Two of the most powerful things humans can give and possess. I woke up a few mornings ago before dawn. Unable to get back to sleep, I scoured human interest stories of the day, and stumbled across the story of Zach Sobiech. I’m perpetually behind the internet times, but this story was re-relevant as a documentary company, Soulpancake, had just released a follow up on Zach’s story.
For those who don’t know, Zach was a teenager from Minnesota who had osteocarcoma, and was given a terminal diagnosis at the young age of 17. He died, at 18 years old, on May 20, 2013. You may recognize him as the singer/songwriter of the iTunes hit, “Clouds,” a song he wrote and perfomed in leiu of writing goodbye letters to his family and friends. Well, Soulpancake did a documentary about him after the popularity of his song exploded, called My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech.
The sun slowly peeped through the blinds as I watched My Last Days, and its follow-up My Last Days: Zach Sobiech, A Year Later, which checked in with Zach’s family, friends and girlfriend after his passing. You can’t help but cry when you watch these videos, when you see this unbelievably positive kid enjoying his last moments with the ones he loves, even as he’s being cheated out of a long, healthy life. The interviews with his family were heart wrenching and beautiful at the same time. As if, if anyone you love is going to die, this must be the best way to cope with it. They chose to live everyday like it was their last too. The love was almost palpable, and poignant, and breathtaking.
These documentaries really helped put things in perspective for me and the ways I’ve been feeling lately. In the end, there shouldn’t be any other alternative than to be so happy with all that you have. Whether or not you have what you thought you would by this point in time, you should still appreciate what has been there all along. Your family, your friends, your cat, your mailman. Whoever. It makes wounded hearts and sad eyes like mine seem a little trivial. After witnessing this family’s tenacious strength and love in the face of inevitable tragedy, the sadness I feel seems… not quite as insurmountable as before. Our time on this earth is precious and short, we should expend our physical and emotional energy wisely. I wish I could feel this at peace all the time.
I haven’t felt like myself in a while. I’ve been depressed, anxious and antsy. I’ve been so concerned with how to solve the puzzle that I’ve forgotten to enjoy the game. I’ve felt so outside of who I am, or rather, I just don’t know who that person is yet. This year has been so full of change, I can’t see the end of the road, or even the next stop light. I feel like I’m driving my life blindfolded. On any given day I either feel like Zoolander:
It’s a revolving door (glass case?) of emotion. I’m either sad or crazy, and neither state makes me feel as though I deserve love or hope, since I feel incapable of providing them to others. But, after seeing Zach’s story, I feel… a little better. It will most likely be short-lived, as I know from experience that this is a process, but I’m trying to savor these moments for as long as I can. It makes the crazy/sad/crazy moments a little more manageable each time.
I always say no one’s perfect. That includes me… and ya know what? Perhaps for the first time, I’m including my plethora of readers in that conviction. So why not just accept who you are, at least for right now? Stop calling yourself ‘crazy’ and start calling yourself ‘you’. While my blog does focus on the more extreme aspects of my personality, in the end this is me: I wear my heart on my sleeve. I love with all my heart and soul. Sometimes I jump in feet first. Some call that reckless, but some call it faith. Faith that humanity is… or can be accepting, beautiful, and loving. Even to “crazy” ol’ L’s. And if you can’t? If you read my stuff and your eyes bug out like, “Jesus F Christ what a friggin’ nutcase,” than you can’t handle me, and that means you don’t deserve me. That may sound contradictory to my initial message, but I don’t intend it to be. What I truly mean is, I’ve expended too much energy trying to make people ‘fit’ me, or making myself ‘fit’ them. But I’m trying not to do that anymore. I’m trying to embrace the idea that when (not if) the right person comes along, they’ll know just what to do. I’m not that complicated.
Current Jam: “Clouds” Zach Sobiech
PS: Hey Zach? Thanks, man. You’ve managed to keep helping people, even after you left this plane. Congratulations, and I send a heartfelt kiss towards the heavens for you. To paraphrase your mom Laura, you sure were an amazing kid.