Do What You Love

I just woke up at about 2:30 in the afternoon. Now, I have to admit that I usually do sleep pretty late, but even this was a little extreme for me. The reason I woke up so late had to do with the fact that I was at the hospital until after 3 a.m. My aunt had a stoke, and she was going down a lot faster than any of us had ever anticipated, so there we all were, sitting outside her room on the hospice level of one of the major hospitals….just waiting.

I’m not sure if any of you have ever experienced anything like this, but I really hope that you haven’t, because it is an absolutely miserable experience. Someone you love’s life turning into hours, minutes, seconds before your eyes, and you’re just sitting there. Waiting. Wondering when it’s going to be. It’s incredibly painful to watch.

I think one of the hardest parts for me was watching her granddaughter, who just went into middle school, trying to make sense out of all of it. Her and her mom have really great singing voices (in fact, that entire side of the family absolutely loved music), and they stood by my aunt’s bed all night singing to her. I could hear it from my spot in the hallway with my parents and all the other aunts and uncles, and it sounded incredibly strange and beautiful filling up the otherwise empty hospice floor.

They said that she wouldn’t last the night, but she did. My parents ended up taking me home around 4 a.m., and I finally rolled into bed around 5 while my parents rode back up there. When I woke up this afternoon, my mom told me that they were still up there waiting. She ended up passing away around 4:45 p.m.

Whenever someone passes away, especially when they’re close to you, you have a tendency to take a look at your own life and ask questions. For me, it showed me once again how short life can be and how important it is to live each and every day doing what you love. Life’s too short to be unhappy. One of mine and my boyfriend’s (we’re going to call him Hatter from now on. Get it? Alice in Wonderland theme? Hatter?) favorite quotes is one by Steve Jobs when he was giving a speech at Stanford that says,

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

(By the way, if you have never heard that speech, I would highly recommend looking it up now. It’s incredibly empowering and definitely worth the fifteen-ish minutes it’ll take you to watch it.)

This quote really got to me, and I really think it’s the reason I’ve taken so long to decide on a major. I want to wake up every day knowing that I’m going to spend it doing what I love with the people I love. As I’m starting to find out, life’s way too short not to.


Are Emotions Really Worth It?

There was a time when I thought that emotions were bad, and I really just wanted them gone. I had been hurt and disappointed so many times that I just didn’t want to feel anything anymore. During this time, I started watching one of my favoritest TV shows ever, Once Upon A Time. If you haven’t seen it, I would definitely recommend watching at least the first season. The whole show is all about hope and love, and it always managed to brighten my day. I’m getting off topic, though.

In one of the early episodes, one of the main characters, Emma, said, “Not feeling anything is an attractive option when what you’re feeling sucks.” I honestly don’t remember why she said it, but I do remember hearing that and thinking, “That’s it! I just need to stop feeling and then nobody can hurt me anymore!” Of course, when I thought that I was completely missing the whole point of the episode (and the series, really). That season was all about Emma learning to feel again and how important it is to push through and keep feeling despite your circumstances, but I wasn’t focused on that. I was thinking about how great it would be to finally get to a point where no one could hurt me. I would literally be impenetrable.

A lot of you can probably see how this is a bad thing, but when you’re hurting like I was at the time (maybe I’ll write more about it later) you’re really not thinking about anything but making the pain stop. I started making it my focus not to feel anything, and I can honestly tell you that I succeeded. I got to the point where I didn’t feel anything. When people around me were all crying during sad scenes in a movie, I sat there like a rock. Things that used to hurt me, didn’t anymore. I didn’t cry, and much later I started realizing that it was because I couldn’t cry anymore. I had literally shut down that part of myself.

It wasn’t until about a year later (around the point where I realized I couldn’t cry anymore) that it started to scare me. It really felt like there was this void inside of me. For some reason, I felt like crying would be the way to make it go away. Almost subconsciously, I got into a relationship I knew was going to be bad because I knew it would help me cry, and it did. Whenever I would cry, I would feel better for a moment, but it would never go away.

I guess it really wasn’t until I fell in love and got out of that relationship that it really did go away. I felt a lot before I made the decision to stop feeling, but I feel so much more now. I guess in a way I may be overly emotional now, but I’m okay with it. I think it’s because I know what it’s like not to feel, and I never want to go back to that place. It truly is a scary place to be.

I guess what I’m saying is this. Emotions can suck. They can cause you intense pain and grief, and it is possible to get to the point where you don’t feel it anymore. You can make yourself impenetrable, but remember what you’re also giving up: your compassion, love, joy, and hope. Your humanity. I can tell you from experience that it isn’t worth it.


*As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, etc. you can always e-mail me at or leave something in the comments section (even though you may not be able to see it, you can now post anonymously).*

Life is Short

*While reading this back, I realized just how depressing this entry is, but it was something I needed to get off my chest. Sorry in advance!*

Have you ever heard some news that just made you stop and think? Maybe it didn’t even directly affect you, but it stuck with you all the same. This has happened twice for me. I’m not talking about news that makes you sad for a little while, and then you go on with your day. I’m talking about news you just can’t get out of your head. News that makes you stop everything you’re doing, cry, and think about your own life. I think 9/11 was that moment for a lot of Americans. Personally, I was too young when it happened to remember everything about that day, much less understand the significance of it.

For me, the first time was the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. I remember hearing about it, and it just broke me. Maybe it was because it was an Elementary school where it happened, and I couldn’t stand the thought kids being afraid when they should have been learning their ABC’s and playing on the playground. Maybe it was because it made me question humanity, and how someone could get to a point where they would do something like that. Maybe I was just going through a lot at the time, and it was just too much.

In the end, I don’t really know why it affected me like it did. I didn’t know anyone personally involved in the situation. I didn’t live close to the area. I just remember sitting down at my kitchen table and crying while my parents watched what was going on on the news.

The second time happened exactly a week ago. My mom called me and told me that there had been a wreck near my apartment at college, and wanted to know if I was okay. I told her that I was. Then, throughout the day, I started hearing about how five girls who were students at the same University as me, aged 19-21 had been involved in a car accident. Four of them had passed away shortly after the crash occurred, and the other is still in critical condition.

I didn’t know any of the girls personally since the university I attend has more than 25,000 students, but, like the elementary shooting, it just stuck with me. These girls were my age. They walked the same campus I did. One of my professors even shared with us that she had taught one of the girls in the same class I was in during a previous semester.

Sometimes it’s scary to think about just how short life is. How your life can change in only in instant, but I think it’s also good to think about it now and then. To be reminded just how precious life is and remember that each and every day is a gift.

So today, take some time out of your busy schedule to stop and be thankful for your life. Hug someone you love, sit outside and enjoy the day, or just take some time for yourself. I promise you won’t regret it. 🙂

To the families and friends personally affected by this tragedy, my thoughts and prayers are with you.