A lot of people don’t understand my constant pursuit of a healthy lifestyle but the greatest lesson that came from my Dad passing away at 17 was how precious life is. Nobody was ready to let him go, and the fear and pain that caused everyone in his life has stayed with me as a reminder of my priorities and how I choose to conduct my life. Speaking personally, I can’t think of a more fulfilling pursuit than to actively cherish life by making sure I am healthy to enjoy it.
My Dad’s fight with cancer was ultimately the catalyst to my own health journey, and although the pathway was not straight and narrow, I do believe that without this life changing event I wouldn’t be where I am today. Currently I am (slowly but surely) working toward my Holistic Nutrition designation, have this blog on the side which has connected me to a whole community of amazing people, and have big dreams and plans of all I want to do with my life based around my passion for health and wellness. My everyday is filled with all of these things and these things fill my heart with a fire and fulfillment that I didn’t know was possible.
What all this proves to me is that silver linings exist, even in the most difficult challenges life throws us. It is such a strange and interesting feeling to reflect upon the path and shape my life has taken since my Dad died 7 years ago. In that moment, you really question how you’re supposed to get through a day, and suddenly you look back and somehow you have built this beautiful life. Ultimately, I have never been happier with my life and the direction I’ve chosen to follow which means I live a bit of a strange paradox, because I also spend every day wishing he was still here to share moments with me.
Travel is one of the things that bring me the most joy in life. The past couple of years I have been carefully selecting places to spread my Dad’s ashes in places among my travels that I think he would love. My Dad had a love for the outdoors that he passed on to me and I often catch myself thinking, no matter where I am in the world, how much he would love this place. Perhaps this is the closest I can get to actually sharing these special places with him.
So on this day (November 11), I want to say thank you to my Dad: for still being as much of an influence on my life now as you were then, and for helping me to bring me (albeit inadvertently) to this happy place in my life. You’ve taught me how precious life is, and in doing so have helped me find my passions in life.
I just wish you were here to share the journey with me.