I have always though of myself as painfully average. I graduated high school with no arrests and no tattoos (you’re welcome Mom). I didn’t run away, sell all my belongings and move to Africa, or become class president. College floated by in much the same way. I wasn’t the prettiest, most talented, smartest, or most creative. And it took every minute of the first 3.5 years of my college experience for me to realize that that was OKAY. Spending my time trying to stand out was exactly what made me average. I said what I thought my friends would laugh at, dressed how I thought would be accepted, and eventually began conforming my thoughts to the ways of the world. I was so afraid of going through college without leaving even a blip on the radar. I know thousands of people have the same story, but I had to experience it for myself to truly learn. I was so busy following and becoming average that I didn’t fully engage in my own unique life. One that only I will ever live. And thank God that I realized it now, because as a wise man once told me,
“If you’re not dead, you’re not done.”
Those words ring so true to me lately. Choosing to live in the fullest sense of the word is an hourly decision. Choosing to participate in your own life, to join the game instead of sitting on the bench, has to be a conscious decision. And that brings me to a more painful subject: The loss of two friends that truly lived. To be honest, I haven’t seen Ian Davis in over a year. Our friendship was fleeting, and other through a mutual friend. But Ian was a firecracker: Impulsive, loving, and joyous. Pure joy, the kind you only catch glimpses of. And then there was Philip. A light in a dark room. It’s been said repeatedly this week, but Phil had a way of loving life that mesmerized those around them. He made you feel like his long lost best friend, and invested in the lives of each person he spoke to. You had the kind of talks with Phil where you left feeling like he had just given you a gift, and in a way he had. It was the gift of embracing your life, and consciously living it. It’s hard to see any good at all in a situation that broke the hearts of so many, but I can look back on the good that was Ian and Phil. Cliché as it may be,
“It’s time to start living the life you’ve only imagined.”
These lessons come at such a crucial stage in my life: The holding pattern. A college graduate, but unemployed. Still waiting at the starting line, chomping at the bit. Endless opportunities and paths lie before me, each one painting a far different picture of my future life. I’m so ready to run after a career and into the working world, but sometimes the beauty is in the waiting. When I have time to sit back and evaluate my life, I see endless opportunities to live in each moment. To soak in the lessons from my parents, to be present in a conversation with my grandma. To be grateful, peaceful, joyous, silly, and free. To simply be. And I’m ready to do a lot more living.