Why you don’t need to be sad when I leave

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.Ferris Bueller

Tomorrow, I will take my bike for a routine ride through Champaign, as I have for years.

In four days, I will get in the car and attend a four-day conference in Michigan to learn about my trip to India.

In 16 days, I will drive to O’Hare, board a plane, and leave for 11 months.

That leaves me 11 days before I put my bags in the trunk, pet my cat one last time, and wave goodbye for 11 months to the seasonal drifts of snow, scores of orange-clad Illini fans, and almost everyone I’ve ever known.

But is that cause for sadness? Heck no! At least not for me.

See, I live life with a Carpe Diem mentality. What’s there one day often won’t be there the next. In the case of this trip, my departure is an inevitability. Life is good, if you try hard enough to enjoy it.

What saddens me is that there are so many people that don’t.

Pettiness invades the fabric of our daily lives. Squabbles overtake the beauty of an ordinary day. Grudges are made, left to simmer, and left alone. We spend our time letting what we can’t affect, affect us. And we’re left with no time.

Does everyone do this? Of course not. But sometimes those people want to share their misfortunes with others, failing to put their misfortunes into perspective. They become so preoccupied with their dislikes, that they lose sight of all there is to like.

So I prefer to use my time to enjoy what life gives me to enjoy. And use what’s left to share it with others.

I’ve been lucky to have a plethora of free time this summer. I’ve lived in the moment the most I’ve been able to since I was seven. I’ve realized, and continue to realize, that each moment in Champaign could be my last – at least for a while.

Going to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game is a special occasion in itself, especially when I’m allowed to walk on the field. But it’s even more special when I know I won’t be following baseball for a full year. The same goes for tennis practices, eating homemade pasta, and watching Toy Story 3 in 3D.

The lasts are coming. The last time I’ll play Madden NFL 06 on my trusty old PS2. The last time I’ll head over to The Union to work on my Rotary Powerpoint. The last time I’ll look out my living room window and watch a squirrel bound across the yard as I lay down by the register to cool off.

But those lasts aren’t sad. Because I’ve enjoyed almost every moment I’ve had recently, be they the first, 81st, or last of their kind. When you live life to its fullest, you have no regrets.

I have no regrets as I prepare to leave. I’m not sad. If anything, I’m thankful for the opportunity to have gotten to know so many of you so well. Sure, a new life is beginning, but for no reason does my old one have to go anywhere. If you’ve touched my life in some way, I’ll take the memories of you wherever I go. Never forget that I will never forget you.

That’s why you don’t need to be sad when I leave.

Happy Fourth everyone!

🙂

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3 Responses to “Why you don’t need to be sad when I leave”

  1. John Says:

    Chris,
    This post was excellent. I have to say that your points strike home, and I am trying to follow the mantra that you are so happily following.

    By the way, can you bring some of that homemade pasta to the tennis practice next time? ^^
    {And why even put Wrigely Field in a post that talks about tennis? Sheesh. What is the big deal with baseball? :)}

    Bring your positive attitude to Inida; if more people in the world were like you it would be a better place, but as you noted much whining and pettiness invade all of our lives (curse my siblings :P).

    I was about to make some insightful comments here, but then I realized I was tired and about to say something stupid. Keep posting (lol your blog pwns mine :P)

  2. Aishwarya Says:

    I randomly came across your blog through facebook and read this entry. It’s really well written and rather inspiring. I hope you have fun in India! 🙂

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