Yesterday, I scrolled through a bunch of old pictures in my Google Photos album. A weird thing happened.
I found pictures of hard nights partying.
I found pictures tailgating at football games.
I found vacations on tropical islands sitting on the beach.
I found so many smiles and laughs.
And the weird thing is that I didn’t remember most of them. That could have been a completely different person. I have no recollection of those days.
Yet there are days that are seared into my brain that I couldn’t forget if I wanted to.
I remember the call from my sister telling me she found my mother dead.
I remember sitting in the waiting room and getting into an argument with my stepbrother while my stepfather was in surgery having a brain tumor removed.
I remember saying goodbye to a best friend as she laid connected to tubes after a brain Aneurysm.
I remember the exact feeling I had freezing on a beach in Normandy during a 50 hour GORUCK event.
I remember every marathon finish line I crossed.
I remember sitting at an aid station with a 102 degree fever during the Asheville Marathon.
I remember watching Elizabeth give birth to each of our boys with absolutely no medication.
I remember the first time I thought Push Digital would go out of business.
And the second. And the third. And the fourth.
I don’t remember most of the happy times. That’s not to say I don’t remember some.
But I remember every single shitty time.
I remember all the hard stuff. All of it.
And that makes me wonder… what experiences really make us who we are?
Which experiences are the foundation of life?
Are we really supposed to be spending our lives drinking beers on a beach?
Or are we supposed to be doing really hard things that we will remember?
The things that will shape us into completely new humans.