Off-White. Seems like a more appropriate way to describe how life can be, rather than calling it black or white. It's never that cut and dry as being either-or. Even saying that it can be some shade of grey, pales in comparison to what it truly is. In my version of how the story goes, our canvas begins white. Then, as we go through it, colors are added to depict all the different things we go through in our journeys. It is never one way or the other for very long, as everything begins and ends. Our lives were never meant to stay the same, much less be white. We were always created to lead Off-White sort of lives.
When I was young I strongly believed that there was a heaven and hell. A place people were designated to spend all of eternity in - according to how you conducted yourself while on earth. Today, I think differently. I have evolved in how I think and see matters of religion. Although I am a strong believer in my faith, I now know that God works through us to fulfill a destiny that we once chose for ourselves, a very long time ago. A time way before being born. I think we pick the life we are going to live - in a rough sketch sort of way. Then, God works out the details. We don't know everything that will transpire but, we have the blueprint. Make no mistake about it, the element of surprise is always present.
I know it's a bit difficult to digest. You're thinking, why would I manifest a bad (or hard ) life for myself? Why would I willingly sacrifice myself on purpose? Most people believe that if they seemingly had a choice they'd conjure up the richest, happiest life they could for themselves. But, as I stated in many of my past blogs, everyone's definition of "rich" and "happy" is different. The truth is, we are here to collect as many experiences and learn as many lessons as we can. In essence, life is meant to be endured as much as it's meant to be lived.
Every time our lives are faced with change or obstacles, we evolve as human beings. It doesn't necessarily mean that we will always like the changes we face but, we can always count on the experience giving us the room to grow within it. Therefore, without change, there can be no growth. We learn so much about what we like or don't like, what we need versus what we want, and what kind of person we truly are - instead of who we are told to be. When "life happens" it's God's way of letting us know that the next phase of our development is about to begin. It is then that we are given all we need to fulfill our destiny. So, it's important to understand that life happens for us, not to us.
Now, I know what you're going to say: " How do things like losing loved ones or worse, losing our own life help us?" Well, I'm starting to understand that going through something so devastating like losing someone you love so much, will teach you what you will need to help someone else lose someone in the future. Or by living through something so catastrophic will give you the tools to give strength to someone else who is faced with something devastating someday. Something you learn in every experience you go through is meant to help someone else. How many times do we look for closure in things that happen to us? If you're anything like me - you are always looking for answers. Well, closure comes in time. Comprehension of circumstances may take years to fully understand or appreciate, but that's how it's designed to work. Thus giving meaning to the saying "In God's time, not ours"
Today, I came to learn of a man's passing. His life and journey ended far too soon. In the prime of his life, his final lesson stole his last breath, after fighting so strongly to keep it. The past 2 years were filled with pain and fear but, they were also filled with strength and determination. Without question, he would have given anything to still be here and live to face another challenge. But alas, this movie was pre-chosen, with God perfecting every scene along the way.
Many heard of his passing today. Friends and loved ones are all mourning a life gone too early. Others who did not know him personally still felt the loss of another icon leaving this earth. I did not know him at all but, his passing found me for a personal reason. His earthy body may not know this but, his heavenly soul knows exactly how his destiny touched me.
My current journey, very similar in nature to his final one. Timelines and fears, matching the same. Both of us fighting to keep breathing, to keep evolving, to keep living. Valiantly battling this thing and choosing to do it in private. His destiny gave me clarity to my own. I am healing, and he has passed. Yet, I spend so many days in sadness, feeling overwhelmed and fearful of what else lies ahead. Standing still and in many ways moving backward. Moving away from this new life I was granted. Spending day after day in mockery (not purposely) instead of spending time in gratitude. My life for his - but why? Why? I know that he would have given anything to have the second chance that I was given. And yet, here I sit. Sulking. Saying it's too hard, things are too unfair, with little to no patience to wait for things to finally get better. All the while, his funeral is being planned. I am now realizing that the only unfair thing is wasting this opportunity to live.
All feelings are valid and allowed but, we must always be grateful for the chance to learn and evolve. I have been taking that gift for granted lately, and it took him to make me see all of this today. It took his life to make me realize that I still have mine.
His life and last journey were destined, as mine will be someday too. His final teaching and message was to me, a complete stranger. That life is fleeting, so make the most of each new change and beginning. To never be afraid to start again. That there is much more to learn and gather, so that someday I too may teach a stranger a similar lesson with my life.
We must never squander what we are given.
Virgil Abloh - thank you for your life and teachings. Your destiny ultimately gave me many things but what I will take with me forever was how through it all you never lost sight of your purpose for being created. "Your work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. You were always driven by your dedication to your craft and to your mission to open doors for others - creating pathways". Your journey was a blessing, and your life a celebration to us all.
In his words: " Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself", believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.