This blog was born in the wake of loss. This summer, I lost my grandfather, and just this past week, I lost a friend. These were two men who walked different, yet similar paths. Family, tradition, love, strength and courage are just a few of the traits they shared. I won’t go into the details of their individual struggles…suffice it to say that my grandfather died after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. My friend died after a 3 year battle with cancer. Where their paths diverged can be seen in the families they left behind. One family, my grandfather’s, is broken…a break that is more than likely irreparable. My friend’s family is bonded forever by a tremendous amount of love.
What these two men taught me, very simply, is to LIVE. I have been alive for 40 years now. But I can’t say that I ever truly lived. I’ve spent the vast majority of my time feeling stuck, feeling trapped and unable. The borders I constructed for myself included the belief that what other people thought of me mattered…that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough…worthy enough. Fear of judgment and failure dictated the constructs of my life. After the death of my grandfather, who I was very close to in the end, I began to realize that maybe, just maybe, all these 40 years of “living” I had under my belt wasn’t really living at all. And when my friend died, I UNDERSTOOD that I haven’t lived.
Living means very different things to different people. These two people, in a short span of a few months, have sparked a fire in me to define, for myself, what it means to truly LIVE. They have inspired me, for once in my life, to step out without fear of anything. To be ME with the understanding that I am here to push limits. I am here to leave a legacy. I am here to LOVE.
With this in mind, I am setting out on a journey to appreciate the time I have left, to become the person I was meant to be, and to leave a permanent mark on all the people I am gifted to have in my life. One small step at a time…so here goes.