Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, especially during my long bike rides and runs. I turned 25 about a week and a half ago and this coming Saturday marks the 3 year anniversary of my mother’s death so I’ve been spending a great deal of time thinking about life and what I want out of it. People often say that life is short. In reality, life is long. Certainly life does get cut short for some people, whether by one’s own doing or God’s will. Whether I live to be 101 or 28, I want my life to be meaningful and make a difference in at least one person’s life. Too many people get caught up in our fast pace society of climbing the corporate ladder or buying the latest technology. I don’t want to be one of those people. I use to think I wanted the BMW and the gorgeous house over-looking the ocean. Who wouldn’t? But would that really make me happy?
If you asked me 5 years ago where I would be at age 25, I would have told you I was in medical school on my way to be an award-wining oncologist. If I had my way then I would have gone to John Hopkins, where I would have done my residency and then worked at one of the top cancer hospitals in the world. But, life has a funny way of changing your plans. Whether you believe it’s God, fate, serendipity, or pure random events in life, you can’t deny that things happen for a reason. I like to believe you meet certain people for a reason. You go places for certain reasons. Hell, you eat certain foods for a reason. But, I’m still working on figuring out why good people have to die so young. It’s not fair, but it’s part of life. You take the lessons you learned from that person and put it to good use.
I’d be lying if I said my mother’s death didn’t have a profound impact on my life. It completely changed my life. Seeing someone take their last breathe in front of you leaves a lasting impression and one that I will never forget. But my mother would not want me to lay in bed and say “whoa is me” for the rest of my life. She would want me to live my life to the fullest, because she sure as hell did. She was a skier at heart. She travelled all over the West and Europe to ski in her younger days before she married my father and had my sisters and I. She was a worker. She was the one who taught me hard work paid off. She worked long hours so she could afford to cart my horses and I around New England to horse shows for 10 years. She was an amazing woman, and I’m not just saying that because she was my mother.
After her death, I realized that the path I was heading in life was not the direction I truly wanted. I was lost for a while and I think I have finally found what I want to do in life that makes me happy and will make an impact on other people’s lives. I certainly have a long path still to get where I ultimately want to be. And to be completely honest, I’ve been very frustrated with that. I’ve never been a patient person. I get that from my father. When I want something, I generally want it now. I’m 25. I want to start my career and settle down. Eventually, with a little hard work and patience, I’ll get where I’m going.
I read a quote recently that made me really think.
“Most of the time what you are looking for is right in front of you”
Most of the time what I am looking for is right in front of me. Usually the stapler on my desk that I’m always looking for is right it front of me! But, physical items aside, I think the quote is so true. Often times we go around looking for something that doesn’t exist. Or sometimes that thing exists, but once you find it, you realize it’s not what you really wanted in the first place and want you really wanted is right in front of you. I think this is really true about people. In my past 25 years I have realized that the people that really matter in your life are right in front of you. Sometimes they might be waving their hands frantically in your face saying “HELLO! Look at me!” Other times they are in the shadows secretly waiting for you to realize that you’re there for them. Sometimes we all need to step back once and awhile and smell the roses. Realize what truly matters in life. Who or what makes you happy? If something happens to you tomorrow, are you truly happy with your life?
Don’t forget to tell the people in your life that you care about them because you never know when they might not be right in front of you anymore…