I’m a writer. I say this frequently, sometimes in a professional sense but more often in an attempt to describe how I see the world, how I learn and how I interact with others. It explains how I enjoy spending my time (i.e. this blog) and what brings me joy.
Some people hate texting long conversations or frequently. Some people don’t see the value in thank you notes or thoughtful birthday cards. As you may have guessed, I’m not a part of this some. While I see the value in waiting to speak to someone in person, I have friends scattered around the country and abroad, who I wouldn’t want to delay connecting with just to do in person. To me, there’s value, there’s longevity in ink.
Four years ago today, with the passing of my friend Sydney Tabakin, I learned the value of the present. With no guarantee that a coffee date will take place, I believe we have to make the most of opportunities we have.
The last four years have also taught me to find the best in others and every situation, because you don’t know how much time you’ll have to correct a misjudged opinion or a pessimistic mood. We simply don’t have time; but I don’t think the world would be better off if we did.
Sydney has allowed me to experience the beauty of each day, and even when each day isn’t so gorgeous, to remind myself how lucky I am to have a test to get a bad great on, or to have relationships that can get rocky. It sounds over optimistic, but it’s true.
She has taught me to see the possibility in every person, every day and every aspiration. Sydney had incredible gifts, one being writing, that painted a beautiful picture of what her future would be. She deserved to be the one to create that masterpiece, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be created through each and every person she inspires.
I’m also a talker. Writing is a pretty individual activity, I could write something and keep it to myself, but the extroverted, outspoken voice of mine would be stifled (i.e. this blog). I think we were meant to create- how that looks to each person is different- but I think for everyone there is brilliance and beauty in creating, and value for the masses when it’s shared, whatever it is.
Stories represent the overlap of writing and speaking. So I guess really, I should say I’m a story person, or a communicator to the core.
Three years ago today, I took the significance pen to paper has to me in another direction. I had an Om symbol tattooed between my shoulders to represent Sydney’s life living on through me and all who knew her. I haven’t gotten a tattoo every year, nor will I. Not all of her friends have gotten tattoos to remember her, nor should they. For me, it makes sense. Writing it down is what makes it permanent for me. Ink (of any kind), words, and hindu symbols do not resonate the same way for others as they do for me.
I can’t tell Sydney the stories of how she has changed my life, although I hope she knows, so I tell others. Whenever asked about my tattoo, the memory of Sydney lives on through one more person, she touches one more life.
Today, I am commemorating the fourth year of the day that rewrote the lives of so many students starting their senior year of high school, and so many others. For me, four years is the biggest milestone. From seniors in high school to seniors in college, so much has changed, and every moment of our experiences has been molded by Sydney. Adding agape, the greek word for love, to my tattoo, I am honoring the unconditional love she has taught me to find in this next chapter of my life.
Now, all the people who are thinking of her today, and each day; all the people who miss her presence and have bettered themselves due to her absence; that impact, that I know she knows.