Last week was the birthday of a beautiful woman. She would have been 25 and most likely taking the world by storm. Anyone who knew her would agree.
She sang beautifully, with passion and love. She was wise beyond her years. Her lyrics spoke of things many of us don’t know how to put into words.
She was among so many of the greats in her desires for peace and belief in the power of love. She was paving the way for the new feminist who call for self acceptance and self love, who break free from cultural definition of beauty. Now I listen to her lyrics and all I want to do is get together to chat away about life, our dreams and desires for the world. I’m sure there are many out there who want that exact thing.
I never did do those things unfortunately. During the time of her life I thought I had forever. We were in different places in our life’s journey and I ‘knew' those path’s would intersect at some point. I thought we had time. She was family. She would be the aunt to my children and maybe one day we would host parties, cook together, and go on family vacation.
I had all the time in the world to get to know this beautiful girl better.
But I didn’t.
She is still in our lives forever and I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to know her more through the years from the memories of those close to her, her videos, the stories, and her writing. In this way she has taught me some important lessons about life.
We never know what tomorrow will bring, so she has taught me more poignantly than anyone to live in this present moment. I wish I hadn’t waited. I wish that I could have unraveled myself from my own life enough to have gotten to know her better. I wish I hadn’t counted on later. Instead of living in regret all I can do is to strive to live in this moment right now, to reach out to those I love, to make time for the people I care about and to be grateful for now.
Her courage inspires me. She wrote her own songs and put them out there for the world to see. She showed her imperfections beautifully, in such a way that you can’t help but be drawn to how wonderful they are. When you watch her sing you see her smirk if she fumbles and just allows herself to be viewed as we all truly are…imperfect. At 28 I still battle the fear of putting out anything I create, but she inspires me to keep going.
In such a large world it can be easy to believe our lives don’t make too much of an impact. The truth is each one of us is important. Our lives are precious and you never know who you are touching, impacting or inspiring. She made sure those around her felt accepted and loved. We can still feel that touch she has on our lives.
We cannot underestimate the impact our lives have on those around us. Carly’s life made an impact on thousands of people and continues to every day. She will forever be remembered as someone who brought a smile to your face, who cared deeply for others and who radiated beauty from the inside out.
Now we all hold her in our hearts forever. Where she continues to shine light and life lessons into our lives. Where she continues to inspire me to follow my bliss, speak my truth and to love hard.
Happy birthday Carly Danielle Henley.
We miss you. We love you.
...Oh and #lovewins