Monday, October 15, 2007

So I am new at this game

Right now I am not sure who I am doing this for, myself or for others. I guess I feel like this is more personal therapy. Hmm, it will be embarrassing if someone actually reads this. I feel like there are a lot of thoughts in my head that I never am able to formulate into words, and for some reason, my journal seems a little too self-edited. So we'll try this venue for a while.

I guess right now the biggest thing on my mind has been what really makes a life worthwhile. I recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting. I moved from Utah to Irvine, California where I now work for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). I love my job, my coworkers, and the challenging environment of public accounting. I love my ward at church, my 2 roommates David and Jared are awesome, I could not wish for cooler roommates, and I am currently dating an a amazing girl named Kaitlyn. Besides her though, my entire life feels like a waste. Is this really what I signed up for?

It's not that I don't enjoy my life (I really do), it's just that I feel like my priorities are a little out of place. I focus so much on myself and what I want right now. I feel empty. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to lose ourselves in order to find ourselves. I guess I felt that I was doing an okay job until a few days ago. That's when I received the wake-up call that my life has been in need of.

The Facebook is such a funny thing. I've been thinking about closing my account for a while now. It was Thursday evening after my interview with President Clayton (the Stake President of the Newport Beach Stake) that I came home and logged on to see what some of my friends were up to. I scrolled down to the bottom of the home page News Feed to see that a friend from my mission, Ryan Ward, had joined a group entitled Tim Filichia-Until We Meet Again. My heart skipped a beat and I clicked on the link. I saw a picture of my friend Tim Filichia and then read the group description. Tim had passed away in a car accident while driving back to BYU from Arizona the Sunday prior.

Now first you need to understand that I was not Tim's best friend. I met him on my mission and really have only had a few interactions with him over the past few years since I returned from my mission. But to say the least, Tim impacted my life immensely. He was the kind of guy that EVERYONE wanted to be around. He was the most loving, caring, and genuine person I have ever known in my life. He was funny and yet he never made anyone feel uncomfortable. I remember hearing him talk about the people he taught in Texas. He cared for those people so much. He cared about everybody, and he didn't just say it, he showed it. I wanted to be more like Tim and he really helped me see what I really wanted to become. Coming from a home that sadly lacked male role models, Tim instantly became one of mine. He was an example to me, and to so many others. If everyone on Earth had even half the love for others that Tim had, the world would be such a different place.

I would sometimes describe Tim to other missionaries that never knew him and describe the level of love he had for others. It was impossible to do though. But anyone who did know Tim, knew exactly what I was talking about. I wrote in my journal about what a good example Tim was to me. I told others about him. But sadly, I never told Tim how much of an influence he had on me. His passing has really made me reflect upon my life and what it most important. Am I really going to be an accountant? I love learning about the financial markets and all, but is this really how I want to leave my mark? Literally hundreds of people have written on Facebook, and elsewhere online about the impact that Tim had on their lives. If one did not know Tim, they would probably feel like people were going a little overboard. But having known him, I understand the impact that he truly has had on lives. This might seem like a bit much, but he really changed my life. He has made me think about the meaning of life, and reflect upon what I am doing with mine. How will I be remembered? That is a scary question to ask myself right now. I can't imagine anybody saying the kinds of things about me that they would say about Tim. At least not sincerely. I mean I know I have close friends and that people do care about me, but do I even come close in blessing the live of others the way Tim did?

I guess Tim has made me realize that I need to be kinder and more loving, TODAY. I need to chill out and show my love for others. I often joke that I am emotionally void. The past few days have been anything but. I have cried so much. I bore my testimony in church yesterday, and lost it completely. Even after church, I sat in the chapel and talked to a couple friends, as tears streamed down my face. Tim was such a great person. The world will never be the same without him. I feel as though God could have taken me up, and it really would have made no difference. Why did He have to take someone with so much potential to love and to uplift. The pain in my heart right now is unbearable. I wish so much that I could just go back and tell Tim thank you. Thank you for showing us the way. Thank you for loving so unconditionally. Thank you Tim, for being you.

I feel like I need to reorder my life in so many ways. I started by writing his family a letter and letting them know the positive influence he was in my life. Then I wrote a list of people who have likewise influenced my life, even in the smallest way, and I am now going to write them and let them know. I talked to my sister Jennifer today and let her know. She really is an amazing example to me. She may have made mistakes in the past, but she has been so valiant and courageous in her faith recently. I cannot thank her enough. I also wrote an email to Sister Doxey, a religion professor I had at BYU that really inspired me. I also drafted a letter to Elder Joesph B. Wirthlin. His General Conference talks have had such an amazing influence in my life and they are always so uplifting. The list is pretty long right now, but I am not going to allow any more time to pass. Tim's life has touched me in so many ways, and I will not allow others to go on without knowing how they have blessed my life.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure blogs are supposed to be way shorter than this, but hey, this is my first one, give me a break.


Original Mohomie said...

Ha, this brought tears to my eyes. I've had similar thoughts: what would people say when I'm gone? Could they sincerely say I've made their lives better? In what way? And I too often come up short of answers that satisfy me.

As for length, I'm probably not the one to ask. My perspective is skewed, but I did read your post (skimmed only a couple of parts). If you want to feel less long-winded, just read...oh...ANY of my posts. ;-)

Caroline in Iowa said...

I met Tim 21 years ago in the first grade. We were never best friends. But all through school, there was always Tim. With his smile and goofiness. And occasionally in college, we would run into each other. And he would smile and be goofy. He was the person that everyone loved. That everyone wished they could be. He and I were never best friends either. But he touched my life the way he did to so many others. And a year after his death, I am still not over it. With so many bad people in the world, why did someone so good get taken so soon? Life just seemed - more hopeful - with a Tim Filichia in the world.

Liz said...

Hi Derrick,
I know you don't know me but I am actually Timmy's little sister. I like to google his name and see what pops up. I stumbled across your blog entry. Derrick, I want you to go back and reread your entry and realize the change my brother's passing had on you. It is for this reason and so many more that I know that Tim lived the life he did and why he was asked to return home early. His earthly mission was complete. He experienced more in his 26 years than most do in a lifetime. He had definitely passed his test. His passing has made so many look at their own lives and reorder some things. I know it did mine. It does stink that he is not here with us and I as well as thousands miss him but we will meet again someday. It seems that our Father's finest just don't need to live as long. I hope you are doing well and that you have realized what you want to do for a vocation. More importantly, I hope you have told those people that you appreciate the things you would like to and that you continue to do so. Tim was an amazing man for many reasons but his most beloved attribute was this love for others that you were seeking to develop and I hope you have and continue to.