Good evening everyone!! First half of 2013 has been an up and down time period for me, from going to court and losing my financial aid…to graduation and moving to a smaller city to be closer to my girlfriend while starting life after higher education. Today is an example of not only of a bad day, but it’s also a time where I’m teary-eyed yet reflective at the same time.
I found out through Facebook that my high school football teammate and Senior Boys Council buddy Dareon “Diesel” Cartman (the guy wearing #25) died in a motorcycle accident. He was an inspiration to me because he got to enjoy life while he can by doing the things he enjoy, such as football, MMA, skydiving, and motorcycle riding. He was easy going and ready to make a friend out of lonely people. And he loved to compete. Diesel was a strong leader on and off the football field. In fact, he was a rising entrepreneur and one of three HP seniors on the football team who tried out for a Division I team. In short, I loved my brother and he was a close friend.
Sadly, I didn’t get to hang out with him as much as I wanted due to school and constant relocation. I don’t have a lot of friends to begin with and the friends that I do have are mostly back home in Chicago or in other states. I’m not as close to family as I should and I tend to focus on my work more than building friendships. Diesel’s death scares me not only because it’s sudden and I lost a great friend. It’s also scary because it makes me realize how short life can be.
True, I get into arguments a lot or tend to be isolated at times when someone hurts me emotionally (this was more true during my childhood; I’m more laid back now-and-days). As a result, I can focus too much on the pain and bad times.
But I ask myself this question: what if I was to die tonight and see Diesel again in the afterlife? Would he be proud of my unwillingness to let bygones be bygones? I don’t think so!
If anything, I want to follow in his footsteps and learn how to enjoy friends and adventures to the fullest. That is Diesel’s biggest legacy. He may have lived for about only 24-25 years, but through going after his dreams and being loving towards everyone he meets, he made plenty of impacts on people’s lives. He wasn’t afraid to go outside the comfort zone. I think that’s why I was able to enjoy the zip tower today despite my dreadful fear of heights; I took a page from Diesel’s approach to life.
That means I need to stop being afraid of going outside of my comfort zone and worry too much. That means I need to begin to let things go and love up on people at the end of the day. That means that I need to open up my mind to new experiences and friend circles. I’m sick of not connecting with new and old friend circles because I’m away from them trying to hyper-focus on building my career.
I apologize to those who I argued harshly against; I pray that we can all come to a point where we spent fun, quality time together and drop all the foolishness into the pit. For those who hurt me in the past, I forgive you. I pray that I’ll help you get to a positive state of mind and turn our relationship from antagonistic to fruitful.
Remember, no matter what, enjoy the moments, and people while you can. Don’t be afraid to say, “I love you” and commend the person for his or her positive qualities. Step up and step out of the norm. And it’s perfectly fine to have wonderful adventures that you dream of.