Day 289 Question 289:
What gives your life meaning?
Yesterday I found out that an acquaintance of mine was killed in a car accident the previous night. This was a girl that I had met through mutual friends at their wedding and we had mingled at a couple of different parties together. The main memory I have of her is at our friends birthday party we were all playing badminton and her and I decided to team up. I remember laughing so much and thinking about how funny she was. She was only 21 so there was a decent age gap between the two of us but we became Facebook friends and we would comment to each other here and there. She was a huge fan of Kelly Clarkson and just a few months ago she was finally able to see her live and had the luck of being able to meet her as well. She also had a great opportunity to study abroad in China and she was due to leave in a few weeks and her excitement was so infectious. She raised $500 for the trip and I remember thinking to myself that I should do something for her to help her out. The thought came and went and I wish I had went with my gut feeling in the moment. She was only 21 years old and her life was cut so short and although I did not know what her well it just doesn’t seem possible….it is really very sad.
My heart had felt heavy all day thinking about her and thinking about all of her close friends and family (she had so many). On top of this sadness came the wrath of Hurricane Sandy that narrowed in so many parts of New England and while I trekked along on the treadmill at the gym I watched the images on TV and I thought about what damage a storm like that could do….I felt kind of choked up. It was hard to watch the images of homes being flooded to a point of no repair and the idea of people losing such personal possessions and possibly never returning to the place they always called home. I realize that they a lot of it is only material items but I could not help to think about the memories being lost and having your life changing so drastically in just mere moments.
I can’t help but replay certain images in my head. I replay images of people in poverty stricken countries that survive off of nearly nothing. I replay images of people that have no family. I replay images of women and children that have been beaten and left for dead and have had to endure a life of psychological trauma. These images are not pleasant to have or to even think about but they are what give my life meaning. These images drive me to not live in a selfish manner and to give back whenever I possibly can. I sometimes feel like in these entries I try to portray myself in a saint-like manner or come off to people as almost phony. I hope that is not the case. I just look at the life that I have lead and I believe I have been given enough and it is now my time to give back. My mom keeps asking me what I want for Christmas and I keep telling her that I really do not want anything….and I mean it. I would rather have the moments of my life spent with the people that give my life meaning than be given material possessions. Material possessions can be replaced but people cannot. My parents have helped me through financial turmoil and have paid bills for me when I was unable to scrape the money together and all I keep thinking about is how it is my time to repay them. They won’t ask for it and I don’t just hand them money but I make sure to do the little things as often as I can. The other day I saw this t-shirt on Facebook that said: Short People. God Only Lets Things Grow Until They Are Perfect. Some of Us Didn’t Take as Long as Others. My mother is 4’11 and she is the first person that came to mind and of course I shared it with her on her wall. She commented and said she wished she had that shirt to take on her upcoming cruise. Little did she know that right after I saw it posted I went to a website and ordered it for her. I was going to make it a surprise and just let it show up at her doorstep but she called me last night and told me she really wanted that t-shirt and was asking if I knew where she could get one. I had to let the cat out of the bag and tell her that I already ordered it for her. It is moments like those that give my life meaning…to be able to do for others and to experience there happiness whether it be little or big.
It is moments of being able to hug the people that I love and tell them everything that I love about them that give my life meaning. It is taking the opportunity to listen to people when I know they need to be heard. It is not taking for granted everything that I have been blessed with thus far. People tell me I am crazy all of the time for exposing myself to images of poverty and violence and world chaos but I know it is what I need in order to feel that passion inside of me. It drives me to appreciate my own life but also to give back when I can…to remember that I have no reason to complain about the superficial things in life when so many others have nothing and are extremely content. It is the opportunity to gain knowledge every single day that gives my life meaning and to experience life outside of my own little bubble. I may sound annoying to some with all of this “goody goody” talk but I know that it is my time in this life to give back…it is my time to discover life outside of me. I was born to be a humanitarian and to do service for others…I feel that in my bones. I truly believe I would never grow if I was not able to see this.