I’m driving down the road singing Avril Lavigne at the top of my lungs. One of my best friends next to me. Windows down with my arm outstretched catching the night air. And I pause. Any struggles up to this point have been washed away. This is what it feels like to be alive. No, not merely living. But to be truly alive.
This night is freedom. Freedom from tear filled nights and broken hearts. (Okay, so maybe I was feeling a little too liberated. But there is nothing like joining in with a whole theater full of people yell-singing “WHEN YOU SEE MY FACE, HOPE IT GIVES YOU HELL!” while picturing the guy who broke your heart standing right in front of you). Anyways! In this moment of reflection I look to my right. There sits my friend Taylor doing her weird dance move that consists of a counter-clockwise rotation of just her left shoulder. But I don’t just see her. I see every friend that I’ve ever had up to this point. The ones that I have laughed with, sat crumpled on the floor and cried with, and the ones that I’ve shared the worst arguments with. Everyone that has made me what I am.
I’m talking about the ones still around and the ones that walked away with a knife sticking out of my back. Because I’m a firm believer that you can’t pick and choose what defines you. If that were the case, we would all be spoiled brats with no desire to read deep blog posts.
But in this moment as the radio projects Avril’s words, “you fall and you crawl and you break and you take what you get and you turn it into”…I am reminded that all of my struggles are significant. Without my deepest struggles, I wouldn’t have the ability to appreciate simple nights such as this one.
Moments of reflection are so important. Because of them, I can honestly say that I do not hate anyone that has left me throughout my journey. Instead, I appreciate all that those people have contributed to my life and pray that they find the same clarity through theirs.
So I encourage you to go out and enjoy life. But don’t forget to stop and pause not only during the bad times but also the good.
P.S. – That doesn’t mean you and your friends have to stop the occasionally intense, emotional jam ‘seshes’ full of songs about the guys who broke your hearts. Because I don’t know about you all, but I classify that as therapy.