In light of a recent tragedy, I’ve decided to post this. I have a tendency to hesitate on posting what I write because it honestly can feel too vulnerable, I’m a pretty private person and this opens me up to the public and to potential scrutiny—not that this blog has tens of thousands of followers, or gets emailed to every person I’ve ever interacted with in my life—but you’d think it did with the levels of anxiety I feel and how long I wait, or how many times I reread my words before clicking publish. All that is to say, I’m working on developing more confidence in what I have to say. It can be hard sometimes to go forth boldly but here I am trying a little harder/saying fuck it.
I am by no means a basketball fan, nor will I pretend to know anything about Kobe Bryant—but what I will say is that his and his daughter Gianna’s death, as well as the deaths of the other seven people aboard that helicopter, have shaken the lives of people all over the world; and it has been beautiful to see people come together and collectively mourn the loss of these people through so many creative and inspiring channels. Death doesn’t always have to be sad. We’re all dealing with things in different ways and grief takes time to work through. I believe staying positive and being able to pay tribute to the lives lost is important to the mending the grieving process.
I’ve seen a lot of posts about keeping up the ‘Kobe mindset,’ and doing better in Kobe’s honour, ‘Mamba mentality’ etc, as a sort of tribute to his life—which I think is really positive. Ultimately, we as humans are all lifelong learners and grief has something to teach us each time it knocks at the door. This time it has cruelly given us a collective chance to once again, reflect on how we’re choosing to live out our time here, and reconfigure our intentions going forward. I don’t think messages like that can be delivered in any other fashion except through great and sudden tragedy like this: losing icons we thought we’d watch grow old alongside us. Something like this has the power to captivate you and change perspectives forever.
My hope is that eventually this tragedy will make a positive impact on those impacted by it who are still lucky enough to have their lives. And that those people will consider this a line in the sand of new beginnings to move forward more intentionally, and maybe adopt their own version of a ‘Mamba mentality.’
What’s come up for me has been the question of, ‘what are you waiting for?’ If Kobe knew he was only going to live until 41, what wouldn’t he have waited for? 41 is young. That would only give me 15 more years on this earth and when I think about the list of experiences, places, things, feelings I still want to have, 15 years doesn’t seem like much time at all. In fact, I’ve just barely got my footing at 25, since the last 15 years of my life have been a shameful disaster of awkwardness, puberty and outgrowing destructive thought patterns—I’ve barely had time to be productive!
When I ask myself what I’m waiting for, obviously the first answer that comes to mind is money. But if I had the money, then what? I’ve kind of always let the money thing stop me from digging deeper into what I really want. To this day I couldn’t really tell you what it is I actually want from this life. I have two degrees in a field, I’m sometimes passionate about, have barely travelled outside of the province I live in, and most mornings I have a hard time choosing which coffee order to pick between. Even though any thought exploration process into what I want would have no permanence in my life, I’m still almost afraid to explore my thoughts in fear of accidentally committing to something just by familiarizing myself with it.
Ultimately, I’m not waiting for anything. I mean, it would be nice if my passion landed in my lap one day with a big, fat cheque for millions of dollars. Although, part of me still holds out some hope for that dream, the reality is I’m not actually waiting for anything. Which I think is actually a scarier truth than I realized until this moment. I can do anything. I literally have the ability to just pivot my life is whatever way. Everything stopping me is just my own mental blockages. We have so much power in our choices and with that power does come great responsibility. Sometimes I think the power is so overwhelming that we’re just oblivious to it.
To sum all my word vomit up, no one is going to give you permission to actually start living you life. Read that again. The things you are waiting for, don’t need to arrive before you take off. What is really meant for you, will not pass you. But you don’t need to be stagnant while you’re idle, what else could you be doing to fulfill what you’re waiting for? How else can you start to carve out what you want without the full financial backing? A life is built over years through craftsmanship, it doesn’t just appear one day. You have been making and continue to make all the choices in your life—even if those choices are to keep doing what you’ve always done. We are all creators. Alchemists. Whatever you want to call yourself that gives you the most magic.
Think of it like this: if not me, then who? If not now, then when? If not committing to the betterment of myself and creating a life of joy from this existence, then what? Time is such a precious gift and we never know how much we’re allotted. These revelations have propelled me to put a higher price tag on my time and existence in general. Every day is a gift, we should hold ourselves and each other, to higher standards and express more gratitude for the blessings we already have. Not waiting for someday to come, because it might never show up. Plans change. Life goes on. We should start doing the things we want to do when we want to do them! We should clean up our affairs, take charge of our lives! Tie up all loose ends. It’s 2020. If you’ve dropped your resolutions this year, maybe re-evaluate why, then pick them back up with better intentions and keep pushing forward. RIP.