I’ve been mulling over how to put into words what’s been on my mind the last twenty-four hours. In the meantime, I meditated and I made chicken vegetable stew. Today is also Lammas, the perfect day for veggies. I’d have made bread but I’ve never done it successfully. While the stew is slow cooking, I started to re-read Questionable Content, a comic I haven’t read in many years but I remember enjoying it in my late teens and early twenties. This particular strip to the left made me laugh. It got to the heart of what I’ve been thinking about lately.
I was looking back through my archives yesterday and came across a post about my friend who took his own life. I regret not making the time to see him. Not reaching out because I figured we had endless time to catch up. I regret taking time for granted. It’s something I know we all do daily. We think there’s always tomorrow. We’ll go on that hike tomorrow. I’ll call him tomorrow. I tell her how I feel next time. I don’t want to dance tonight, it’s too embarrassing, next time. I’ll sing next time. I’ll do whatever I’m too afraid to do today, tomorrow or next time or whenever I feel less scared of the unknown outcome.
The thing is. There isn’t always a next time. Sometimes we miss that chance. Life passes us by and it does so quickly. Paths change or end and trust me when I say, being on the wrong side of time is regrettable.
My father is losing a friend. In fact, she will like pass before the weekend. He is crushed and angry and time is the enemy. I listen to him spew bullshit about friendships and how watching her give up is too hard. Like it hurts him more then it hurts her that he won’t visit. When all she really needs his friendship. She is old and her time has come. Really, I know his heart is breaking and it hurts to watch.
A great love in my best friends life got married yesterday. I think he regrets never telling this person how he felt when he had the chance. When it might have mattered and taken his life on a different journey. I think time slipped by and fear took over. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that he will find love again and with someone who he’s not afraid to be himself with. To own his feelings without fear of rejection.
I think about all the people who I couldn’t help in the past. All the last moment’s I’ve heard. I think about the regrets, the tears, and the loss. And I know, without question, I don’t want to live my life that way. I don’t want to always wonder what if. What if I’d only said what was on my mind. What if, I’d only acted upon my desires. What if I’d only taken that trip, tried that new thing, spent time with the people who made me happy.
Life is short. It just is. Even if you’re lucky enough to live a hundred lifetimes it will always feel short. So don’t hold back. Don’t regret. Own who you are and your feelings. Take a chance. Jump off the cliff. Sing when there’s music and even without. Dance whenever the opportunity arises. Shake off the fear and worry and own who you are. Because I promise, there are people who love who you are. There are people who cherish your friendship. There are people who would do anything for you.
Sometimes it’s hard to see. Hard to accept. But a life lived in fear and regret is no life at all. It feels suiting to be reflective of life on Lammas. I’m thankful for a lot of things today but mostly, I’m thankful for the opportunity to live a life without regrets. I don’t always get it right. Sometimes I fail. But even when I do, I know how important it is not to put life off. To heed my own advice and dive in again, feet first this time. Because otherwise, you might never know. Trust me when I say, that’s worse.