a podcast. Recorded from the comfort of her bed, Emma talks at length about whatever is on her mind every week. Anything really does go on this podcast. Sometimes philosophy, sometimes a random story from 10 years ago, sometimes advice, and sometimes nothing at all. You never know what you are going to get, but that’s what keeps it interesting. New episodes every Thursday.



Thu, 12 Jan 2023 08:10

today's episode might get a little dark, okay? but we're going to get through it together. today we're talking about mortality. because me, you, everyone you know...we're all going to die at some point. i feel like when i was little, i knew i would die someday, but my perspective was kind of one dimensional and kind of optimistic. i felt like i had so much time. like, the narrative when i was a child was, 'ugh, you have so much time!' i just never really thought about my own mortality. but i think that part of maturing into adulthood is coming to terms with the fact that we're going to die and the people we love are going to die and it's fucking real. i just fully went through this realization recently and it has rocked my world. so today, we're going to talk about coming to terms with our mortality and how to process it in a healthy way. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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Bramble. Go to TurboTax and don't do your taxes. Meet with an expert who will do them for you. TurboTax experts can relieve you from the stress of taxes and file for you so that you can do not taxes. With the TurboTax 100% expert guarantee, an expert will do your taxes from start to finish so that you can relax. Come to TurboTax and don't do your taxes. Visit to learn more. Into it TurboTax, full service products only. Video meeting while expert does your taxes required. See guaranteed details at slash guarantees. Officially one hour until your favorite show premieres. Time to get some snacks delivered through Instacart. Okay, let's get some popcorn, seltzer, chocolate covered almonds, and wait, did they release the whole season? Better card some ice cream for the two-part finale. When your day should be ending but a new season is starting, the world is your cart. Visit or download the app and get free delivery on your first order. Offer valid for a limited time. Minimum order $10. Additional term supply. Hello. Today's episode might get a little dark, okay, but we're going to get through it together. It's going to get real. It's going to get a little freaky, but we're going to come to some really positive conclusions together. So just stick with me and we're going to get through it. Okay, today we're talking about mortality because all of us, me, you, everyone you know, we're all mortals. Mortals are human beings that are subject to death. All of this to say we're all going to die at some point. I feel like when I was little, I knew that I would die one day and I knew that I could die at any time, but I feel like my perspective was very one dimensional and kind of optimistic. I always felt like I had so much time. I felt like adults were constantly reminding me how much time I had in my life to accomplish my dreams and just make memories and make the most out of my life. Like the narrative when I was a child was, oh, you have so much time. And I would look at people who are older and just think, God, I'm so far from that. It almost feels like it'll never happen to me. I just never really thought about my own mortality. But I think a part of maturing into an adult is coming to terms with the fact that we're going to die. At a certain point, we transition from this sort of youthful, optimistic view of mortality to a very painfully realistic view of mortality where we realize we're going to die. The people we love are going to die. Everyone's going to die. We don't know when, we don't know how. And it's fucking real. Like it's fucking real and it's not this fuzzy thing that we vaguely see in our future that will happen at some point, but that we don't really need to think about right now because we're kids. It becomes real when you're an adult. And I feel like I just went through this sort of realization recently. And it's fucking rocked my world. And it sounds stupid because it sounds so obvious, you know, like, yeah, idiot. Obviously you're going to die. But it just feels real to me in a way, at this point in my life, that has been overwhelming for me. And I will say I've been able to work my way through it and come to a place where I feel like I'm able to have this realistic view on mortality that is mature and developed while also still finding ways to remind myself that it's okay. Like I found a way to balance it in my mind. But for a few months there, I was having a really hard time. I was so anxious and scared and freaked out by the idea of death as a whole. And it completely consumed me. And so today I'm going to be talking about this sort of battle that we deal with with death. And how to sort of come to terms with it or at least how I've kind of come to terms with it. And how to kind of control it. So first let's discuss our own personal mortality. And then later we're going to talk about the mortality of those that we care about. But one thing at a time, let's start with our mortality. I think one of the biggest fears that pops up in regards to this topic is that we're running out of time. I kind of had a mini little existential crisis recently because I started obsessing over whether or not I was making the most of my time on this planet. My first concern was that I was making no memories. Like am I making enough memories? Am I having enough fun? Am I going to be on my deathbed looking back at my life and remembering me watching cooking videos on my Instagram Explorer page or online shopping on Is that what I'm going to look back on and remember? Is that all I have to offer? Is that all I'm doing? Am I going to look back on my life and just remember working? Am I going to look back on my life and have virtually no memories with friends? Am I spending enough time with my friends? Am I going on enough adventures? Am I making enough memories? To combat this sort of fear that I'm not making enough memories, I made the decision to be more intentional with what I do with my time and to use discipline because it's in my control what I do with my time. I am in control of whether or not I spend two hours watching cooking videos on my Instagram Explorer page. I'm in control of that, right? So I think becoming aware of the fact that you're in control of what you do with your time is the first step to sort of relieving this fear because if you want to spend less time on the internet wasting away hours on TikTok and Instagram, you can do that. And I think reminding myself that I'm in control, you know, the internet, these things that I'm sort of lightly addicted to don't own me. I am in the driver's seat. I can control if I replace those activities with other things. I think empowering yourself and reminding yourself of that and making it a goal to sort of replace those time wasting activities with other things can just make you feel in control, which can help eliminate that fear. But I will also say that there's nothing wrong with growing through your Instagram sometimes. There's nothing wrong with scrolling through TikTok sometimes. There's nothing wrong with going online shopping sometimes. That stuff is enjoyable and it's mindless and it's, you know, like there's nothing wrong with that either. No one on this planet has spent their whole life only ever doing things that are valuable and memorable. It's impossible. And so he is trying to figure out a balance, making sure that you're not allowing yourself too much time doing, say, pointless activities like watching TV or going on your phone or whatever, holding yourself accountable and making sure that you're not overdoing it, but also allowing yourself a little bit of that because it's almost impossible to fully stop participating in those activities like there's such a normal part of our lives now. You know, it's like impossible to ignore. I mean, don't get me wrong. You can quit these things, but that's up to you. I don't know if you need to quit these things. I mean, it's not a bad idea, but I don't, I don't think that that's what you have to do to ensure that you're making the most out of your time on this planet. I don't think that that is necessary. That's extreme, you know, taking control of your time and reminding yourself that it's in your control is a really powerful mindset. But also speaking of mindset, it seems that when you put pressure on yourself to make memories that are special, it ruins the moment. The thing about making a memory is that it just happens on its own. You can't predict when something memorable and fun and amazing is going to happen. You just can't. It comes to you. And so I think another powerful mindset to have is to kind of relinquish control and remember, memorable things are going to happen at the most unexpected times. And so I'm not going to force it. I'm not going to try to plan out a memorable moment. I'm just going to do things that make me feel good, that are constructive, that are positive. And the memories and all of that will come with it. Anything that has a positive impact on your life in some way has a potential to make a great memory. For example, let's say a positive thing you want to do in your life is learn how to cook. So you decide, okay, I'm going to start taking a cooking class. That might seem like a mundane sort of activity, but you might make some amazing memories at this cooking class. Let's say you plan a little weekend, get away with your friends. You might make some amazing memories on that trip, even if it's just a small, short, little weekend trip, nothing fancy, you might make the most amazing memories. You might even make better memories than you would if you planned a week long trip to Hawaii at a resort, because maybe your expectations for that resort vacation were a little bit too high and you ended up just having a terrible time because you put too much pressure on it. You see what I'm saying? You don't need to force where memories are going to happen. They're just going to fucking happen. You're not going to make memories watching TV or going on your phone, but it's okay to waste a few hours here and there doing that. As long as you're also making sure to do something positive with your time when you have the energy to do so, because that's in your control and that's where the memories are going to come from. There's nothing to worry about. Naturally, memorable moments happen when you're doing positive things in your life or at least you're trying to. Even if you're just trying and you're failing, that's just as amazing. Anything goes is sponsored by BetterHelp. If you're always feeling like the best version of yourself, you're probably not like most people. You're very lucky. Most of us only feel like our best selves sometimes and that's normal. If you want to feel like your best self more often, maybe try therapy. Therapy is a great tool because you can proactively work towards becoming the best version of yourself instead of waiting until you need help. The thing about therapy is that it can come in handy in so many different phases of your life. It can come in handy when you're doing great. It can come in handy when you're going through a really tough time. It can come in handy when you're somewhere in between those two. A misconception I used to have about therapy was that you needed to be going through a tough time to talk to a therapist. But a few years ago, I learned that is not true. Talking to a therapist when you're doing great is actually an amazing thing because the therapist that you're speaking to can help you stay in that good place. Therapy is amazing because there's sort of a neutral person that you can talk to. And that can be incredibly useful. If you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great option. It's convenient, entirely online, and flexible, and you can switch therapists at any time. If you want to live a more empowered life, therapy can get you there. Visit slash anything today to get 10% off your first month. That's better help. H-E-L-P dot com slash anything. Go to TurboTax and don't do your taxes. Meet with an expert who will do them for you. TurboTax experts can relieve you from the stress of taxes and file for you so that you can do not taxes. With the TurboTax 100% expert guarantee, an expert will do your taxes from start to finish so that you can relax. Come to TurboTax and don't do your taxes. Visit to learn more. Into it TurboTax, full service products only. Video meeting while expert does your taxes required. See guaranteed details at slash guarantees. Another fear I think we have around our mortality is the fear that we're not doing anything big with our lives. I think a lot of people feel pressure to leave a mark on the world that ends up in the history books. A lot of people feel like they're a failure of a human being if they don't do something big. You know what I mean? Do something big, right? But the truth is is that whether or not you're famous or you're ending up in the history books. It doesn't really matter. I get that feeling of feeling like we only have one life. We got to make it big. We want to make it big. But I think striving for that is sort of barking up the wrong tree. If you're going to end up doing something big in note worthy in your life, there's a great chance that that could happen. That's not an impossible thing at all. But I think that the motivation shouldn't be to be super note worthy for something. Super famous for something. Super world changing. Instead I think the goal should be something specific to you. Like let's say you're an artist and you're like, I want to make beautiful paintings that make people feel good. And whether or not I get recognized for it or I end up in the history books, that's an out of my control. But I want to make beautiful paintings that change the way people see the world. Or let's say you're like, I am really into biology and I want to invent this biology thing. You know what I'm saying? Like the goal should be to create something or do something that impacts the world in a positive way, whether your name is attached to it or not. Does that make sense? I don't think it's a positive thing to associate success with maybe becoming famous from something positive that you did for the world. Like that's the wrong intent, maybe. And it can lead us to doing things that are not genuine to ourselves just to try to make it big in our lives. And the other thing is it doesn't even really matter. There's so much more to life than I just keep saying making it big, but you get what I'm saying. I keep thinking of like ending up in the history books. You see what I'm saying? There's so much more to life than that. Because I would argue somebody who was a beam of light in everybody's life that they were in on a small scale. You know, just their community, right? Somebody who is a beam of light and warmth to everyone in their small community is just as impactful and special as somebody who did something famous and remarkable. There's the both of those things are so special in their own way. And both of those things are an example of a life well utilized. You know, you don't need to be famous or in a history book to have had a good impact on the world. You can have an impact that only spans your community. And that's still very valuable, incredibly valuable. You don't need to go worldwide in order to feel like you fully lived your life to the fullest and did the most for humanity that you possibly can. I think the pressure to do something memorable and have everybody remember your name is understandable. But I think it's maybe missing the point. I think that the goal should be to just do as much good in your life as you possibly can. And whether that reaches 10 people or 10 million people, that's enough. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how many people it reaches. As long as you do good in your life in some way, then you can be proud of that. I think a lot of people end up doing bad things as a result of wanting to be memorable on a mass scale. Because they're not acting genuinely. They're not behaving genuinely. And out of the kindness of their heart, they're acting out of wanting to be memorable. And that's not the right idea. If you do things out of the genuineness of your heart, you do things because you believe in them and because you want to do them and because it makes you feel good to do them, then the rest will happen as it may. It may positively impact one person. It may positively impact 10 million people. It may impact no one but yourself, but it doesn't matter. If it's coming from your heart and it's genuine, that's the most important thing. I think somebody like Van Gogh is a really good example of this. Okay. Van Gogh was an artist who made art that everyone hated when he was alive anyway. He was considered a failure of an artist. The only person that benefited from the genuine nature of his art was him. He made art from his heart. It was just his expression of the world. And that made him feel good in some ways. He was possibly the only person who benefited from it in one way or another. It also tortured him in some ways, but whatever. But he continued to make art even though everybody else gave him shit about it. But because he made art from his heart, now he's an icon. You never know if you're going to do something bigger memorable with your life and you might never even know. It might even happen after you die. The point is that if you just do things out of the genuineness of your heart, you're making the most of your life. And whether or not people see it or not or hear about it or not is out of your control. But that's all you need to be striving for is just to do genuine things rather than do big things. The last feeling that a lot of us can experience when we're grappling with our mortality is the feeling that nothing really matters. It can be hard sometimes not to torture yourself with thoughts of, well, we all die anyways who fucking cares. Who cares about anything? And I struggle with this sometimes because I'll be struggling with something in life. And I'll be like, why am I even trying to work through this? Because I'm just going to die anyway. Like should I just push this aside and not deal with it? Should I just go and stop working hard at anything, trying to accomplish anything and just go give up basically? Like should I just give up and just kind of rot away for the rest of my life because nothing fucking matters anyway because I'm going to die? Like you know what I mean? But the truth is that that sort of self-talk is harmful and it invalidates how large in substantial our lives feel to ourselves. And that's not fair to us because every individual deserves to feel and experience the weight of their existence. I think we can probably all agree that our world in our heads feel big to us. Our problems, our anxieties, our pressures, all of this feels huge to us because it's our world. We all have our own unique world in our mind that only we see. That's filled with our personal pressures, anxieties, dreams, thoughts, feelings, emotions. And the special thing is that we're the only ones that experience that. We're the only ones that can feel the weight of our own individual world in our mind. And when I'm finding myself obsessing over the fact that we're all going to die anyway. So nothing really matters. I remind myself, no. In my brain and in my little world that I've built in my brain, this shit really does matter. It does matter to me right now. It does matter. And I care about the stuff that's going on in the little world in my mind. And it feels important to me. It has weight to me. And that makes it important. So yes, things do really matter to me. So it's not true that nothing really matters. Because right now in this moment, things do matter to me. And I'm feeling those feelings of importance. Therefore that is real. Yeah, we might be living on a planet with 7 billion people and everybody has their own individual little world in their mind. And that makes my world feel even smaller. But the existence of my little world and my little brain has nothing to do with those 7 billion other people. So my dreams, my anxieties, my concerns, my fears, my desires, all of that. That's all real and important. And even though I am going to die one day, it doesn't fucking matter. Because right now in this moment, I'm alive and I care about things. And things are important to me and I'm going to honor that. I think reminding yourself of that can be so powerful when you're questioning whether or not any of this has a purpose because your death is inevitable. It's like, well, yeah, I'm going to die anyway. But in this very moment, this shit feels important. Being on this planet feels important right now because I'm here. And so I'm just going to honor that feeling. But on the other hand, you can look at the fact that we're all going to die anyway, so nothing matters as a really positive thing as a sort of comforting thing. Okay. The kids are already asking what's for dinner, but breaking news, empty fridge. That's okay. I'll instacard. Let's add some organic asparagus and some farm fresh chicken. Easy. Wait, is the oldest vegetarian this week or was it gluten free? It's gluten free pasta, covered either way, cart it. And finally, some vegetarian gluten free olives for my well-earned cocktail. When your family's shopping list has more footnotes than groceries, the world is your cart. Visit or download the app and get free delivery on your first order. Offer valid for a limited time minimum order $10 delivery subject to availability, additional terms apply. In moments when you find yourself taking things too seriously and the weight of the world in your imagination, the world that you've built, you know, the weight of that becomes too heavy and you're like, hold on a minute. I think I'm carrying a little bit too much. Like this is actually painful for me. Like I can't handle the weight of the world right now. Reminding yourself, oh, actually nothing really matters because we all die anyway can be kind of comforting because while it's true that our lives feel large and substantial to us and that they are important to us and that's all that matters, at the same time, our mortality can be sort of comforting to us at times too when we're thinking too rigidly and we're beating ourselves up about not working hard enough or not utilizing our time as well as we want to or whatever it may be, whatever we might be bullying ourselves about. Being the vastness of the universe and our mortality can kind of remind us that although things are serious to us, they're not as serious as we may feel them to be. There are billions of people living at the same time as us. All of us are going to die and our problems might not be as big as we feel like they are. It's interesting how I tend to take the sort of statement, nothing really matters and form it to fit whatever situation I'm going through. I think that I've managed to sort of see on one hand that my life does matter and every life does matter while also seeing that the fact that we all die at some point anyway is freeing. Those two things contradict each other but in my own little mind, I've been able to sort of see both sides of that coin. The last thing we're going to be talking about today is the mortality of the ones that we love because that's a huge part of coming to terms with death as an adult. Like half of it is dealing with thoughts around your own death but then the other half of it is dealing with the potential death of people that you love and care about. I find that I'm actually more concerned with other people dying than I am with myself dying because there are a lot of people that I rely on that I love. People who support me and are a foundation for me and they keep me solid, you know, they keep me sane in some ways it feels like at times. It can be so hard not to constantly worry about the well-being of the people that we love and it can be so overwhelming when we fall into a habit of obsessing over our loved ones' well-being. I go through phases where I have to call people or text people like four times a day just to check in and make sure that they're still okay because my anxiety about this is so severe and I torture myself constantly worrying about something bad happening to people that I care about because the truth is that there are so many things that could go wrong. Not only with people that I love and that we love in general but also because I'm not always there. I feel out of control of other people's lives. I feel in control to a certain extent of my own life because I'm the one living it. I'm present in it. There's no surprises for me. I'm here in my body 24-7 so I know what's going on but with people I love they're sometimes across the planet from me. There are sometimes 20 feet away from their phone not responding to me and I'm like hey are you okay right now? I'm not in control of other people's lives and what they're doing. I feel out of control of that situation and when I start freaking out like oh my god I haven't talked to this person in like six hours are they okay? Did they get hurt? Did they die? I don't know. That can become so overwhelming and the only way I've been able to remedy that fear and pain is to try to convert my fear into love and appreciation in gratitude and I know it sounds like oh my god I'm like shut the fuck up. Make stop like that's unrealistic but it's not because every time I find myself spiraling and worrying about somebody that I care about and that I feel like I need in my life I might shoot them a text and just be like hey how you doing like whatever and then internally while I'm waiting for them to respond to me or something just to like check in make sure they're okay and doing good or whatever I am trying to mindfully replace my thoughts of all the things that could be going wrong all the ways that they could have gotten hurt over the past X amount of hours. I try to replace those thoughts with gratitude for that person and I know it sounds ridiculous but it's just it's a way that I deal with my anxiety around people I care about dying honestly and it's so hard because my brain wants to be scared like it wants to worry about people and whether or not they're okay at any given moment but I can't live like that and I find that when I am mindful and try to replace those fears with gratefulness in a way it kind of calms me down a little bit and I found that over time I've gotten better at sort of switching my mind set so that I don't spiral as often. Another thing that I think a lot of us worry about is whether or not we're spending enough time with people that we love and this is hard because you kind of have to strike a balance in a way you know you can't spend every single day with all the people that you love that's just unrealistic but you definitely can make it a priority to spend time with people that you love even if it isn't always the most convenient thing. We're not always in the mood to call up the people we care about. We're not always in the mood to even hang out with the people that we care about even though we care about them and we love them you know sometimes we're selfish with our time in a way and we should be because we kind of have to be in order to get stuff done sometimes but it's about finding a balance and finding the time and finding the energy to give to those people that we love and care about so that we can relax and feel less concerned about whether or not we're spending enough time with the people we love and it doesn't need to be physical time always maybe it's giving them a call maybe it's sending them a text like how much energy you give to the people you love is in your control and so finding that perfect balance I don't know I don't know you guys I'm done I've hit my brain limit for the day my brain shutting down I'm turning off I will say you know the last few months of my life sort of discovering mortality for the first time in my life it's been really anxiety inducing and I I've been having really bad anxiety in general and the whole experience of this sort of discovery and realization has been so painful for me but I will say that it's getting a lot better and I think all of the things that I mentioned can be really helpful and powerful and I hope that if there's one of you out there who's sort of dealing with this new anxiety in their life around death I hope that some of these things can help you and the truth is is that death is one of those things that's out of our control and it's so hard not to feel anxious and overwhelmed about it because we can't control it and anything that we can't control freaks us out as humans you know because we're like I can't do anything about it so what the fuck am I supposed to do like I like you know it's it's this overwhelming feeling of worrying about it but also not knowing what to do about it because there's nothing you can do about it and that is such an awful cycle to be in mentally where you're going in that circle where you're worrying about it and then you're like all right well what am I going to do about it to help myself stop worrying about it and then you're like oh fuck there's nothing I can do about it but there are things you can do and it's a combination of being grateful for life as it is taking the pressure off of yourself and going a little easier on yourself but also having disciplines sometimes to prove to yourself that you can and that your life is in your control but then also trusting the process too yeah life is unfair and shit doesn't always work out the way that you expect it to but going with the flow is always going to be a better feeling than overly controlling things enforcing things and yeah okay I'm done okay now I'm done no I'm actually done I have to be done you guys I have to be done that's all I have for today thank you guys for listening I really hope that this helped someone in some way thank you for listening thank you for hanging out it was a pleasure as always I'm excited to talk to you again next week and then the week after that and then the week after that unless of course I die then unfortunately you will have to go listen to something else but there's a pretty good chance that I'm I I won't die but the now I'm the fucking jinx it so I'm gonna knock on wood all right now we're all good now that I knocked on wood I will be seeing you for sure next week okay I'm done I really love and appreciate all of you and we'll talk soon all right talk later bye