Sunday, November 29, 2009

I've come to the realization...

I cannot begin to explain how much I've enjoyed the past 4 days of my Thanksgiving Break, and I am saddened that it's about to come to an end. I haven't had this much free time or been this relaxed since August. I'm sad that this break is about to end, but only a week-and-a-half until I have an entire month off for Winter Break :)

I've used my free time to spend time with family, shop & buy new clothes (I haven't done that in about a year!), write, but most importantly, remember what is most important to me. Here are some of the most important things I've come to realize over break:

I've come to the realization that I'm way too involved on campus. I love all of the organizations that I'm involved with, and I love being busy. BUT, I don't have time for the things that matter most. I don't have time to give myself an hour a day to do what I want to do. I don't have the time to totally take care of myself - like cook a fresh meal or go to the gym or waterfront. I don't have time to sit down and write out my emotions. I don't have the time to sleep at night (most college students don't). And to be honest, this over involvement isn't doing much for me. I'd rather be great at something than be good at everything. I've known that I needed to drop a few things for awhile, but I was so worried about disappointing people that I didn't want to do it. But I've come to the realization that it's not about them, it's about me. I shouldn't cry myself to sleep every night because I'm overwhelmed, overworked, and under appreciated. I need to involve myself with the things that overwork me, but appreciate me. I need to involve myself with things that give me something in return, and that "something" does not need to be tangible. I need to involve myself with things that make me happy. I guess I've come to the realization that my happiness does in fact matter.

I've come to the realization that my story does matter. My 20th birthday is quickly approaching, and I'm starting to realize that I've been through A LOT for someone my age. And at the same time, I've also overcome a lot. Some people are afraid to tell their stories because it makes everything real, and to an extent, I definitely feel that way. But I also feel like my story can help a lot of people - whether it be by giving them hope or just giving them information so they can write an essay. I'm open about my life and what I've been through, and I'm starting to feel like I need to share my story with more people. Writing is a good way to do that, but so is speaking about it. Most importantly, it's about speaking out.

I've come to the realization that I am OBSESSED with To Write Love on Her Arms. If you haven't heard of it, TWLOHA is a "non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide." I've struggled with all of these things so TWLOHA hits very close to home for me. I found this organization when I was at rock bottom back in early 2007, and I seriously don't know where I'd be without it. I utilized a lot of their resources, including the suicide hotline, and they literally saved my life. Their message is so inspiring, and it makes me want to do so much more. It makes me want to speak out and share my story. I know that sounds so lame, but people relate better to personal stories than anything else. When I was at rock bottom, I counted on TWLOHA as well as the stories of people I didn't know to give me hope. I spend at least an hour a day on this website, reading blogs and stories as well as creating my wish list of their merchandise. I seriously love this organization.

I've come to the realization that I am a terrible Little. My Big is amazing; I love her to death and she's such an incredible person. Coordinating the schedules of two busy people is tough, but I've come to the realization that maybe I don't try hard enough. More than anything, I want our Big/Little relationship to work. And it kills me that right now it's not. We never see each other, and if we do it's usually for 5 minutes. We never talk, and I don't feel close to her at all. And it's my own fault; I haven't opened up to her the way I've opened up to many of my other sisters. I've come to the realization that I'd give up everything to have a better relationship with my Big. I remember Big/Little clue week and revelation; I wanted her to be my Big so badly and when I saw her at the end of that tunnel, I was the happiest girl in the world. I want that feeling back again.

I've come to the realization that I have the most amazing friends in the entire world. They are my world. They are there for me when I feel like giving up. They are there congratulating me after I've accomplished something. They are there when I just want to hang out and laugh. If I'm ever alone and just want to be around someone, my friends are there. I don't deserve to have such incredible people in my life, but I'm so thankful to have them around. I love them all so much, and I seriously don't know what I would do without them.

I've come to the realization that I love Chi Omega and need to make more time for it.

I've come to the realization that all of the stress has taken a huge toll on me.

I've come to the realization that I need to be a better friend. They deserve better than what I give them.

I've come to the realization that I need to make time to take care of myself.

I've come to the realization that writing is the most relaxing thing for me, and I need to make time to do it every single day...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Usually I dread Thanksgiving. It's just one of those days where I'm forced to spend time with family and eat way too much. For some reason, this year was different. This year, I was excited to spend time with my family, and I realized that I have so much to be thankful for.

About a month ago, my aunt died of brain cancer. It was the first time I cried when a family member died, and it really hit me hard - partially because I volunteer with the American Cancer Society and partially because I have a deeper appreciation for my family. My family seems to be "getting smaller." It's not that more people are dying, it's that more people are fighting and not talking to each other. It's always bothered me, but it bothered me even more after the death of my aunt. My aunt was healthy and lived an active lifestyle before she was diagnosed with brain cancer. But when she was diagnosed, her health quickly deteriorated. Life was taken away from her so quickly, and it could happen to anyone. You'd think that this would bring my family back together, but it didn't. And that's what bothers me. Life is too short to not talk because of the DUMBEST things. I'm sorry, but their arguments are ridiculous. I've learned that life is too short to hold grudges, and I've learned that the people you love can be taken away from you without notice. You might as well enjoy and appreciate the time you have left with them. It's unfortunate that it took my aunt's death for me to realize this, but I'm thankful to have finally learned this valuable lesson. And I'm thankful to have been able to spend my Thanksgiving with part of my family.

And I can't forget about my friends. I am so thankful for each and every one of my friends. I cannot even begin to describe how much my friends mean to me. Never in my life have I felt such a strong connection to my friends. I love each and every one of them, and sometimes I don't think I tell them that enough. My friends have been there for me through some of the hardest times, but more importantly, they've been there for me through the great times too. In the past, my friends have been there for me during the tough times but abandoned me when I just wanted to have fun and laugh. But these people are different. Sure, we've had some incredible heart-to-hearts, but we've also had some amazing and fun times together. They are hands down the most amazing people I have ever met, and each one of them has a very special place in my heart. I don't think they will ever know how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

I feel like the luckiest person in the world right now. I have an amazing family, incredible friends, and beautiful Chi Omega sisters. All of the material things don't matter when you have such awesome people in your life. This Thanksgiving, I have absolutely everything to be thankful for.