Gwen Bell – 15 Minutes to Live
We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
Afraid of each other? Not me. I am one who craves community. I love to be surrounded by people, to hear stories, and tell my own. Life is to be shared, of this I am sure. It is possible that being the product of a large, loud, story-telling Irish family ruined me for life in the very best way.
Community has not always been easy for me to find, though. I struggled to find my place—spent many years being more comfortable in a room full of adults or small children than with my own peers. I felt lost and often alone. I had wonderful friends along the way—some of them came and went with the years, and others stuck around and we delight in our years of friendship even today. But it seemed everywhere I looked, people had a ‘group.’ People belonged somewhere. Even these friends of mine had groups of friends…groups that didn’t quite have room for me.
I kept looking though. I moved 3,000 miles away from everyone and everything I'd ever known in search of the elusive community. Community was promised to me, but once again, community failed me. It was not going to come easily. I was going to have to work for it. I was going to have to be brave, going to have to strike out on my own and do things that scared me.
I am so grateful for that lesson. If I only had a few minutes left to live, I'd be most grateful for that one...learning that I just had to trust myself enough to jump. My tribe was there waiting. With a net.