This morning my friend broke the news to me that one of my old coworkers passed away early this morning. Even though I haven’t seen Alex in 3.5 years, it still shattered my heart.
I worked at an alarm/after hours answering service full-time and was also a full-time student. I was trying to save up some money after I had been without a job for about a year. I would work until 11 pm directly after work, and it killed me. I was so overwhelmed with school and work, and literally had no time to think…not too mention most of the co-workers were much older than me and I had nothing in common with them. I lasted at the job for three weeks.
The only thing that made working there worth it was working with Alex. Alex was around my age and made the job fun. We would be silly in between phone calls, would watch inappropriate movies like Zach and Miri Make a Porno (and freak out if we had a phone call and couldn’t turn the volume down in time). We would even stare at the hot Krispy Kreme Donuts app and get beyond excited when the hot donuts alert came on.
She inspired me because she made a gloomy place a bright one. Even though the job wasn’t glamorous, she made it a fun environment to be in. At that point in my life, all I could think about was how life sucked instead of focusing on how to make each moment better.
For some reason, I stopped talking to her after I left that job. Not because I didn’t want to talk to her anymore, but life just got in the way. I did get updates on her life through Facebook.
She loved fostering animals to ensure they all had a happy home to go to, and volunteered to find homes for animals at Pet Smart during their adoption weekends. She did all of these great things even though she was battling an illness. She had to go out of state all the time for a doctor’s appointment, and still made light of the situation.
She was getting healthier and was making slight improvements in regards to her health. The day before she died, she was making normal posts about her day and was feeling fine. Then after midnight was rushed to the ER for a blood clot that passed to her lungs. That’s the night she passed away.
I’m so heartbroken for her family and for the things she never got to do. I know if she was given more time on this Earth, she would have saved so many animals and impacted lives in more ways than I can ever imagine.
This is what brings me to the title of this post. We are not invincible. Many of us live everyday thinking that death cannot and will not touch us. But the scary truth is that it can, and none of us know when. This delusion leads most of us to just spend our days working and not truly enjoying the potential of life. We push our dreams aside and tell ourselves, “tomorrow I’ll do what I love” except we continue the same cycle as the day before.
Happiness is not impractical. If you truly put your passion at work, you can make a living off of being happy and doing what you love. Risks should not be feared, they should be conquered. Bad days will pass, so don’t let those negative days eat up the last remaining bits of positivity inside you.
Rest in peace Alex, you were truly an inspiration.
Also, if anyone would like to help Alex’s family with the funeral and medical costs, go to their GoFundMe page. They would certainly appreciate it.