Humankind is quite a unique species. We as people change over time, yet we do not truly change who we are at our core. We are somewhat, in essence, oxymoronic. This paradoxical nature about us is puzzling to think about – especially in regards to how we live our daily lives. However, that is not the point. We as people have the amazing ability to exist. We represent real, intelligent life. Putting religious or non-religious beliefs aside for a second, we all exist no matter which way our race has debated about it. We are lucky to be here.
To say my hometown community has been through a lot recently would be a dramatic understatement. In the span of a month and a half, my community has lost two great young men. I knew both of them personally. Both were teammates of mine in high school and I also graduated with one of them. Everybody deals with their emotions and issues in different ways. I am usually a reserved person, so when I’m not with my fiance, Katelyn (whom also lost a high school friend at a young age), I usually deal with my issues and emotions best through an internal avenue, which would be writing in this case.
As of right now, I am 24 and a half years old. I have been out of high school for six years. Even though I had not seen either person for years, hearing of their passing was a bit of a gut punch. Just being in attendance for both of their funerals to pay my respect and seeing the many people that have been impacted by both of their lives was bittersweet. Both families did an incredible job at both funerals with the handling of them in an incredibly rough time in their lives.
A few years ago I was dealing with a small issue in my personal life and decided that I could no longer withhold it from people. I wrote an article on my blog regarding my thoughts on that issue that was met with mixed response. My slightly misleading title was: “Why I Don’t Like Most People.” Yikes. I followed up on that article last year in another article (this time for Odyssey), titled “Change,” which dealt with the problems I have always had with change in general.
As I write this now, I realize the error of my ways. I have been reflecting a lot recently about my life in the past, present, and future. I have looked back on certain events and moments in my past with both guys, such as playing sports together, that I have quite enjoyed. When you spend so much time growing up with a group of people, a certain kind of bond develops and is sustained even years after the fact. In addition, I have also looked back on other moments in my past and regretted how I handled them. The original article is only a small part of that. There have been plenty of moments with multiple people from my past that I can confidently look back on and call myself a name with a bad connotation (I’ll let you fill in the blank). More often than not my previous experiences that I regret have turned people away from me and only made my “issue” worse than it was initially. Way to go, Daryn.
The past few months have almost entirely changed my perspective on how I view life. One of my unofficial New Year’s resolutions is to not get so upset and irate about things I cannot control. Losing two high school friends so young in their life has helped and hurt that resolution. In some ways, it makes me care less about whether a particular sports team won or whether or not a movie is any good. People are so much more important. In other ways, it seriously brings into question the ultimate one word question: why? When I think about losing people I would call friends at such a young age, it kind of leaves an empty feeling inside. I believe we all have that feeling regardless, but events like this make that empty feeling feel a little bigger and linger a little longer. It also makes me realize that this can happen to anyone and how lucky we really are to be here.
Things happen. Life moves on. Sometimes it is awesome, like that Stefon Diggs touchdown to beat the Saints. Other times, it kind of sucks – or really sucks. If there is any consolation or positive to come out of these tragedies, it is that it has brought many of us back together again to celebrate the lives of those lost and to get up to speed with those of us still here. I wish we could all come to terms with this notion, or at least myself, in a better way that does not involve tragedy, but as my dad always says: “it is what it is.”
Everyone deals with their own issues in their personal lives, no matter what walk of life we come from. I do not care how tough of a person you think you are; if you need help, get yourself the help you need. There is no shame in seeking assistance from an outside source. I have done so for many years. Even if we do not talk or communicate very often, I still want you around and to be happy – even if we are not in each other’s lives like we once used to. Running into the people I have recently truly makes me want to re-connect more with people I have not done so with in years, but like I said, all I really want is for everyone to be alive and happy. And if you do want to reach out and communicate with me – even if we have never really met or talked much before – I am not too difficult to contact (and I’ll try really hard not to be a potential expletive this time).
Be supportive and thankful for those around you, don’t be afraid to reach out to and help someone (even if nothing appears wrong), and do not take for granted the moments you spend with them. As the recent events in my community have indicated, we never really know when the end is near.
I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to read this long post and, as always, have yourself a wonderful day. As Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) once said in the movie, Bruce Almighty: “be the miracle.”