Thursday, January 14, 2016

How will you be remembered?

2016 has barely gotten its sea legs, and already we find ourselves in seemingly perpetual mourning over great artists, inspirational figures and beautiful friends both personal and widely shared. I can barely look at social media this month without seeing people collectively weeping over the loss of those who have touched our lives and transformed us.

Recently, a friend told me he lost three people close to him in one week. The depth to which it shook him shifted my day's outlook as well. I've never met these people, but I feel them through his grief. They left a mark on me by leaving a mark on him.

A few days ago, we lost David Bowie. I don't know a single person who hasn't been in some way or another struck by this man with an inspiration to create, to express, to embrace their own inner Weird.

This morning I woke to news of Alan Rickman's passing. I cried like everyone else, stunned by the unexpected ache left in my nostalgia centers. My Professor Snape, my Mr. Spurrier, my Richis, Alexander Dane, Tooth Fairy...it never occurred to me he meant so much to me personally until I heard. But he did. Having never met the man once, he somehow managed to be a very real person in my life.

Never settle for life less extraordinary than this.

This all has me thinking this morning. To have such a profound impact on so many has to mean something. A person doesn't leave a wake of souls permanently altered for the better by living a plebian life. How will people remember me when I'm gone? How do I want them to? What choices can I make to positively alter my person in such a way that I change people for the better and leave them saying "Wow. It was such a privilege to have known her." "She inspired me to shamelessly be myself." "She showed me the kind of person I wanted to be."

That's what I want. I know that I already exist as That Person for my son, my partner, my immediate family and a handful of friends. In light of our losses, I'm making a commitment to myself right now. I plan to daily strive to make choices that allow me to be That Person for every life I touch. No more wasting time and energy on anything that doesn't move the world. If I die and my life has been lived in shapes, flavors, textures and colors that ring true for people and serve to better them, I will have done pretty ok, I think.

Why would I live anything but an inspiring life for these guys?

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