lately i’ve had big things on my mind.
it started with new job negotiations conducted in my car. i’ve never felt more like a hooker except for that time when i had sex for money. but seriously, i have bad cell service in my apartment. i’m not really a prostitute. i have the unpaid student loans to prove it.
then it was learning first hand that what happens in vegas doesn’t always stay in vegas depending on your personal conscience and how many co-workers saw you go into that elevator. no i’m not pregnant. pregnancy jokes are not funny.
on monday during a snow storm, there was a fatality on the way to work. imagine you’re just driving your every day, regular commute. but then, you’re just not.
next, it was the heartbreaking boston marathon bombings.
finally, the looming two year anniversary of my dad’s death.
yeah, big things.
over the last two years since losing my dad unexpectedly to heart disease, i’ve tried my best to focus on the little things: sunsets. freshly baked cookies. inside jokes with my mom. new boots. puppy dog kisses. nail polish. mountain tops. centralized heating. banjos. “that’s what she said” jokes. peach flavored chapstick. friends who can’t do downward dog yoga poses. local beer. witnessing a street lamp go out. making fun of paleo diets. cute doctors. songs about thrift shops.
overall, it’s worked. i’ve found balance. i’ve found peace. i’ve found acceptance. i’ve even found happiness.
but in reality i’m 5’2″. that’s 5’2 1/2″ when i’m feeling confident. this means that for me, life is unavoidably big. [insert short joke here]. i still worry. i still carry an inappropriate amount of anxiety. i still care and love and give, which means that i fear disregard and hate and loss. no matter how many times i use my peach flavored chapstick, none of that changes.
so i’m still scared. and it’s big.
i wish i could say that it’s all going to be ok. in fact, i’ve spent a majority of the last two years convincing myself of just that. i’ve lost sleep over it. i’ve written about it. i’ve forced my mom into awkward conversations about mammograms because i believe it will somehow save me from losing her. notice that, save me, from losing her.
most importantly, i’ve spent a significant amount of time seeking safety, contentment, and consistency.
but if the last few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that we aren’t safe and we aren’t consistent. we can’t be saved. it could be a car accident. it could be national tragedy. it could be terrorism (whatever that is these days). it could be a one night stand (or even that cute doctor). it could be stress. it could be heart break. or, it could be heart disease.
we have to remember that life IS unexpected. we have to embrace it, even when it’s not ok and even when it’s not fair. the best things to do is open your eyes and your arms and your heart to all of it. accept your mistakes. turn you regrets into lessons. take risks. be exposed. never stop running. love so deeply that it will be unbearable when it’s gone. breathe.
embrace. no matter what.
if you die tomorrow in a volcano eruption or an earthquake or a lightning storm or a mass shooting or from disease, your last thoughts should be “i was here and it was big.”
(that’s what she said).