The Life of a Cell


Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. The human body is composed of trillions of cells. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from food, convert those nutrients into energy, and carry out specialised functions.

I sat down and I tried to take stock. I tried to put words to how I feel and who I am. I had a UTI which made me feel even stupider, it hurt and I forgot how much these things do hurt. It feels, recently, that I don't feel pain, not physical nor mental, I am not relaxed or anxiety free, but I do not hurt. I have learnt in my 26 (almost 27) years that I cannot plan and I come out alive and kicking nearly every time.

I've learnt that I might never be happy.

Which in it's totality is not terrible. Let me explain, my awareness of others' struggles and the state of our lands stops me from being a happy happy person. Even small victories are tarnished with the knowledge that someone has got it worse, that there are others without the chances I have had. I am aware of my privilege, of my luck.


It was the visiting of a doctor for the nasty UTI that made me realise this. I may of had to wait two hours at a walk in centre as my doctor didn't have any appointments for a week, but that's nothing when there are those that cannot get this type of medical aid at all. Even the mild annoyance of the (compulsory but free) pregnancy test was easy to forget when I know that if I am ever pregnant there would be a wealth of choice available to me. It's a big word that, choice. I will never resent paying National Insurance every month if it means that others get to have the same choice. It's the availability of that choice that means that I can sleep easy at night.

If the biggest complaint is that I had a UTI my life is pretty damn good.

So maybe I should be happy, I should wake each morning and be glad and smiley. But that's not me and it doesn't feel like me. I've been consumed by the idea of who I am and who I want to be, of how I want to present and how I want others to perceive me. I am often grumpy and quiet, I am often alone. I am more than likely to be humorous in a thinly veiled attempt at hiding the deep-seated loathing I have for myself.

Some of you may think that the self-loathing I have is warranted, others of you may not. Depending on your relationship to me, and the experiences we've had together, you may see me in a completely different light, and at one point I wanted to know, I wanted to know what impact, if any I had on people. I wanted to know that people disliked me, to quantify my hatred for myself.

Now I'm not so sure, there's only so much hate my soul can take.


Like all living things, cells die. The number of cells that an adult male loses per minute is roughly 96 million. In that same minute, about 96 million cells divided, replacing those that died. Just as you shed dead skin cells, dead cells from internal organs pass through and out of the body with waste products. The length of a cell’s life can vary. For example, white blood cells live for about thirteen days, cells in the top layer of your skin live about 30 days, red blood cells live for about 120 days, and liver cells live about 18 months.