Then a few things happened. First, my friend died. Young and beautiful and embracing life. Living. Really living. And gone. Like that. Gone. Jenna inspired me while she was alive with her boundless energy and smile, her passion to make others feel cared about and loved, her desire to live a life of service. She has inspired me in her death because I want to do and be all of those things and I don't want to waste another minute because not a single one of us knows how many minutes we have left. I'm praying and wishing and hoping and crossing fingers and toes that there are many, many, many thousands of minutes left. But hoping and crossing fingers isn't the same as knowing. No matter how many minutes I have left, I want to live them, wringing the last bit of life out of each of them. I want to be saturated in the joys and delights and pain and sadness of this world.
Second, I read the book Love Does by Bob Goff. I feel that he deserves a pretty serious name drop in my first blog post since I kind of stole my blog name from one of his talks. Well, it wasn't kind of. I really just stole it, but it's so good and so perfect for this time in my life. This time where I just want to stop letting fear of failure or looking silly hold me back from what I should be doing, what I was made to do. What I should be doing is loving and writing and I intend to do both here. He said that the bigger we love, the more likely we are to fail because the risks are bigger. The more we put ourselves out there, the greater the chance for heartache and disappointment. That's just how life goes. I spent a lot of time, I'm talking years, wishing it were different and, therefore, not taking risks because I didn't want to be hurt and I definitely didn't want to fail. But, that time is past. That me and those fears are gone.
Third, I woke up. I woke up to the wonder of this life and this world and these simple, immense breaths that sustain us. I woke up to the possibility of living to my full potential instead of waiting for life to happen to me. Here's the quote that sums it up for me, courtesy of Frederick Buechner, American writer, theologian, and, if this quote is any indication, one smart, fantastic fella.
“Whatever you do with your life—whatever you end up achieving or not achieving—
the great gift you have in you to give to the world is the gift of who you alone are;
your way of seeing things, and saying things, and feeling about things, that is like
nobody else’s. If so much as a single one of you were missing, there would be an
empty place at the great feast of life that nobody else in all creation could fill.”
I just want to walk around this beautiful, terrible world and let people know how much the world would be missing if they weren't in it. This great feast of life that is for all of us, regardless of where we live, where we work, what we had for dinner, if we had dinner at all. Not only is it for all of us, but all of us are an integral part of it because we all have something uniquely ours to bring to this delectable table.
For now, in this season of my life, with kissing baby tootsies and teaching how to tie shoes, French braiding hair and driving to basketball practice, most of my walking will be close to home and most of my writing will be on this little blog with big dreams. It's a start. It's my start. Ready? Set? GO!