Carrying On

A few weeks ago, I wrote a whiny/depressing post, titled, “The Life I Chose.”  I was just having one of those weeks in which I was not feeling important or that I was accomplishing anything.  On top of that, I was really missing my friends and family back home.  I appreciate the comments of Melissa Shea after she read that blog, as her words helped pick me up a little bit.

Last week at work, two things happened within five minutes of each other which not only made me ashamed of writing that blog, but these events also shed light on a lesson I had already learned.  Both happenings occurred as a result of forgetting to bring my lunch to work…sometimes, it is funny how fate works (don’t believe me about coincidences/fate?  Check out this blog post from Africa)!

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In order to leave during the work day and go buy something for lunch, I had to walk down to the main office and sign out.  As I was signing out, one of the secretaries, Pam, looked at me and said, “You know what you need?” I looked at her in a confused manner as she continued, “You need a girlfriend.  I read your post the other night, and it had me a little worried about you.”

I smiled, now understanding what she was talking about, and then replied, “Yeah I was just having one of those weeks when I wrote that.  I probably shouldn’t have published it at all since I was just venting.”

“Well you were talking about what is life all about, questioning the purpose,” Pam responded.  “It is all about relationships.”

Life is all about relationships.  Pam reminded me of a lesson that had been engrained in my mind during my trip to Africa.  I met many people who had hardly anything in terms of material wealth, yet they seemed to be so happy; they were happy because they put all of their worth into relationships…constant interactions with their loved ones made many of these people the richest I had ever met.  Sometimes in our current society, I feel like the business of life gets in the way of those friendships.  People are working, traveling, exhausted for various things, etc.  Those factors do not leave a lot of time for our relationships, even if it is something as simple as making a quick phone call or sending a quick text, Facebook message, or e-mail saying, “Hey I was just thinking about you…hope you’re doing well!”

Why is it that we as a society let the most important aspect of life get pushed to the back burner?  I have friends all over the world: Australia, New Zealand, South America, Mexico, Canada, many European countries, Africa and Asia.  Yet, when they send me messages or e-mails, I often times have difficulty finding time to reply.  I mean, I am working all day, I have to go to the gym for at least an hour every morning, and I am usually coaching some sport after school.  By the time I get home I am ready to unwind and have some time just for me…which usually involves falling asleep by 9:00 PM.  Surely my friends understand, right?  Probably not…and they shouldn’t!  If you can relate with what I just wrote, then I think we may have our priorities a bit mixed up.  In the wake of the recent tragedies in Boston, I think it is safe to say I am ready to fix that and make sure the I am better communicating on a regular basis with the people that I care about.  If I were to die in an accident today, would I be okay knowing that I hadn’t really talked to my mom in over two months?

Sometimes I get really lonely here.  When I am alone, I start thinking about my stepdad and I begin to have feelings of mass guilt and anxiety.  I am not sure what the anxiety is about, but the guilt is from that fact that I did not take advantage of communicating with him very well during the final weeks of his life.  …I miss my friends that are all back in the Midwest.  I miss having the guys around who I spent every waking hour with while we were in our K-12 school.  I miss my close friends from college.  I miss playing cards with my family.  I have expressed these feelings to some people, hoping for a little bit more communication, yet nothing has really seemed to change…hopefully it does soon! …and no, I am not moving back 🙂

I purposely turned down a very high paying teaching job for next year in Saudi Arabia because I did not want to be so far away from friends and family.  Yet, lately I feel like we are communicating about as much as we would be if I were in Saudi Arabia.  That needs to change, now.

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The other event that happened on that day at work when I forgot my lunch had to do with a song.  As I walked to my car, stuck the keys in the ignition and started the engine, a song came on that reminded me that I needed to be strong when I am feeling down and lonely…that I needed to continue to carry on.  The song was one that my friend Sam had actually messaged me about several months ago but it had never really registered in my mind until now.  It was a fateful experience to have had the conversation with Pam and then be greeted by this song.  It is called, Carry On, by Fun.  Here are the lyrics, thanks to azlyrics.com:

Well I woke up to the sound of silence

And cries were cutting like knives in a fist fight

And I found you with a bottle of wine

Your head in the curtains

And heart like the Fourth of July

 You swore and said,

“We are not,

We are not shining stars”

This I know,

I never said we are

 Though I’ve never been through hell like that

I’ve closed enough windows to know you can never look back

 If you’re lost and alone

Or you’re sinking like a stone

Carry on

May your past be the sound

Of your feet upon the ground

Carry on

 Carry on, carry on

 So I met up with some friends at the edge of the night

At a bar off 75

And we talked and talked about how our parents will die,

All our neighbours and wives

 But I like to think I can cheat it all

To make up for the times I’ve been cheated on

And it’s nice to know when I was left for dead

I was found and now I don’t roam these streets

I am not the ghost you are to me

If you’re lost and alone

Or you’re sinking like a stone

Carry on

May your past be the sound

Of your feet upon the ground

Carry on

 My head is on fire but my legs are fine

After all they are mine

Lay your clothes down on the floor

Close the door, hold the phone

Show me how no one’s ever gonna stop us tonight

 ‘Cause here we are

We are shining stars

We are invincible

We are who we are

On our darkest day

When we’re miles away

Sun will come

We will find our way home

 If you’re lost and alone

Or you’re sinking like a stone

Carry on

May your past be the sound

Of your feet upon the ground

Carry on

 I will continue to carry on through the hard times and the good times.  I look forward to doing so while making sure my priorities are a bit more straightened out.  If you want to listen to the song, it is embedded below.  Thanks for reading and until next time – make sure you are enjoying the company of the ones you care about most.

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