So, blogging. Hmmm. I was talking to my friend Liz about it, and figured I should give it a shot (3rd time around is a charm). But I wondered what I should blog about. Her thoughts: “Something inspirational”. I laughed. I mean, what does a 21 year old college student have to say to the world that is inspirational? I go to class, work part time, live pretty far away from a place I used to call “home”, have a handful of close friends, date this guy named Kevin, struggle with my personal appearance, live low on funds, and sometimes think that the world is just out to get me. As I like to say it, shit hits MY fan all the time. Then, I was thinking about something my mom said during Thanksgiving dinner. We do the very typical “Let’s all say what we are thankful for” and she said she was thankful that I take everything lightly- almost too lightly. Being an OCD type of person, I wondered what she meant about that. I thought “When someone hurts me, I cry. When someone’s life is taken away, I question what it all means (and cry again). When I can’t figure out what to do in a situation, I stress out and get not-so-cute pimples on my temples.” Then, I realized that maybe I do have a few words to share with the world.
Today I am sitting on train en route to Washington, D.C. where I will spend some time with my Aunt Liz, Uncle Dean, Cousin Rachel (1st family), Aunt Barb, Uncle Rich, Cousin Maddie, Cousin Bridget, Cousin Zoe (2nd family) and Grandma. This little trip will cover visiting about 1/10 of my extended family. Given that all of my cousins are about 10+ years younger than I am, it always results in an interesting experience. Yet I am incredibly excited to be heading there. Here is some background: Earlier in September, my cousins and I lost our Grandfather (Grandpa Bud). He was 86 and awesome, but ready to go. About 3 weeks ago, Maddie, Bridget and Zoe lost their Grandma Marge (on the other side) after she fought a vicious battle against leukemia. Growing up, I knew I was so fortunate to have all 4 of my Grandparents alive and part of my life. This September, I cried, but was also old enough to process and turn it into motivation and pride in my family. For my younger cousins, I can hardly grasp what it feels like to have two people so special and loved taken away in such a short period of time. And for my Aunt Barb and Uncle Rich, I don’t know how they have taken care of themselves, their family and their marriage while all of this has gone on. I am not confident that in the same position, I would be able to do the same. I mean, I cried just writing about it.
Anyways, what’s so motivational or inspirational about all of this? Something I realized while I was processing what my mom said- we allow ourselves to become consumed in events that hardly matter. What matters more than life or death? I’d put family up there, maybe even the pursuit of happiness (what’s the point of living if you don’t make the most of it?). I’d say that loving who you are and what you do is incredibly important, along with loving those around you to the fullest extent. But other than that, does it really matter if you have a crappy day? Momma, maybe that’s why I seem to take everything so lightly- because that’s how we manage to duck when shit hits the fan.