Last night I found out that I lost my best friend, Shyanne. We’ve been friends since my freshmen year in high school. She’s my fantasy soul mate. You can see in the picture above that I’m drinking out of a Lord of the Rings cup. I believe Shy and I are at a movie theater to watch a Harry Potter movie. Oh, yes, for the 7th HP book I was in Borders at midnight to get my copy. And, yes, I was out of high school by then and didn’t care. We’re unapologetic geeks, which doesn’t bother me one bit. We both loved to read. Shyanne urged me to finish writing the Birthright Series, which I have yet to do. Shyanne and I didn’t talk often, but when we did, it seemed as if no time passed in between. She just got me. In my insane moments I would send her jumbled phrases that made no sense like, “The sun licked the air.” Shyanne didn’t ask me if I was on drugs, she just tried to outdo my craziness by responding with someone equally as disturbing. It’s a game that we started and will never play again. I could call Shyanne without talking to her for a year and she’d answer. There were no explanations needed for the gap in between. We knew that if something was going on, we could call one another and be there for each other. She called me her therapist and I promised her another “session” that I never made time for. That kills me.
This is the first time I’ve lost someone so close to me. The pain has taken my breath away. The fact that she just turned 28 and I have yet to cross that threshold has made a huge impact on me. Truly, life is too short to waste time doing things you don’t want to do. Shyanne recently got a German tattoo: fernweh, which loosely translates into wanderlust in English. But, more specifically, it means: a craving for travel; being homesick for a place you’ve never been. Shyanne was a dreamer and imagined traveling all over the world. She has struck out on a different journey, but it still crushes me to know that she wasn’t able to do it here.
We all think we have so much time. We procrastinate instead of making a choice. We tread cautiously instead of charging forward. Responsibilities bog us down as adults. Instead of striving forward we decide to play it safe because we’re afraid of taking risks and failing. What’s the alternative? Living an “okay” life? I don’t want that for myself. I want to have an extraordinary life. I want to make a mark on this world and leave a legacy behind. I want people to read my books long after I’m gone and know that I was here.
I’ve established my home life and have a stable job, but it’s not what I really want to do. If you’re reading this blog you know what my true passion is. So, why am I not doing what I really want? Because of the reasons above. I’m afraid of jumping in and not being able to live off of writing but when you get a wake up call like this, it’s hard to be worried about taking a risk when you realize that Shyanne’s story here has been brought to a close. I know what she would tell me. I know what I’m supposed to do. I just have to do it.
Come October, brace yourself. I’m going in full throttle. I have to finish my books for myself, for Shyanne, for my fans who are waiting on me. You build the life that you want. I better get started.
I love you, Shyanne.