Well, five days ago was my 32nd birthday. I rang it in as only I could. I started the celebration at MJQ Concourse where I danced and partied the night away, had a barbeque the next day, went tubing with girlfriends the day after that, and then drove to Washington DC with a best friend of mine, where I spent time with some family. As the years go on, I find that I prefer to celebrate my birthday for a whole week instead of just a day. Afterall, I deserve a damn week. But I digress.
This year my birthday also happened to be the day that a good friend's grandmother passed away. I shared with another friend of mine the story of how my friend's grandmother was in her late 70's and died of stomach cancer. The woman had been diagnosed a couple of years before her death and literally fought it until the end. When given the diagnosis the woman chose chemo, which seemed to help initially, but the cancer continued to come back until she was so weak, doctors refused to give her anymore treatment. I shared with my friend how I felt that my other friend's grandmother was simply afraid to die.
I suppose that it is my own exposure to death and interactions with the "other side" that's made me quite black and white when dealing with it, especially with older people. I told my friend that those of us that live our lives to the fullest aren't afraid to go. Its normally people that have a lot of regrets or know that they haven't been as good as they should have been, that are afraid to meet what awaits them.
It reminded me of a conversation I had a few years ago with my ex. There was a strange tone that hung around in the air as we spoke. I told him that he's afraid to die. He agreed. I told him that I'm not afraid to die. He said "I know." I told him that I believe he has a demon in him. Again, he agreed. So anyway, at that moment, I was brought back to my feelings of if you live it right the first time, you don't worry about what meets you on the other side.
While driving up to Washington with Daisy, we discussed a little of the detail about my cousin, Tracey's, death. I told her that although I hated losing my dear cousin when and how I did, (she actually died a week before my 18th birthday and was buried the day before it) her death was a constant reminder that nothing is promised. No one is promised. I also shared how I regretted only telling Tracey that I loved her one time. Of the many conversations and hang out sessions, I only awkwardly told her one time that I love her. I wished so many times that I had told her how much she meant to me. I don't have a lot of regrets, but that is still one that is with me.
Although I still mourn her, I used her death to let me know that I have to tell people how much they mean to me while they're here. Its not at all uncommon for me to end conversations with even casual friends by saying "I love you." I never again want to know that someone that I care for has passed away without me taking a few seconds to tell them that they're dear to me. I find some solace in knowing that the last words to my cousin Jarronn were "I love you" after our last phone call. I'll never see him in this life again, but our last conversation was filled with love and promise, which is what we should all want to exit this life with.
Last night, on Facebook, I saw that a friend was going through some things so I texted her to check in. She said simply that she is unhappy with her life. The therapist in me took over and I asked her questions to examine her feelings. I don't think she wanted to do that, but she simply said that overall, she's unhappy in her life. I sent her some positive energy and gave it to the universe. I wanted so bad for her to understand the key to happiness is something that is inside all of us, not externally. I knew that she was in no place to hear it, so I let it die.
This morning, as I took my son to school, all of the stations commemorated the death of Michael Jackson this day, 3 years ago. They then played one of my favorite songs "Off the Wall." That song and album happen to be my favorites from MJ and I decided to dance my ass off in my car in his honor. That's when it hit me. I mean it really hit me. That's the key to happiness. Living your life Off the Wall.
No regrets, no fear, just living your life to the fullest. Being happy and thrilled to be alive. Taking adventures and doing what you want. Screw bullshit that you can't control. Stop trying to impress others. Take the bull by the horns and do what makes you happy. Its been an uphill battle, but I've realized that I'm overjoyed because I've finally reached the point where I'm Off the Wall and it feels spectacular.
I'm at the point in my life where I go where I want, befriend who I want, fuck who I want and live my life for me and not others. Of course there are people that disagree with my way of living, but that is simply because most of them fear my freedom and resent themselves for not letting go the way I have. I'm not afraid to die because I show the people that I love how much I care for them. I tell them and make sure that we spend time together. If there is a man I want, I let my heart lead the way. If there is another man I want (for a shorter period of time), I let "other" parts of my body lead the way. And I could not be more thrilled. I've finally discovered the real meaning of happiness. By living your life Off the Wall.