2016 was a hard year for me to enter. I started the year questioning every aspect of my life including career, family, love, health, and death. I powered through my daily obligations, but I felt as if I was walking under a cloud.
Two major things caused those feelings. First was the death of my beloved great-uncle Win. He died in Oct 2015 at the age of 90 after a battle with Alzheimers. He was a grand-father figure in my life, and helped my family through a lot of challenges. I learned a lot of what it means to be a man from what he taught me. He overcame a lot in his life, and his work ethic is forever unmatched. In my opinion, men like him simply aren’t made anymore.
The second was the death of Chicago legend, Timothy Jones, better known as DJ Timbuck2. He died in December of 2015 from renal cancer at the age of 34. I’ve admired his work for many years. He practically ran the Chicago nightclub scene, DJ’d internationally for some of the music industry’s top artists, and graced the airwaves of Chicago’s WGCI for over 10years. His mixes literally embody the musical experience of my 20s. The love he had for his craft, creative people, and life in general inspired me throughout my own aspirations in the industry. It still does.
When Tim died, tributes and kind words from his family and friends began to roll in throughout the country. This was bittersweet for me. It was great to know that he was not only a talented DJ, but an even more amazing person. However, it troubled me because I couldn’t understand why someone who spread so much positivity was taken away at such a young age. Where was the fairness in this?
My uncle was a strong independent man, with a deep booming voice! To witness illness diminish him to a mere shadow of his former self seemed unjust. One major thing my family and I were able to find peace in was the fact that he was blessed to have lived such a long life.
What about Tim and all the others whose lives were cut short though? Why weren’t they granted the chance to experience so many of the joys in life that we often take for granted, such as marriage and parenthood? What is the criterion for who gets to experience these things or not?
This haunted me to the point that I began noticing the ages of everyone I came in contact with. One person would be 34yrs old and healthy. Another would be 45yrs old and unhealthy, and another would be 58yrs old and healthy. It made absolutely no sense to me. Also, I guess the biggest question for me was where would I end up fitting in this unbalanced lineup?
Along with that, came the accompanying questions about career, love and family. Am I on the career path that is meant for me to be on? Is true love in the cards for me? Has the dynamics of the black family gone to shambles? If so, is it repairable? These were all areas of life that I took pride in, and now I had no confidence in any of them. I kept thinking “What does this mean?!?” Many say that everyone reaches a time in their lives where they question everything. Perhaps this was my time.
I’ve been told that there is always a lesson to be learned during difficult times. So, I began to pray and meditate. I’m not going to say that I received a magic crystal ball reading that answered all of my questions. What I got was even better though. I realized that no one has all the answers in life. This life is a marathon of questions that only stops when we no longer have breath in our body. Its up to us on how many of the answers to those questions we find. They can only be found by trusting our instincts, staying in a place of gratitude, and being present.
I found myself searching numerous places for my answers, but I learned that many of those answers are already in my possession. I just have to open my mind enough to acknowledge them. They may not be the answers I’m hoping for, but they will be the truth. Living in truth is freedom.
Truth is, sometimes, bad things happen to good people, and our future will be foggy at times. There is no rhyme or reason for it that is known. Despite the uncertainty we may face, peace can still exist in our lives.
Everyday I’m on a quest for knowledge and understanding. I strive to take care of myself physically, apply my best qualities to my day and throw the bad ones aside. If I come out of each week or month with an answer to one of life’s many questions, I consider that a win.
I still don’t know the complete reason on why these experiences effected me so deeply. I feel my journey in figuring that out has just begun. I’m confident that I will someday entirely understand what those feelings mean, and how they apply to my life.
Until then, I’m simply going to LIVE!!!
All words have been graciously provided by Darnell Jordan.