I am seeing now how we are all connected to each other. I remember chatting one night with April in our Denver condo about how much life really changes with friendships and family over the years. It’s not better or worse. Just different.
In high school, you live for your friends. Life is about spending every minute together. You are involved in everything they are doing. Where they are going for lunch, who they are dating, what they are doing after school, how they did at their soccer event. Everybody knows everything about everybody.
In college, the conversation turns more towards where life is going. What it will be like in the real world. After that…. the 20’s approach. Friends spend time falling in love, many friends have babies, people focus on building their future careers.
Time shifts. Life quickly shifts. I no longer know that Wolpoff decided to skip lunch because he wanted to draw a cartoon character. It is impossible to live the same way as the past, and that is ok. It is just life continuing to move forward as it should. But the power of friendship doesn’t change.
It seemed to me in Denver a few months back that everyone was kind of in it for themselves. People were living in their own worlds and April and I were in ours. Trying to get through the hustle of life. Trying to get to a better place, just to get by, always looking forward towards something better. Life was about surviving, and finding moments of fun when you could, but I felt that real connections between people were getting lost in the process.
I was very wrong. Although sometimes I do feel we need to slow down (mostly me), we are all still connected. We always have been, even if we don’t stop to acknowledge how much people matter to us.
I now realize that I need to take more pause. I need more reflection. I need to make that random call when a person pops into my head. Share a story of a moment I remember enjoying with them. Let them know how much they matter to me.
I need to keep making new connections too. The connections bring back the roots to happiness and purpose. Connecting with other people is what is important. It’s the purpose of life. Everything else is a distraction.
In the past 10 days, I have seen so many connections re-established. Do you feel it? It’s not just from me. It’s not just from having Cancer. It is from all of you. People are talking more, really talking. People are listening more, laughing more, reflecting more, connecting more. I know people have hugged more, kissed more, you-know-what more…. This proves that nothing bad can happen in life if you maintain those connections. There are no setbacks if you choose to keep moving forward. Staying connected gets you through everything. We are all holding hands. We are in this together.
I received an amazing email today from a client I photographed in 2009. I felt a connection with the couple at the time, and still completely remember their entire wedding. Well, apparently they too held on to that connection, five years later.
She wrote me a very endearing letter, and offered me a bird bath. She wrote, “Animals live completely in the now. They are not burdened with thoughts of what may, or may not be, in the future like we are. Us humans do a lot of worrying. When I watch the birds, or any of my other animals for that matter, I’m reminded to live in the now. Exist in the moment I’ve got at hand.”
I will take that bird bath with open arms :) Sometimes you have to get really close to death to understand just how alive and connected we all are. I love you.