I am in a constant state of up-and-down. My emotions run over me in ways that I have most certainly experienced, yet it feels so foreign, because there’s something new that’s affecting them this time. I have lost many friends and family over the years, as have we all. Some of these deaths have been natural and as time saw fit (my grandfathers for example). Some have been completely unfair such as my “Other Mother’s” passing a few years ago - she was hit by a drunk driver in the early morning in Seattle - and this past weekend’s tragedy of my friend who was killed while helping someone on the side of the road. He and I haven’t even really spoken since I left Colorado back in the early spring of 2001. We commented on each other’s facebook posts from time-to-time, but there were no conversations of note. The thing is though, there didn’t need to be. We knew we loved each other. We LOVED each other. Just as he loved every single other person who crossed his path. That man loved and you knew it. He was such an incredible light in an otherwise dark world. He was beautiful. And I know that I am most definitely not the only person who is affected by this. But my goodness, this one hurts.
I found out on Sunday night. I couldn’t stop shaking and crying. I texted friends, I texted my youngest brother; I was not alone. I went to work on Monday and had moments where I cried in my cubical, or in the hallway walking to the damn bathroom, but work helped because it gave me something to focus on. It wasn’t enough though. Today was easier. I was a volunteer filmmaker at a local event to introduce high school girls to STEM. The morning was tough, I couldn’t stop thinking about him as I pulled my camera out of my bag, set my white balance, and went on to chase high schoolers around with a camera. As the morning wore on and I focused more on what I was there to do, my brain and emotions stopped working so hard and I really connected with the event, the program, and the excitement of the young ladies who were learning about new opportunities. I actually forgot about MYSELF until it was time to pack up and head home at 2pm. I worked from home for about an hour-and-a-half, before attending a panel on AR/VR and where it is heading world-wide and more importantly, here in Boise. I networked, I promoted myself as a filmmaker, I learned about AR/VR something I know very little about.
…and then I got home. And it hit again. I forced myself to eat, because tomorrow I see my personal trainer again and I need to consume the right amount of carbs, protein, and fat. I am an incredible cook and tonight’s dinner was a bland plate of shit. I got into an argument with my roommate. I am in no way angry at him, but he said something that made my mind explode with anger toward the person he was talking about and my own situation. I felt defeated, disrespected, and disheartened. I was done. I am done. At least that was how I felt after OUR - scratch that - MY - yelling outburst.
Then I started writing content for a project that I am incredibly blessed to have been asked to participate in. An incredible friend whom I met for the first time in New York last month invited me to collaborate with her and other women+ on a project of great proportions. She knew him too. She feels it too. We text each other. I’m pretty sure that we’re crying together. Writing for a project that I believe in helped tonight. As soon as I completed that content, I received a message from the director of a local nonprofit that I’m working with on a project in March. My energy immediately changed and I felt life returning to my aching heart.
I think it’s going to be like this for a while. This one hurts. Landen was light. He gave so much of himself to everyone and to this world. I want to be like him. Last night I danced for him. Tonight, I will do the same. And tomorrow night, and for many nights in my future. I will dance here in Boise, on my various travels around the world, I will dance, and I will help carry his light, because I believe that is now the duty of every single person who has ever met him. Carry his light. Let’s make this world a beautiful place, because that’s what Landen did every single day.