In spite of everything that goes on around us, life still happens. Regardless of what’s on the evening news and whether or not it rains or pours or the sun comes along to dry up all the rain, life is still life. Time is still time and nothing we can do will change this.
Make no mistake about this; the clock is always on. Time is inevitable and eventual. And it’s enough to hurt and bewilder; it’s enough to shock the heart and soul, straight down to the very core of our being.
There are things in life that I never had. Some of which are simple things like a brand new 10-speed bicycle. Some of which are the basic rites of passage. For example, I never played a sport on a school team. Some of what I never had are the understandings that come later in life. This comes when maturity sets in. And I’m not sure if I’m mature yet. I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up. Then again, I’m not sure if I’ll grow up or if I want to. At this point, I am near the age of understanding that who I am is exactly who I am supposed to be.
I understand now that everything has its place. Perspective is everything. Hence, there is a purpose for everything. Hence, there are reasons why and reasons why not. And perhaps this is too broad. Or, perhaps this is a bit too vague. But to me, this is as clear as the sunrise that is taking place on the other side of my window right now.
The truth is I don’t know who really understands or who doesn’t. The truth is you and I can look at the same thing, and yet, we can both see something completely different. Whether you and I or anyone else sees life the same way is not as important as the fact that we all have a life to live. We both have our own ways of thinking, We have our own views and our own choices to make. The truth is we all have life at our doorstep, each and every day. There is no escaping this.
At last, I was free. Or, at least I was somewhat free. There were more steps that I would have to take but I was unaware of what those steps would be. I had no clue about the need for personal change or growth. I thought this is just the way life is.
I was alone, yes. I was uncomfortable as well. The small rooms in my tiny apartment were empty. There was nothing on the walls. There was nothing to absorb the sound or stop the echoing in the rooms. There were no decorations or anything of the sort. My kitchen was the smallest I have ever seen. The cupboards were empty with the exception of a few plates and a few utensils that were left behind by the previous tenant. I went from living in a large home with a two-car garage, an in-ground pool and a nanny’s quarters to a small, upstairs apartment in someone’s private home.
It is time for us to address a common topic. It is time to recognize that unfortunately, there is loss. Dying is part of life. There are times however, when loss comes unexpectedly. There are times when loss defies the natural order of how life is supposed to be.
For example, it is unnatural for a parent to bury their child. It is unnatural when the older buries the younger. No matter what the age might be, although natural, the finality of death seems so unnatural to us; to be without someone, to never hear their voice again or see them in the flesh, to say goodbye but yet, to hold onto them with all we have because memory is all we have left is an idea that has become far too common.
There are four words that make up one important question. I remember the challenge this presented to me and the way I was stunned for the moment. I was stunned because I lacked an answer.
The question is “What is your why?”
What is your why? As in, what is your reason or what is your purpose? What is it that gets you up and out of bed in the morning? What’s your drive?
When you hang your hat at the end of the day, what is your takeaway?
What do you want to leave behind? The initial question is “What is your why?” but the question is bigger than just one simple thing.
I took a drive by the old house last night. I drove through town and saw some of the old places. I drove by the park and saw the opened gate on East Meadow Avenue. This reminded me of the times when my friends and I would run around and be nothing else, except for young and crazy. It has been a long time since then. It’s been too long but still, I remember this all very well.
The truth is you and I have been plagued by a set of standards. Whether we come from the same place or different, the truth is we’ve all followed a culture and way of living.
The truth is both you and I have believed in the outlines we’ve been given. We’ve been told that this is life and this is how we are supposed to live it.
There was a time that seemed so long ago. I remember this time. In fact, I remember these times very well. And looks were everything back then. Life was different. The world was a different place to me. Then again, I was different then too. I was young and wild, crazy and eager to be someone.
I had all the hopes but no direction. I was working at my first gig at the time. Dear God, I must have looked like a 12 year-old in a suit. I was baby-faced and carried a briefcase. I had hopes to make my first million by the time I was 21. The only problem was I never really knew the work this entails. Plus, there wasn’t much money or hopefulness in the business I was in.
So, I want to ask you something. This is just a question really.
Are you ready?
Okay, so here it goes.
What is fear?