My brother’s best friend killed himself over Thanksgiving break last fall.  I hadn’t seen him for years even though we’d known him forever, but his death resonated in the hollows of my soul like enormous brass bells were inside of me. He was good person, and he loved my brother like a blood brother.  It fucked with my core. It made me uncomfortable with the very thought of existing in this world.

The new year rolled around like a sigh of relief. 2016 was a bloody ugly mess for nearly everyone I knew. People in my life were holding on to each other like we were on an overcrowded lifeboat in a shark-infested ocean. And somehow, for some fucking reason, I felt like it was my job to make sure we stayed afloat in this world of negativity I was living in.

***

My brother came home for the holidays the week following the funeral. We spent the entire break doing everything together – working out, eating, talking about life, reminiscing about Matt.  One day, we went to the gym and I ran my hardest and my fastest. I just ran, like I was running towards a goal, a dream.  And then it dawned on me. What the fuck was I doing with my life? When did I become so complacent? This life. This life. This life could end at any second.

Matt was here a month ago. He made plans to travel to Tibet with my brother in the Spring. He lived his entire life with the sole purpose of doing good. Helping people. Being kind to others. Trying to understand the deeper meaning of it all. And now he was gone, but man did he leave fingerprints. This life. THIS LIFE. Is all we have to prove to ourselves that our existence should ever mean anything.

But here’s the thing. We don’t need to be great peacemakers or artists to make a difference in this crazy world.  That our very existence makes this world a better place. That the negativity that makes us escape on lifeboats should be outdone by the positivity that we spin into the waters. By loving ourselves and each other, we are daily heroes. Because we make the world that much better. And this life is what we choose to make of it.

***

Two weeks later, I gave my 60 day resignation letter at work, the biggest source of negative energy in my life.

I had committed to making my life a positive experience and sharing that energy and love the best that I could. But I know I have a journey to travel.

***

Six weeks later, here I am. Writing this. So begins this journey.

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