One of the reasons that I've been inspired to write again is just that I've become so focused on me, that I need to start branching out little by little.
Shutting down is one of the easiest things to do when you feel threatened by life, not specifically by people or things, but just by life. Life can be overwhelming at points if you don't focus on the next step in front of you, rather, you focus on the next 5000. The reality is that usually the next 5000 steps will work themselves out, if you make the right decision for your next step. I am realizing this slooooowwwwly, and working to focus on the here and now, instead of frantically gazing at the wild blue yonder.
Sometime last year, I found out that one of my high school teachers had cancer, and was given a short time to live. If I had to choose one person that did not belong to my family, and was not my pastor, that had made the largest impact on my life, it would be this teacher.
He left an indelible mark on my life that can never be erased, nor would I ever want it to be erased. He taught me all four years of high school, and I worked for him for an additional four years after graduation.
I remember walking up to the stage to get my 'diploma' (really just the shell to put the diploma in) with my crutches (long story...), and I handed off my crutches to an administrator so I could walk up, grab the 'diploma,' shake hands with the board member, and walk back down to grab my crutches. I happened to look up into the crowd, and looking up, I saw this teacher cheering me on. He later told me that his wife was worried that I was going to fall without my crutches that she could only hold her breath until I got them back.
He passed away at the end of January. I didn't have much contact with him in the last few years, and I really regret that. Once I found out that he was dying, I kept thinking I should go see him, or call him...but I didn't.
Last Saturday, after his funeral, I went out with a high school friend that did go see him before he passed. As we talked, I realized that the one reason I kept putting it off was because I didn't want to rekindle this friendship with this awesome man, just to lose him; I knew it would hurt.
I will regret that decision for the rest of my life. The few moments that I could have spent with him, telling him the great impact he had on my life, would have been well worth the tears.
I'm learning that shutting down and shutting life out isn't worth the beauty that life can offer. Unfortunately, I learned this too late to benefit me in this situation. Don't be like me; if you need to tell someone the impact they had on your life, do it now. Be sure everyone knows what they mean to you, because tomorrow they may be gone.