You may not understand in the moment what the bigger picture is or how that person will play a role but eventually, all the dots will connect.
I am deeply saddened to say, I finally connected the dots on someone in my life and now they are gone and I can't say thank you.
February 13th 2011.
It was a day that started like any other.
I was doing my last semester of college in DC and after 3 years in rural Ohio, I was fully embracing the club scene.
Saturday night in the District and my gals and I just discovered the best club in the city a few weeks prior.
I gather the gang and we head out for a night of dancing and fun.
Being the snobs we are, we always found a way to get ourselves into the VIP table area without actually knowing anyone with a table. 22 with no fucks to give.
Tonight it was my turn to get us on the other side of those velvet ropes.
Ugh, I get nervous walking up to strangers. I am used to guys approaching me, not the other way around but there are four of us and tonight it's my turn.
Here goes nothing.
I look for the least suspecting guy on the other side of the ropes and thats when I spot Damian.
I saunter up, take a deep breath, tap him on the shoulder and say, "HEY! Can my friends and I join your table? You're on that side of the rope and we're on this side and we aren't used to being here."
He laughs and says come on over.
My gals quickly infiltrate his friends who are all super tall and cute. Damn, we really scored.
I do my duty and mingle with Damian, make some small talk, you know - make sure he knows I am thankful for the free drinks we are about to consume.
Before I know it Eve has latched on to one of the tall fellas (Liam's brother) and is grabbing me, "go dance with him!!!!" and shoves me full force into Liam.
I laugh and we start dancing.
Before I know it, we are kissing it.
Then his friends are taking photos of this make out session and laughing. "He never does this!!!" (Down the road we laughed because we had SO many pictures of the night we met, it was kind of a blessing in disguise)
We are glued together for the rest of the evening until the lights are getting brighter and it's a sign that we need to go home.
"You're so cute, I just wanna put you in my pocket and take you home."
Did this tall, gorgeous guy just tell me he wants to put me in his pocket? LOLOLOLOLOL WHAT?
We exchange numbers and facebooks and the night is over.
I never expect to hear from him again, a random club fella isn't the type you can count on.
The following week we end up facebook chatting and it turns out, he lives about 45 mins outside of the city.
Meeeeep that is a buzzkill but whatever, he's 8 years older, 6'4, and has the dreamiest blue eyes.
Our first date takes place in his area.
I remember driving out there thinking what the hell am I doing? This is so far away! (PS tinder didn't exist back then and no one was using online dating) We were meeting at his house and driving to the date together.
I walk in to this perfectly designed and decorated house and my jaw drops.
Damn, this club fella sure has his shit together and he drives a Lexus. I'm pretty impressed.
We go on the date and while he is a perfect gentleman, he's way too shy. No sparks are flying here.
Date ends and I don't hear from Liam again.
Clearly - that all changed seeing as I came a few minutes away from him poppingtheQ but that isn't the point of this story.
The point is Damian.
Damian died on Liam's wedding night (Sunday) due to liver failure. He battled cancer, beat it, it returned, his body couldn't handle the chemo, and at 38 - he's gone.
I dated Liam for two years and Damian was a giant part of our life. We all did everything together. Holidays, club nights, birthdays, happy hours, etc.
He was one of the funniest and kindest people I have ever met.
Sadly, he lived half a life. He had a job that was just a means to an end, he never experienced true love, never traveled outside the country, and lived with his father til he died.
He always had dreams but never the audacity to fulfill them and now, it's too late.
Had I not walked up to Damian, I would've never met Liam. Had I not met and fell in love with Liam, I wouldn't have been in the right place/moment to start my current business. Had I not started my current business, I wouldn't have paid my loans off at age 28, I wouldn't have a job that I love, I wouldn't know a lot of the people I know now, and my life would be VERY different.
God always has a plan. Whether we see it or not is one thing but nothing is by chance.
So while I wasn't close to Damian by the end of his life, I will forever be grateful to him for opening the door to the chapter of my life that he was a big part of.
I will be attending his funeral next week. Liam will be on his honeymoon (don't ask me how you can miss your bestfriends funeral) but I feel that I should go. It's just the right thing to do.
Let this serve as a reminder to look back at the bigger picture of your life and how each person has played a role. To live as large as you can, every single day. To actively work to make your dreams come true. To design the life you really want to live.
I urge you.