A Speech:

"Don’t Live Your Life Like it is Your Last Day”


Meera Manek

In show business, when they say break a leg, I did not think they literally meant it. 

Before my year of accidents, I was doing yoga. 

One of the Yoga Instructors gives out nicknames, one girl is Juicy Booty, the other is LA Confidential, my nickname is PRISON FACE. 

I’ve been delivering this joke in my stand-up comedy routine for a while.  

The PRISON FACE nickname is a true story.

I understood the reference in class. Sometimes I just had look, gritting my way through the experience looking like I did not want to be there.

But, I didn’t really understand the true meaning of PRISON FACE until recently breaking my foot. 

When not speechwriting, I moonlight as a Realtor, 

Few weeks back, I was by myself putting out Open House signs for my listing in San Juan Capistrano. 

When my foot rolled as it clipped a break in the pavement CRACK, I heard it and fell it. I broke into a sweet and felt faint immediately and like I was going to throw up. 

I needed to get to back up to the house and urgent care. 

I felt the adrenaline taking over suddenly, I was dragging my leg like I was Leonardo DiCaprio in the Revenant.  

Urgent care gave me a boot which insurance charged $538 but costs $40 on Amazon.  (that is another post) 

The pain was excruciating, It felt like I had stepped in a bear trap. 

The few weeks after the break, I was really down. 

I would wake up thinking, HAD I DREAMT IT?!?! 

Earlier in the year, I experienced a life or death car accident, so I was already a myriad of emotions from being elated that I was alive to depressed and suffering PTSD and working towards healing.  I had not been driving, which made me fall in love with walking. 

Yes, people walk in LA. Especially, when your neighborhood is Toluca Lake and a new Whole Foods opens up across the street.

Not walking, I became very depressed. 

I became PRISON FACE. 

Not only could I not do the things we take for granted, but I could not do the things we do to function. 

The nurse said ice, elevate and rest. 

But, she does not mention that panties may kill you. 

You cannot get to the bathroom fast enough let alone get your panties off fast enough without dribbling on yourself and then slipping in your dribble and landing on your broken foot and crying like you are in the Revenant. 

So, I haven’t worn panties in 4 weeks. 

I don’t know how I am going to go back. 

I became a prisoner of my own body. Vulnerable and naked. 

A prisoner of relying on others for things you do yourself. I felt the loss of dignity and I really felt  for people are who are disable, physically challenged and deal with these struggles everyday. 

I could not just go out and risk falling on my leg putting in a position that prolongs this. 

So for a month I became a prisoner of my own space. 

I couldn’t take a shower for risk of slipping, so I’d wash up over the bath. 

Not being out of the house for a month my eyebrows and leg hair grew to be as thick as the bear that attacked Leonardo DiCaprio in the Revenant. 

There were a fews days, I’d stare out the window in silence, praying that there was not going to be an Apocalypse because I cannot run from the zombies. 

At some point in this journey for me, my iPhone disabled. 

It wasn’t because I put in a passcode incorrectly. 

I guess it had enough of me and decided to update software on it’s own. 

And in the process may have lost data. 

For a couple days, I did not have anyone to take me to the Apple Store. My parents and sister were out of town, and I was too fragile and uncomfortable to call up anybody else. 

Not only was I not able to physically go outside, but now I could not I communicate to the world.

I would be up all night with apple on chat trying to figure it out.


I felt like my life was going by as I had watched other people’s lives go by on Facebook and Instagram. 

The few days of not having access to social media, news, and any images, instead my focus started to shift on what I had instead of what I did not have. 

I started to see the little things as big things.

People had been sending me messages, I felt like Rueben in Ocean’s 11 when he started reading people’s messages and awakens from his coma like depressed state. 

I will cherish the messages of support and tough love… words have power.

What I realized, that for the past few years, I was not stopping to smell the roses. 

I was walking past them, I could not even see them in my periphery. 

But sitting there, not being able to do anything, I had an ah-ha moment and realized, that when I am able stop to smell the roses, I don’t just want to stop and smell them. 

I want to take in the rays of sunshine hitting my back, hear the bird chirping that happy tune, and crinkle my toes in-between the blades of grass, while I stop to smell the roses.

I have been scared of getting out in public, tripping, falling, people hitting me, car hitting, people bumping into me…

But since those messages, I started to figure out how to be resourceful about my abilities and to free myself from PRSION FACE. 

Every time I do a chore, wash up, or get to the bathroom. 

I say to myself the famous words of  LL Cool J, “You’re doing it…. doing it… and doing it well.”

I have never looked so forward to anything in life except for walking again. 

I’m not in going for the basic pedicure, I going for the deluxe, platinum, paraffin wax, 6 minute massage of each toe, pedicure. 

I going to smell the roses and crinkle my feet in the grass. 

I’m going to be careful with every step I take and am I going in the direction of my hearts desire. 

We hear the phrase live your life like it’s your last, but none one really does that. 

We are happy just to make it to lunch. 

If tomorrow is your last day, you won’t be tortured by what you could have been doing with your life. You’ll be out of your misery. 

The real break I encourage is the one from Facebook and Instagram. 

Stop and smell the roses and feel the blades of grass in-between your toes. 

I encourage you to live your life like you may break your foot.

Value each step you take and make sure that each step you take is the direction your heart desires.