Imagine you were running a race. Your objective should be to win or, for the very least, do your best.
Imagine at the end of the race, you die.
We can all learn a grave lesson from the Boston Marathon. Time is not guaranteed. It is a gift we have been given.
This very moment, is a gift. And the next. And the next. But we have no guarantee that there will be a next moment. So what do we do?? Do we give up and not make the most of any moment? Or do we give each moment our best shot?
My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon. A race that has so much history. A race that symbolises determination, endurance and sheer will. The will to do one's best.
Do we live our lives like that? Every day. Every moment?
When I moved to London in 2004, I left Trinidad armed with my clothes, my husband and the determination to make it. And I think I did pretty well.
In fact, I know I did pretty well. I returned to Trinidad in 2011 with experiences permanently etched in my brain that I will be grateful for, well, forever.
The challenges, victories, people, places, cultures and, of course, the child that I gave birth to, evoked a plethora of emotions in me while I was there. I found more of me than I knew existed.
One thing I learned about myself is that I can face anything that comes my way.
I didn't have the support systems I have home. Family, friends, familiar sights, sunshine and the overall feeling that people get me here in Trinidad.
I say that as if people get me. Fact is most don't. But I feel more understood here than anywhere. And that's a blessing but it's also not a coincidence.
A big part of who I am is the fact that I am a Trini. The way I speak, the way I behave and react in and to certain situations is coloured by my Trininess.
Sometimes, I wake up and imagine myself in London and walk through the motions of getting to work as if I were there and not here. Most times it is a painful reverie as I think of the congested tube, pedestrian traffic, the cold and all the things that would make me miss home on a daily basis.
I also think about the silver linings I had found to cushion this discomfort. A good cup of coffee. My friends. The shopping. The opportunity to visit parts of the world as a little island girl that I'd never thought I'd see.
Makes me smile every time how I managed to make do, though every day I just wanted to come home.
I gave it my all over there and I reaped the rewards.
Here, I am more relaxed because I am home. It's like this weekend, I went down South to celebrate my little brother's 30th birthday and I felt the ease I always feel when I get to that familiar place–the house I grew up in.
Ah jes fall een like nuttin. It's as natural to me as breathing. I got that feeling every time I visited Trinidad too.
I was in two minds about going too. The boy was up and about and the hubby was working on a project that required him to focus. But I still went.
It's moments like these I returned home for. To have access to my loved ones in their joyous moments and their moments of need.
The weekend before, I celebrated one of my very best friend's 40th birthday (Had a blast Vanny!).
It just all makes me ask myself, if I am giving every moment being back home, my best shot. I yearned to be home so bad during those years.
Then I ask, if we are all giving our lives here our best shot. Are we taking advantage of each moment to be better?
Better at who we are and what we do. Better as individuals. Better as friends. Better as husbands, wives, partners, sisters, brothers, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and co-workers. Better as Trinidadians and Tobagonians.
Our country has a better shot at being better if we are better. If we take the road less travelled and be positive no matter what.
A friend of mine said in her Facebook status that the world seems to mourn when America sees tragedy yet the world over has seen tragedy.
That's true. Maybe it's because of the media muscle that is America. Maybe it's because America is the super power of the world.
I don't have the answers and while the tragedy is one that will be remembered forever, to me it sends such a clear message that we can learn from.
We never know what's going to happen in the end, so let's make every moment until that day comes count.