At University, there are so many people you ‘sort-of know’. People you cross paths with every few days, but never really have a reason to speak to. Perhaps someone on your course you never seem to sit by, but see in lectures all the time, and works at that shop you really like.
I work at my University’s gym, and so perhaps I ‘sort-of know’ more people than most. There are lots of people that come to the gym quite regularly, that I’ll see around campus, but never speak to, because there’s nothing to really say. We’ll exchange a smile: normally a “we know each other, don’t we?” kind of smile, but nothing more. There’ll sometimes be an “alright?”, or “You ‘K?”. Nothing bigger.
Someone I ‘sort-of know’ died at the weekend. We’d done a spin class together, and he’d come in the gym a few times and we talked about how he could do a single leg squat and I couldn’t. He worked at an outdoor clothing shop in town, and he’d talked to Mark and I – we talked about how we both were keen on trying out triathlon, and how he’d recently been round the bike track at Preston Park.
I saw this guy quite often in the library too, as we liked sitting in the same silent area. He’d always come in with his girlfriend, and we’d exchange a nod.
He was the same age as me, and he died in a climbing accident.
When someone you ‘sort-of know’ dies, it’s hard to warrant feeling sad. I don’t think he knew my name, and I only knew his because I had to check him into the gym.
He was always really friendly, and always had time for a chat when he came in the gym.
I know that he died doing something he loved.
I am the person someone ‘sort-of knows’. You will be the person someone else ‘sort-of knows’.
What has happened has reminded me the importance of your lasting impression. People remember you more than you’ll realise. Make your impression a positive one.
When someone your own age dies, it is terrifying. It is so young. We all have so much left to do. So I am going to start doing it.
I have said over and over I am going to do a triathlon. So I am.
I have a job interview on Friday for a job I really want. So I am going to get it.
I know some of the kindest people in the world. So I am going to tell them more often.
Life is short: we all know this.
Grab the chances you have and be the best you can be.
Don’t be afraid.
Don’t stop smiling.