I’m a chronic over thinker. All I do is think, think and think a little more. What will happen if this happens or what if this happens or what if things get really crazy and this happens and then things don’t work out how I think they should… I think all of those things until I exhaust everything single tiny, highly unlikely possibility. But sometimes my head clears and I have a little moment like I had tonight, a little moment of clarity. I give myself time to take a long walk home, look up at the sky and just enjoy the wind on my arms. It’s little moments like these when I remember I’m alive.
Lately I’ve been wearing myself out wondering what I’m going to do with my life. Wondering constantly, “what am I even doing?” or “what am I even doing here?” I see and read things and know that I have been seriously lucky to be where I am and who I am, but then I wonder am I living to my full potential? Why do I always imagine doing things, but I don’t actually do them? If I’m not spending the majority of my time feeling any type of fulfillment then I have to be doing something wrong, right? If you are able to have a good life, a happy life, a healthy life why wouldn’t you just do it?
It’s naive to imagine that things will always be easy and simple. However, there are things we can do to make life a little easier. For instance, how time is spent and how days pass. I’ve always imagined that I would share good with people and that would be my job. During college I aspired to graduate and become a writer who shared stories of good with people because the news is depressing and the good that’s happening is rarely reported on. After that I thought I’d work in community development or just help those less fortunate than me in some type of capacity. Here’s the thing, I don’t do either of those things and I constantly beat myself up because I’m not in love with my non-career. So, why not do something about it? At least volunteer or give my time somewhere else to someone else, maybe it won’t be 50 hours a week, but at least it’s forward motion in the direction I want to go.
These cycles happen and I know they will probably always happen, but we only live once so if you are able to do what you want with your life then just do it. Just be happy, be successful, love everyone and everything to the fullest capacity. Every year, every month, every day and every breath has to count. If you’re thinking about something, then do it. Call your friend, take that class, climb that mountain, run that race, stay motivated and always move. In the words of Emily Dickinson, “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”
It’s been about 7 months since the passing of my younger brother, Joel. It’s no doubt that these have been the hardest 7 months of my entire life. I’ve essentially felt like I’ve been trapped in a cave with piles of rocks on my chest suffocating me. I haven’t been able to seriously sit down and take a breath, not even really during happy times.
I had an incredibly awakening experience on Sunday night. I can finally breathe again. All this time I’ve been forcing myself to live in the dark even though so much light has entered my life.
In the last 7 months I’ve watched my beautiful niece grow and learn and even poop behind a chair. I’ve watched my sister-in-law grow into a strong and independent woman all while being a good mom. I’ve seen 2 of my best friends get married. I’ve experienced the warming love of old friends and even some new ones, too. I’ve seen my youngest brother grow into an amazing, strong man who keeps growing into an incredible person. I’ve watched my family grow and love deeper and be more accepting of everything. I’ve continued to fall in love and build a relationship with my love and my best friend. I’ve learned to appreciate the smaller things and the efforts people make, because, surprisingly, people put a decent amount of effort into things.
Most importantly, I’ve learned to breathe again. The sadness isn’t going away anytime soon, but next time I feel like I’m suffocating, I’ll close my eyes, breathe in, and let the sun warm my face. I, we, have so much. Life is all about breathing and appreciating what you have. I’m going back to that.
I’ve been doing posts lately filled with things that make me smile. This week is a giant list.
1. My cousin squirting milk out of his eye. I seriously haven’t laughed that hard all week.Warning… It’s a little gross.
2. Revisiting my childhood crush on Luke Skywalker (my first crush ever) by watching The Empire Strikes Back. Happy Anniversary!
3. Pretty new shoes with blue nail polish peeking out.
4. Making waffles with my brother this morning and enjoying them with hazelnut coffee in my favorite yellow mug.
5. My grandma’s beautiful flowers. Someday I’ll have a garden.
6. The beautiful, green view from the back porch of my grandparents house.
7. Swinging on the front porch swing.
8. Holding my beautiful niece. She smiled at me today and I cried. Oh, and that’s my little brother, her dad.
9. These cute little food erasers I bought from a quarter machine today
10. Having the greatest friends in the world, especially through the hard times. As Gina said, we are Amber’s fan club. Love you forever, Luvah!
11. And this Dr. Dog song.
I got a text from my beautiful friend Michelle tonight that said, “Our theme song is Leona Naess, Leave Your Boyfriends Behind.” She couldn’t be more right about it being our theme song, from the lyrics that match us perfectly, to the video of friends riding their bikes through the city. It’s almost an exact representation.
On Wednesday morning I woke up and did my normal daily routine: shower, eat, read the news and check Facebook. What I saw when I looked at my newsfeed that morning wasn’t at all what I expected. It was about 8:45 a.m. and the second post from the top read:
“To all Amber’s friends, we regret to tell you that Amber was in a car accident last night and she passed away. She is greatly missed and will continue to light up our lives through our memories. Her viewing and funeral will be this weekend at Seebold’s in Selinsgrove, it will be posted in the Daily Item and The Patriot News. Thanks for being her friend. ~Her Loving Family”
Completely in shock I called my two best friends, who were still sleeping because it was early, and then proceeded to call my grandma. When my grandma answered the phone I was in total disbelief and even thought the post was some kind of joke. There was no way someone I shared so many memories with in high school could be gone, just 5 years after our graduation, and so close to our class reunion. It was devastating for all of us. However, if there is one thing we learned from our dear friend’s passing, it’s how much we all love each other and that we need to truly cherish every moment we have together. Amber was a beautiful, amazing person who loved us all very much. We always called each other “Luvah” from the SNL skit with Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch. There are so many memories and I can’t even put them into words right now. It sounds so trite, but seriously tell everyone you can you love them and try not to lose touch, because you really never know when they will be gone.
I feel like I’ve been learning this lesson my entire life. During the last phone conversation I had with my dad when I was just 12 years old he told me how much he loved me and that if I ever needed anything he was always there to talk. I told him the same for me and hung up the phone. I never thought that would be the last time we would ever speak. It’s crazy because I think now how I don’t talk to my best friends enough or even my mom. Life is just so fragile and you never realize it until someone isn’t there anymore.
“That it shall never come again is what makes life so sweet” Emily Dickinson
I thought of a few other things that make me smile.
1. My silly friends.
2. My growing shamrocks.
3. Beautiful cards hanging on my refrigerator made by my cousins Andrew and Mary Beth.
4. How happy Beau is when I come home from being away for a long time.
And the last thing that has been making me happy is Best Coast
I just want to share some little things that have made me smile lately.
1. This awesome basket my aunt gave to me. She sent it down with my grandparents on their last visit and it was filled with candles (she makes), candy, peanut butter, and my favorite apricot jelly. It’s perfect for holding all my records.
2. My plants. I care for them like a child, seriously. My grandma and I just repotted them.
3. I always try to keep fresh cut flowers in my apartment because they just make everything a little brighter and prettier. My grandma surprised me with these when her and my grandpa visited.
4. I can’t help but smile when my Beau jumps on my bed when I’m trying to make it. He innocently lays there while I throw the sheets and blankets over him. Adorable.
And lastly, this song has been making me smile: