Friday, June 24, 2011

Death Is a Part Of Life; It Still Doesn’t Make the Loss Less Painful (Taylor Siluwé)

Taylor Siluwé, a long-time friend – for more than two decades to be exact – is dead. Just months after being diagnosed with cancer, the disease ravaged his body, leaving all those who knew him stunned at his hasty departure. As is the case with many friends, Taylor and I had years where we busied ourselves with our own lives, and we were often reconnected by an encouraging remark about a blog post, a Facebook comment or by sharing a brief word to catch up on where we were in life. I still remember our early years – the years when we didn’t have a care in the world and NYC (sometimes Jersey) was our Playground. Even then, his intense creativity, passion and flare for life served as a gravitational pull to all those around him – including me. The ten years I spent in Washington, DC still held brief contacts with Taylor – even a few laughs at the new “Taylor”. All said, I’ve grown into the man I am alongside Taylor. I’ve supported his work, admired his spirit and drive and watched in awe at his ability to be relevant from our late teens to today. I know that it’s noble to mention that he will be watching over me, but today I’m going to honor my friend and simply say that I will miss his presence in my life. I’m sure one day I’ll smile at the mention of his name, but today, I’m reverently saddened at the enormous space left vacant by his departure.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reality and Life...

As I look back over my life I remember conversations I had with my mom that highlighted my worth and how perception – unfortunately – is reality. Fight as we may, the concept of each person having their own perception of the world be their reality will never change. I really fought this issue early on in life. I often said, “Reality is reality…” but sadly, it isn’t so. This isn’t to say that we should live according to what others want for us, but we should recognize that we are not alone in the world and more often than not we will need the help, support and kindness of others. If you’re ever curious as to what happens to folks who thumb their nose at the world, they are the folks that we persistently see and hear at odds with everyone – their family, their friends and folks who should be in their corner. All to say that you should live your life recognizing:

• Your worth: If you don’t know what you’re worth you allow others to disrespect, undermine and devalue you. No one – absolutely no one – should occupy a higher position in your life than you. Once you honor yourself you do a better job at conveying what is acceptable to you and caring for those you love. Romantic, platonic and professional relationships must ALL accept that you are valuable and worthy.
• Honesty trumps bullsh*t: Trust and believe that if you’re 20, there is a 40 year old that has already traversed the road you’re on and so on… You are fooling no one when you attempt to lie, deceive and omit your way through life. Be real, be honest and stand in your truth. If your truth is that you are a flawed human being, then you can join the hordes of us that stand as flawed human beings. The truth always comes to light and most times we don’t believe you, we just see you as a bullsh*t artist (not a good one either).
• You are the author of your novel: Many of us have lives that appear ripped from the headlines – good and bad. That said, you are the author of your novel. You have the free will to do good with your life or be a complete waste of a human being. Whatever you decide, understand that you should ONLY compliment or blame yourself for the outcome of your life. Even when there are horrible and unpredictable events in our life, there are glimmers of hope where we have the opportunity to right our path and make a difference.

It may all seem rehashed…you’ve heard it all before… but what I’d like to leave you with is that if you remember that you are all important; that you should live openly – letting the true you shine; and you accept responsibility for where you are and where you’re going, then you will never regret any part of your decisions or ultimately, your life.

Keep passin’ the open windows…