You know, it’s pretty popular to talk on social media about how much artists impact us, especially after they pass away. I know I did it about Robin Williams, the dude just inspired me and I miss the product he put out into the world. The same can be said for Kyle Pavone from We Came as Romans, who passed away last month out of nowhere. Just like Mac Miller. Just like whoever else you want to bring to the conversation.
These people had lives and love ahead of them and they are gone today. Just like that.
Not to mention, the pastor of Inland Hills Church in California who took his own life a while ago.
All of these things hit me, softly. I wasn’t destroyed by the news of Mac Miller or Kyle Pavone. I don’t think it’s worth it to get on Facebook and write some monolithic post about how much I’ll miss them. Yeah, both of the dudes were inspirations to me through various parts of my life and I’ll probably yearn for their minds in my life once more, but you know what’s great? I can find them. Right now I can load up Spotify and listen to the same songs by Mac that I have listened to so many times that filled me up with determination. I can listen to WCAR as often as I need to, to remember the feeling that they gave to me.
These people aren’t gone. Their energy and their work are left over after they’ve left the world. I don’t see a reason to go on a tirade about how much I’ll miss/love them and how much I want them back. If it was a close friend of mine, I’d be destroyed. But I didn’t know Mac Miller. I didn’t know Kyle Pavone. I didn’t even know Pastor Andrew.
It is just another stone firm reminder that you don’t know the nature of other’s struggles. You don’t know the reasons they do what they do. You don’t have all the answers and try as I might, neither do I.
I hope that as you consider these things today, you say a word for those in your life who you still can save. Those ones who you still know, who you don’t know the inner workings of.
Reach out to them today, because you don’t know how much longer they will be around. They could be gone tomorrow, and we would have no idea that they were even struggling.
Grip the ones you have and love ‘em, love ‘em as hard as you can.
You don’t know the nature of anyone’s struggle, and that just means we have to love them that much more.
I was going to end it there, but I can’t bring myself to. I have so much more to say. Since I started this blog, I’ve come out with this desire to be helpful and insightful. I’ve wanted to share the knowledge I do have in hopes that it can reach and impact other people. That the words I say can reach you where you need it and hopefully one day you can reach me when I need it in return. We have this amazing power, the two of us. Our collective experiences, shared with those in our lives can provoke amazing changes in our daily lives. The way we look and act and interact. It only takes a few moments…
I ran into a coworker at the store the other day and we talked about an instance between two people that we work with and how it could have been handled, how frustrating it can be to work with people who are unwilling to cooperate. The whole conversation passed by in a few minutes, but it left me with a lasting impression.
I don’t know what their lives are like.
For instance, at my last job, we had this older lady who always complained about working too much, and when she wasn’t working every day she complained that she didn’t have enough money. From my perspective, I thought it was rather silly. Of course, you don’t have money, you know? You aren’t working. But it begged a deeper question within me. Why couldn’t she afford what she needed to, why was it that she made it a point to complain.
I should have noted this within myself first because I would have likely answered my own question. After speaking with her for a while and asking about her situation, why she was always so frustrated and broken up about working/not working, that she was supporting her grandkids on her own. I don’t know how many. Could’ve been one, could’ve been ten. The number doesn’t matter to me. Her kid was in jail and his girlfriend was painfully addicted to something. Neither of them was in a place to care for the child so she took up the mantle.
It just went to show me that I don’t know what I think I know. Every time I think I’ve got life figured out I just blink and it changes on me. The pressures of life are so daunting sometimes because they get applied to different places, new things spring up that we can’t combat immediately and it builds. Who am I to complain about your frustrations? Who am I to take them as my own?
I knew a kid in high school, good guy. He had a heart of gold, and he tried so hard to fit in with his classmates. They didn’t accept him because of a learning disorder. That was until we grew up a bit. People started to flock to him after a birthday party he had which the party favors were more than favors. I’ll leave it at that. I watched people start to gather around the guy because they got presents for doing so. For a while, at least. That couldn’t last forever. After people started spending time with him they started to realize he was a genuine, kind-hearted kid who didn’t want to do wrong to anyone. He just wanted to be liked and accepted.
We all became good friends with him and after graduation, he went to college in another city. I ran into him a couple summers ago and caught up over a few beers. It was great seeing him out in public, still the same smiling kid he had always been. With a new beard, he sported for fun. We laughed and talked a bit, and he started to tell me this story about his girlfriend back at college. They had seen one another on and off for a few months, and eventually, it got to a point where she felt… overwhelmed, or turned off, or whatever.
She ended up breaking things off with him because he had a learning disorder. One of the most genuine dudes I know and someone took his heart out of his chest and bit a hole through it with no remorse. Right after that, he dropped the bombshell on me that he had tried to kill himself a couple months before returning to town. It didn’t work. Whatever he did didn’t work and I still think about that day.
So thankful that he didn’t do it.
I didn’t know him as well as others, I didn’t need to. His life was evidence enough for me that there is magic in everything. The way people gathered around him on graduation night and lifted his goofy ass up into the air while we cheered. It brought a tear to my eyes thinking that he wanted to end all of that, that he had fallen so far down that he thought ending his life was the only way out.
I didn’t say all that, I regret not telling him then that he was amazing and that I was so proud of him. This story doesn’t have a sad ending, he’s still around. I saw him a couple days back, in fact. I don’t think he recognized me and that’s okay. I remember him. I likely will until the day I die, whenever that is.
I’m just constantly reminded that we don’t know what we think we do. This life and all of its ups and downs are a collapsed unit. Each short moment we get with our loved ones is such a brilliant gift to me. No Christmas could compare.
I’m so happy to be alive.
I’m so happy that you are too, even if we don’t really know one another. I hope we get to, one day.
I have so many great things to share with you.
Thank you for coming back again this week. I’ve loved getting to do this blog for five whole years now. I hope that you are okay today, and if you aren’t… get okay. Find a good book or a good friend or a good discipline. There is something out there for all of you, I promise there is. No matter how hopeless it might seem.
I hope to see you again next week, with more goodness, more love and a lot of stuff we need to talk about.
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If you feel like you are overwhelmed and at your end, reach out to someone. People want you to stay alive.
If you are battling with an addiction and don’t know who to turn to, don’t be afraid to look for help. It is out there. People want you to get better.