Friday, July 20, 2012

One Year

Jennifer Lee Photography

If you knew that you would die today
If you saw the face of God and Love
Would you change?
Would you change?
Tracy Chapman

A year ago I was at work seeing clients, doing all that mundane/ just another day stuff when an email took my breath away. Jen had passed. Despite knowing she was so ill for so long, I was speechless. I sat staring at a photo of her on my screen and studied her smile but couldn’t smile. Two days later, I kneeled next to a friend and stared at another screen broadcasting Jen's memorial. You see there wasn’t room left in the main area of the funeral chapel. I wrote a post trying to make some sense of things, vowing to carry on more Jen-like.

Am I fearless?
Jen's platform was fearlessness and she embodied it. In May, I was running in a race. Iit didn’t go well and knew I could do better. After discussing how things went with a running coach I work with,  it seemed that as fatigue set in, I grew concerned. As my body started to ache, I pulled back. He corrected me and said that part of racing was noting the pain and pushing through it. For him, he assumed that the last half of any race wouldn’t be fun. I have a Scott Jurek shirt that says, “pain only hurts” it reminds me of this. This isn’t about masochism but noting the challenge and persisting anyway. Work in progress.

Am I enjoying the silliness?
Jen was the first person to spot my name in In Style, Life and Style or any other magazine. We joked she was my PR person. Jen was silly; if you didn’t know her you can see it in her videos. On Wednesday, her best friend organized a movie night. A bunch of us went to see Magic Mike. The movie was terrible, except for some eye candy, but after some crazy rain and hail, it seemed to honor Jen. I can be serious at times. I am a natural over thinker, silly is important. Silly is a pain reliever.

Am I supporting Cycle?
Cycle for Survival was Jen’s baby. It was just so fitting that Jen’s journey wasn’t just about Jen. It seems every week we hear of someone we know being diagnosed with some sort of cancer or having some sort of surgery or treatment. Monday, on my way to work, with Jen’s “anniversary” looming I received another email; the dates for Cycle 2013 were announced. Many members of our Foodtrainers team emailed immediately “I’m in”. Last year, we did a dance video for every thousand dollars we raised, what will we do this year?

I don’t know if it’s possible to live each day as if it was your last. I know I need reminders. I need reminders to see beyond myself and my stressors, I need reminders to be fearless (or less fearful) and I need reminders to be silly. It would be so much easier if my teacher was still here. 
Do you? Where do you find yourself fearful? Are you more inclined naturally to be silly or serious? If you knew that you would die today, would you change?





14 comments:

  1. I'm more inclined to be silly and often try to be more silly than serious when it's something I fear. Jennifer was such an inspiration and even though I don't know her personally, her story really motivates me to live my life fearlessly and just take every opportunity and moment and cherish it; to face challenges and see them as opportunities to grow. Sometimes it takes a long time to truly live fearlessly but you seem to be doing a good job at taking those first steps! I need more help on this as well...we can fight together :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joanna, I can see you as being silly and at the same time a total doer. Silly doesn't have to be aimless, right? I never realized but you're right we can be silly in the face of fear, we can use silliness to pull us through the scary stuff and we can remind each other to go for it. Bartender, nutritionist, what's next for you?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tend toward serious & over thinking. It's people like Jen who make me do things that give me butterflies in my stomach and sweaty palms. I'm sorry for your loss, Lauren.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sam @ Mom At The BarreJuly 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    I'm definitely more inclined towards seriousness, and need reminders often to engage my silly side. I read about Jen on your blog last year, teared up after watching her video, and am inspired by how much she affected people who knew her.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like your seriousness, sometimes we admire silliness more when it's as easy for us. Jen did affect a lot of people.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We all need the nudge, funny a lot of my blog peops are serious, hmn.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am sad about Jen and your loss. It's true that it's not easy to live every day as if it's our last. I hope you continue to try to be silly and happy and light. I hope your teacher is watching you from heaven. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. My heart aches for you...it sounds like the world lost a wonderful person. I'm not very good at living life to its fullest. I seem to gravitate towards inertia. Posts like this one are a good reminder for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I remember so clearly your posts from a year ago, but it's hard to believe a year has passed already. Thanks for the reminder to be all these things Jen was. I've got the silly thing down pretty well, but am always working on the fearless part. It's so wonderful that you and your other friends continue to honor Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you Ayala, I do feel some of the people I've lost at times. Silly and light, good goals.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The world lost sunshine, thank you Stephanie, it really is everyones loss. You gravitate toward inertia and I can overthink, what a combo. Reminders are good even if our basic nature is what it is, our enjoyment of things can be altered.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fearless and silly is a difficult combination as fearless usually implies a degree of toughness. However, as someone else mentioned silly can almost be a tool in the fearless journey. If we keep things light they are less scary. I always fear (uh oh you see, that word) that after a period of time people aren't thought of as much.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lauren, you are such a good friend. I think it's wonderful that you are trying to carry on Jen's memory in such positive ways. I know that she is smiling down on you :) I only hope to do the same with my own mother. She inspired me in so many ways and I feel guilty that I didn't tell her that more often. I think I am very fearful of getting cancer...just because I have seen the hell it can put you and your family through. However, I've tried to lighten up about it as much as I can because at any moment I could die. Do I live each day as if it were my last? No. But do I try my best to make each day productive is SOME way....yes! I think that's all one can do.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Erin, I think it takes a little distance from the depths of pain before you can honor loved ones in fun ways. A good point about being productive, it's not always dancing and laughing but trying to do something important or useful too.

    ReplyDelete