As I drove home tonight after watching Keith (which is a great movie, btw) with my girlfriend, it gave me a lot of time to think. You see, in the car is possibly my favorite place to be reflective. I think it stems from the fact that I feel more alone there than anywhere else I spend time, like it’s no one but me and my thoughts. And by far, tonight was one of the most bittersweet, yet overwhelming rides I’ve taken.
It had occurred to me for the past few months that I have made more progressive change to my life this year than any other that I could remember. It wasn’t even close, quite frankly. I’ve really started to feel as though I have a purpose and as though my life is impactful.
I had always thought of myself as a good person. And why shouldn’t I? I’ve never had any run-in’s with the law, I was honest, and I tried to be kind to other people. But the truth is, I’m not sure I was ever honestly living; I was merely existing. I spent every day focused on getting the day over with, not exploring what could be accomplished within that day. I basically wished my life away. But I was over all of that and finally living the life that I thought I had been living all along. It was then that the reality of that situation truly hit me.
You see, in that moment, I realized that 2011 was merely 1 of the 26 years I had inhabited this planet. That epiphany hit me like a ton of bricks. It brought on a multitude of feelings including sadness, frustration, and disappointment. Why had I wasted 25 years of my life settling for existing? Wasted. I couldn’t stress that word to myself enough. I was on this planet for a reason and yet I wasted 25 years that I could have been making a difference. I felt as though I had affected more lives inside of that one year than I had in all the rest combined. I couldn’t comprehend why it had taken me so long to truly care about other people the way that I do now.
And so I want to strongly encourage every one of you to honestly evaluate yourselves. Are you living, or are you existing? Are you making a difference, or are you content in being among the crowd? If you are okay with where you are, I get that. Just realize that time is one thing that you can never get back, no matter what you do. Whether it’s because of the religion you believe in, the political agenda you want to see fulfilled, or simply because you feel it’s the right thing to do, make your life matter. You only get one chance at it, and do your best to make yours count.