because of ryan.

i lost my friend ryan yesterday. i’m still processing everything with a heavy heart. i’ve been thinking about our hearts, and i find it interesting that our heartbeats are our timers. they begin beating while we’re new in our mothers womb, they continue to beat every minute of our lives (whether we’re conscious or not), but the minute they decide to stop— time’s up. no more sand in the hourglass. no more seconds on the clock. put the pen down. the test is complete. 

i’ve taken time for granted. i live like i’m entitled to. i treat people i love as if i’m sure to see them later, lacking appreciation for their presence, now. at the current moment, i have 153 unreturned voicemails. on one hand, i mean, who leaves voicemails anymore, bro? it’s 2018. but on the other hand, why do i feel so comfortable delaying the people that i claim to care for?

well, because for as long as i can remember, i’ve given too much. i tend to overextend my hand, only to have it turned away. i’ve chosen exhaustion over self-preservation and i’ve given more love than i’ve left for myself. last year, i realized that that needed to change. i deserve me too. so i took my time, distanced myself, tapped into me, poured into me, loved onto me, and replenished myself in the places that i lacked. and it strengthened me, and it was beautiful, but what i missed was that self-care and selfishness are not synonymous. 

with anything in life, there needs to be a balance. i can check in with myself and still show up for my loved ones. i can be present for myself and still know what’s going on with the people around me. that’s true self-care. creating healthy boundaries and balances. losing ryan taught me that. i felt guilty for not knowing he was sick. like, why didn’t i know that? and although the truth is that i can’t know everything about everyone, another truth is that i can make a better effort to appreciate the time i have with the ones i have.

i also realize that— i gotta stop living like i know i’ll wake up tomorrow. dragging my feet won’t cut it. halfway living won’t suffice. there’s work to be done, lessons to be learned and happiness to be found. gotta do what i can before my timer buzzes. 

ryan, i’ll miss you. i’ll miss your spirit. you were the light of lights, and the world was not deserving. thank you for being a friend. thank you for being my background singer. feels like just yesterday that we were practicing for our show with Frankie Beverly & Maze. your voice was just as beautiful as your soul was. thank you for the lessons you’ve thought me. they’re right on time and i’ll receive them. i’ll carry you everywhere i go. in every song, to every show. love you always.

- I.E.