5 Things Death Taught Me

May 25, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on October 9, 2017

Seeing death and losing loved ones have caused me reflect on five things constantly.

1. Fight procrastination and do what I can now. It doesn’t have to be major. Small steps toward progress count. I don’t need to complete that entire YouTube video today but at least finish editing the vocals.

Carpe diem. Seize the day.

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Thomas Jefferson

Do something. I’m doing so many things in music and fitness post-military service that I said I’d do for the last 10 years because I didn’t balance work and my personal life. Most of my Soundcloud tracks are 5-10 years old. I just never mixed them.

2. Embrace the Chip on my shoulder as it helps me remember the toxicity I came from, how much I’ve accomplished, and where my drive comes from. Remembering what I’ve done and why reminds me of what I’m capable of especially without support. My personal blogs share my experiences to helps others.

3. Without that support I learned to make the most of any feedback that was more negative than constructive criticism. Only being told that I was wrong instead of why meant I had to work harder to learn what right looks like and improve. The answer was more research and seeking feedback in forums and freenode IRC channels.

4. Giving credit where its due adds to remembering how I got here. It’s also why racism and sexism confuse me. Three female counselors – finance , Veterans Justice Outreach, and education – helped me most during my transition out of the military. Most of my college professors were white men (why is for another day) more than willing to answer questions regardless of the scope of the course. Everyone is more than my eyes see.

Knowledge is [potential] power. Sharing Applied knowledge is powerful.

5. Adrenaline rushes remind me that I’m not invincible but should still live life to its fullest. I have vulnerabilities and could die from the actions of myself or others. Many times before signing that blank check for Uncle Tom I was told I’d die in Iraq. My response was “I could die walking around the wrong neighborhood at night”.

Tags: personal

Comments? Tweet