What Would You Do If You Knew Your Time Was Running Out?
If you ask people how they feel about 2016, I am almost certain that a negative response will be uttered. In fact, some of my good friends call it “a whole ho outchea” and for valid reasons, however, that’s not the case for me. I am not by any means saying that 2016 and I were best friends, but some of my life’s best moments took place this year. Even though my money was upside down at times, I was starting to feel resented at my job, Prince died on my birthday (buzzkill), and I suffered some heartache; I was still able to fulfill my dream of spending a summer in Europe and finally started enjoying my new life in Dallas. To sum it up, for the lows that I encountered, I was matched with an epic high because that’s simply how the circle of life goes.
I received word this morning that both my aunt and uncle who are married were in [separate] hospitals and my stomach sank. I wasn’t concerned about my own feelings as much, but moreso the stress that my mother was going through because it was her oldest sister and her brother-in-law. I had feelings of guilt because I am my mother’s only child and here I am 1,500 miles away helpless on the other side of the phone. I instinctively started searching for flights home, cringing at the holiday prices, but scanning just so I would be prepared. Unfortunately, it seemed as though my premonition was correct and my uncle transitioned on only a few hours later.
Sometimes… often times, I worry about if I made a mistake leaving my childhood hometown in New Jersey to pursue my dreams wherever the wind took me. I went to college in Miami. I took a job in Houston and now I’m in Dallas. I don’t know where the next stop will be but as my own mother predicts, there is a high chance that it will be abroad. I love traveling and exploring new territories, domestically and internationally. I have never found something that feeds my soul quite like it and makes me feel like I belong doing that. What started out as a fun personal challenge, visiting 30 states and countries by my 30th birthday, has become a journey towards self-discovery and has highlighted passions and truth about myself that I was not familiar with. I’m sure other nomads in the world can relate.
I remember when my Pop Pop passed after a four year battle with cancer and how my Granny mentioned that he was so proud of me for going after my dreams. After his burial, I made a vow to myself to truly start living and cherishing every day. So, yes, I absolutely celebrate anything and enjoy smaller moments like half-birthdays or seemingly trivial things like four months in a new city. I celebrate the small because it is absolutely offensive to God for me to assume that I will be here tomorrow. I learned that the hard way when one of my closest friend’s twin sister died two months ago in a tragic accident. We were both the same age… 27.
The older we get, the more reflective we become, and unfortunately, the more likely it is you will have experiences with death. 2016 brought more passings that I can actually recall than I’d like but I think there is a lesson in that. We often go to extremes and try to appreciate things when we know our time with them is limited but why do we do that? If you knew that your time was running out, would you still be working at your current job? Would you take that trip to Australia that you have always dreamed about? Would you say “I’m sorry” to the person who needed to hear it most? Stop taking our finite time we have on this planet for granted and start becoming more intentional with the time you do have.
I promise that I am not excluding myself from the statements above. If I can be completely transparent, I feel like I have let myself down because I should have started living in my own truth a long time ago. It has taken nearly 28 years for me to realize my true passions and for me to accept the consequences for living my life based on other’s expectations for me instead of what I really wanted. Earth is getting ready to make another revolution around the Sun and I am staring at myself in the mirror wondering if I will have enough guts to do what I really want to do, as if my own time is running out sooner than I would like it to be. I listen to Myleik Teele’s podcast often and I vividly remember her saying, “You are not a tree. You are not stuck. MOVE.” Well, if I can be 100% real with myself, I absolutely would not be doing what I am currently doing if I knew I only had 24 hours to live and that tells me I need to make some adjustments. I can only hope that you as a reader feel compelled to do the same.
As for right now, I am grateful that it is Friday and that I can have some time to process before I need to start making plans. I’m blessed to have a dope ass support system around me in Dallas to comfort me in the next few days. I decided that my mantra for 2017 will simply be “go for it”, and I see clearly that I need to make it happen quickly before it is too late.
To my Uncle Newt, my Pop Pop, Ariana, Prince, and everyone else, may you transition peacefully and watch over us down here. Prayerfully, I’ll see you when I see you.
Peace and Blessings.