2020 and Remembering The Impact People Have

I don’t even know where to start. But writing has given me clarity and a cathartic release in the past, so here it goes.

2020 has been one of the hardest years. For me. For my friends. For my family. For my hometown community. For the entire world.

I often get asked how I am staying so positive in such a shitty year. And it’s getting harder and harder to find the answer, but here I am… still trying to be thankful for the life I get to live, while also feeling a certain guilt of having the privilege to still live somewhat of a normal life.

I’ve been able to spend a majority of my “quarantine summer” trying new things. Exploring new places. Dropping features on my new mountain bike. Literally climbing to new heights. Backpacking with 10 of my closest friends. Even just having small outdoor dinner picnics with my best friends seems like the most casual celebratory feat this summer.

But in between those moments have been absolutely heart breaking and heart wrenching ones.

Moments that make you stop breathing.

Moments that make you instantly go numb.

And painful moments where you realize that some people won’t be able to feel because that person is no longer living on this planet.

I have watched a traumatic deadly accident unfold in front of my own eyes while on a summer weekend trip. And it happened while doing something I have been casually doing all summer. Then been plagued with flashbacks of the event and a heavy feeling of overwhelming empathy towards closer friends and families of the victim.

I’ve also received countless calls from my mom this year with bad news about family friends passing away. And had to cry together through the speaker and across hundred of miles.

And most recently, I’ve heard the heartbreaking news that shattered my small town community about an accident involving some very loved and influential people, one of whom was a dear family friend since way back when.

And it sucks.

I can’t even imagine what closer friends and family feel if I feel such pain even when they were only in my life for small bits and pieces.

How do people you haven’t seen in years have such a major impact on your feelings.

How are we supposed to stay positive if bad things happen to good young people.

How do we live knowing that others are in unbearable pain from losing a loved one in an instant.

Each tragedy brings a certain awareness that life is precious, and you should always live life to the fullest.

But what happens when you keep getting this reminder so often that it seems like the world is just getting smaller and smaller and more and more empty.

It’s so easy to get sucked into a dark hole and keep thinking about everything that could have been or everything that actually happened, but I need to remind myself (while it is completely cliche) that life is unforgiving.

So live that shit to the fullest.

Do what you love. Love what you do.

But most importantly, love those around you. If you think about someone, text them. Call them. Snapchat them.

No matter how long it’s been. No matter how long you’ve known them.

If you’re best friends from birth or just old college roommates.

Every single person you meet has more impact on your life that you think, and know that you also have that effect on someone else’s life in your own unique way.

Your nacforadventurer,

AJ

My heart goes out to the families and friends of Sarah, Allie and Omar.

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