What Have I Learned From The Many, Many Lives I’ve Lived?

For some people, the one thing they would never want to forget is how amazing they are, but for those who have not experienced much of the lives of the people around them, it is difficult to fully realize that feeling of lucky.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. One of my favorite quotes is from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” He writes, “I would never have been alive if I had taken a different road.” Frost writes of that particular road, which, while not well traveled, was still used, and for many, traveled.

My life is not one to be taken, or left for others to take. My life is my calling, and I believe the best way to honor my life’s call is to make time for the things that I love and appreciate, and work diligently to make them happen because I love them so much. 

And so, in a previous post I promised that I would tell you about one of my special experiences with this philosophy, an experience to which I am grateful that I had. That experience took place on a beautiful August day over a two month period when, thanks to the kindness of many, one life was saved.

A New Beginning

When I left for college, I knew what I wanted. I was a “man,” I liked wearing suits, and I liked sports. I wanted all of it. It was a definite turn on to see my friends’ reactions when I revealed to them that I had taken a detour out into the world where all the things I loved were not so easy to find.

However, even though I had been in and out of my first semester for two weeks, while I had a pretty good plan for myself, my first day of a new school with a new group of friends and new classes was a little confusing.

My new friend and I were going to have a lunch at T.C. Jester’s while I waited for some bus fare. The school was down by the beach, and it was fairly close, so the walk was not too bad. We went back to campus and found some people we could walk with to meet up with our bus. I have been to the beach a total of four or five times in my life, and I had never seen this neighborhood before.

At this point, I was about to leave. My friend and I could have walked to the Beach at least, but it was a little too hot to have to keep the sun in our faces, so I was going to catch a bus out of there and come back the way I came.

As we walked in the neighborhood at dusk, we noticed some men. One of the men was sitting on the side of the street by the sidewalk. He was talking with a woman who was a few yards down. I can tell from her voice that she sounded a lot calmer than she probably looked. They spoke a little Irish. These men appeared to be a married couple, and the woman was obviously more than just a girlfriend. We were just two small children, the most we had on our shoulders, and the three of us could have been easily swept away in the moment by the man. 

So I stopped, stopped, paused, took a step towards him and whispered something in his ear and waited.

I thought to myself, “No matter what he says to her, no matter what he says he loves her, the man in the red hat is going to end up with the girl in the blue skirt anyway.” So I waited. I waited. 

He looked back over his shoulder. “Are you listening to me? Are you following me?” I had to ask before I could hear what he said next. There was a long pause, but before he said anything else the man turned his head towards the woman. And then it happened. “Are you listening to me?” He said with an eerie calm. 

He then turned his head and pointed the finger at me. I am not even sure why. “Are you listening to me? Are you following me?” It was an odd tone that I had only heard on the radio. I didn’t understand what he was saying. “Are you listening to your friends, or me?” He said with a smile and a wink.