I created a Facebook group a couple weeks ago for the alumni of my old high school. It doesn't just include my graduating class, but encompasses all the students who went there as well as faculty and even friends we knew from other schools. I was hoping to reminisce about some good times, laugh about the stupid stuff we did and maybe get in touch with old classmates. What I wasn't counting on, however, was the reality that slapped me in the face.
I made a post to honor those we'd lost over the years since our time in school, including my best friend from junior high. I knew some other kids had passed away in the graduating class behind mine, so that was no surprise. It was, however, a surprise to find out some of the people I'd been close to growing up had also died. People like my mom's best friend's son. We weren't friends, but I knew him because of my mom's friendship with his mom. People like the kid a year behind me who killed himself because of the guilt he carried regarding an accident that had taken the lives of two of his class mates.
As I was trying to process this information from the group, a post was made on another part of Facebook alerting me to the suicide of a friend from another time in my life. He'd always been a jovial, fun-loving person, so his death also came as a surprise to me. He left his eight-year-old son without a father.
In all this, I can only offer a few words and that is: Life's too short.
It's too short to be angry. Jealous. Hurt. In pain. Stuck. Unhappy. Sad. Depressed. Bored. Bitter. Uninspired. Unmotivated. Anxious. Scared. Worried. Stressed.
Don't sit on the sidelines and wait for someone to grab you and drag you into your life. Make it happen. Reach out. Call somebody. Send a letter. Step into the spotlight. Grab life by the horns and say "Let's do this!" Do stupid shit. Make mistakes. Make them again. Laugh. Cry. Laugh til you cry. Color a picture. Draw a picture. Paint a picture. Sculpt something. Write a story. Write a whole book. Skip more. Run more. Fly a kite. Swim with your dog. Adopt a dog. Or a cat. Or a pigeon. Forgive. Forget. Move on. Kiss a stranger. Kiss a friend. Take a vacation. Go on a weekend getaway with your best friends. Go alone. Go fishing. Turn off your TV. Turn on some music. Take a chance. Go to your class reunion. Skip one. Build something. Break something. Visit a museum. Buy a house. Sell your house. Go camping. Get up before a sunrise. Or stay up all night and watch it. Sing. Sing badly. Dance. Dance in the rain. Dance like a fool. Dance like a six-year-old. Dance with a six-year-old. Make something out of Play-Doh. Hell, eat Play-Doh. Splash in the puddles. Breathe. Breathe deeply. Let go. Trust. Love.
Love til it hurts.
Then love some more.
Don't like something? Quit. Do something else. Nobody's life ever stopped because they switched careers. Or lovers. Or moved. Or changed their hair color. Or got a tattoo. Or pierced something.
None of us know how long we've got. Some of us make choices in our lives that could prolong our time here, but you could leave the gym and get hit by a bus. Don't spend your life being afraid.
Do any of these things.
Do all of these things.
But whatever you do, LIVE. OUT. LOUD.