From the past couple of months or years, a seemingly “new normal” has emerged. Gone are the days when only “older” people have cancer, heart attacks, high blood pressure, or similar deadly diseases and/or just drop dead. These days, it almost seems like we are in the hunger games: the youth are the target and your fate is unpredictable.
In fact, this year alone, 3 close family friends have lost siblings in their 20s and early 30s. I know a close family friend who lost a husband shy of his 40th birthday. I know a college friend who was found in his apartment and a law school classmate who passed on in a similar way, both in their 20s. Then, there is the vibrant young lady who met her ghastly untimely death while driving excitedly to a new city to start a new job.
I could give you the details about each passing but the purpose of this post isn’t to muddle your day. Instead, it’s so that you take it all in and LIVE it. The recent occurrences have brought a realization of a new normal for me….or rather a heightened sensitivity to all things life. The little annoyances that once gave me sleepless nights, don’t matter much to me anymore.
People die, people are shocked, we cry, we mourn, but while those closest to them never loose the essence they left behind, the world doesn’t miss a beat. People will only grieve for you for so long before they’ll need to get back to paying their bills, work, getting married, giving birth, life and everything in between.
I say all this to say that in light of all this, ever so often we need to be reminded of a few things.
~Love yourself. There’s no other “you”.
~Live. Do what you want to do. People will have an opinion anyway. It’s the most they are entitled to anyway.
~Be generous. My mom swears it’s what buys her success.
~Accept help when you need it.
~Make the effort to reach out to a friend or family. It only takes a minute to say “Hey! I was thinking about you. Hope you’re having a blessed day”. At least once a week, I send out texts and emails to people I haven’t heard from in a while. I try to have “date nights” with those close by. Woe it be to you that you come across an RIP on Facebook, while you were still “meaning to call or text.”
~ Listen a lot. Talk less. These days, I ask myself if what I want to say is worth the energy of dealing with its consequence. It helps a lot, especially in my relationships.
~Stop living to please anyone. That’s an impossible task in itself because people will talk anyway.
~ Stop trying to be “perfect”. Perfection is for hypocrites. Forget what you see on social media…..there’s no such thing or person.
In all things, remember one day we are here. The next day we are not.
Just do your best. It’s the most you can do anyway.
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