Our Life

If Not Today Than When? 

By Michael Armijo

I’ve learned many things about life from people who have passed away. For example:  I had a friend who always did something each weekend. He was always somewhere. During football season my Sunday excitement was to call him and ask: “where are you?”  He’d always respond with an event or a sports bar that I’ve never heard of or someplace that I would admire. I had another friend who would always reach for the stars and push himself to the limit. He would continue to pursue bigger dreams and expect himself to step up and reach for things other people didn’t have the ability to do. He passed away living in the city he loved and with the family that cherished. I had another friend who was fairly fearful of change. I used to encourage him constantly to reach for things that he felt he didn’t deserve but to first feel as though he deserved those things. He reached for some things but he was too fearful to reach for others. But his priority was to love his family and take care of them and be a good father. So the things I felt he deserved were different than what he felt he wanted out of life. He passed away with a loving family around him.

Now what hurts more, although his death is many years in the past, is the death of my father. He was deprived but still made a living. he pursued what he thought was the responsible thing and his philosophies were mild and simple. He reached for security and safety. Unfortunately, he could only talk about the things he wanted. He spoke of doing things he desired to do, always falling short of his goals Out of fear. He passed before his time and he passed willingly, as he felt he was done here on earth.

So I’ve learned that there are no limits in life. I’ve learned that if you want something you will get it only if you really want it. I’ve learned that the only limits there are in life are the limits we place upon ourselves. And I’ve learned that the only things we will ever get are the things we try to reach for today, and not to wait for tomorrow. Because tomorrow just may never come. Tomorrow didn’t come for my father and for my friends.

So today, as I travel 50 miles away from my home for the first of many one-hour singing  lessons, I am proud. Because these are lessons that I put off all my life out of fear that I may not be able to sing. I postponed because I constantly try to convince myself that “I don’t have enough time.” But today I am fearless. I choose to no longer wait for life to come to me but instead for me to go to life. I pride myself for no longer suffering from the losses I’ve incurred, but instead I choose to learn from them.

Today I choose to chase my dreams, today I choose not to wait, and today I choose to be fearless. Because today I ask a simple yet serious question: “If not today then when?