It’s 2015 now. I’ve already encountered roadblocks to my resolutions. I’ve already fallen down, yet I’m still standing so that’s something.
It’s currently 1:41am, and while by university student standards that’s nothing I was actually intending to make the most of the second last night of sleep I have before beginning school again. Unfortunately, I find myself unable to sleep.
While another local university does not begin its second semester until the 12th I will find myself back in a classroom two weeks after the end of exams.
I love school. I love learning. I love being busy. These are all facts about me that I will admit to or proudly declare depending upon the circumstances. However, I still need down time. Between diffusing the stress created by exams from my system to trying to just enjoy my break but inevitably being distracted by work that I have to do I simply have not had a chance to feel truly relaxed. I feel more tense than when the break began if that’s even possible.
That is not to say that there were no enjoyable or fun moments throughout my Christmas vacation. Many memorable moments occurred – including being named Godmother to my cousin’s child, watching my parents open their gifts, celebrating New Year’s with high school friends, and going to see Into The Woods with my main musical amiga.
With regards to healthy eating I must confess that has not been going as smoothly as planned. The problem I’ve pinpointed is that when something is bought it is present and hence, a temptation. A New Year’s cake became my breakfast until it was gone and the overabundance of chocolate in the house has driven me to enjoy the caffeine laced snack late at night. These junk foods are slowly being purged from the house though and there is still fruit, both frozen and fresh, for me to indulge in over the next few days.
Not hitting my resolution for one day does not make me weak – it’s a learning process. It’s an experience. It’s my life, which is a journey, and would be completely boring without detours or errors.
Life is so precious.
If this break has reminded me of anything it is that life is important. Life, every life, has value, great value. I do not know exactly when that hit home for me:
Perhaps it was at one o’clock in the morning on Christmas Day after I had attended my first midnight mass – I looked out at the world and saw simple beauty.
Maybe it was when I first held my new baby cousin and saw his eyes open to look at me, appraise me, and then close again as if he had deemed me trustworthy.
It may have been when I found out that a classmate of mine from high school passed away. There are whispers of how it happened; suicide has been mentioned.
I am not seeking to add to the gossip surrounding this death. I wish to allow the family to grieve in peace; I simply offer them my sincerest condolences.
Last year we lost a member of our family to suicide. It was a life altering experience for all of us. This was our first Christmas since then. It was…difficult does not begin to describe it. But it was also a healing process. It was as if ringing in the New Year was a balm for the mental scars that everyone in my family carries.
Many call it selfish. Many do not understand. The people who are left behind do suffer, greatly – the person who leaves suffered too though, that’s is often lost in the shuffle.
I felt compelled to at least mention these deaths here in the hope that writing about them would be therapeutic for me. Death has always been a part of my life, more prominent I believe than in the lives of my friends. I’ve been to over nine funerals since I was around 3 years old. I did not go to a wedding until I was nine.
I know that death is the natural conclusion to life. We will all die. It wasn’t until high school that I began to confront the idea that people I knew, friends, and acquaintances alike considered cutting their own lives short. Some were in so much pain. I remembering coming home to my mother and crying about one friend of mine who was just so sad, so lost. I remember talking down a friend when they felt as if they did not have many options left.
Death has always figured into my life, much more so than romance, love, weddings, christenings, and other ceremonies. That is not to say that those things never factored into my life but death was a constant. It is a constant.
I am not afraid of death yet it does pain me. It has always affected me deeply, perhaps more than it should, when someone I know passes away. I grieve for each of them. On New Year’s Eve, surrounded by high school friends, the news passed from person to person and we comforted each other as best as we could. Some knew our fellow classmate better than others, I knew them less well, but it still felt as if all of the wind had been knocked from my lungs when I found out about the death.
How dark their world must have been to turn to what they perceived as their last option. Their only option.
There never is a real answer to the question: Why?
There are no explanations.
All I can think is that we are so damn young. We are too young for this to happen yet that’s exactly why – we were never invincible. We are so damn young. Our lives can be so damn short.
I made resolutions for 2015 because I needed to remind myself that every action prompts a reaction. I needed to give myself something to hold onto when life makes me crazy, when it makes me want to cry or pull on my hair in frustration. I need this, this blog, these words, to process my life, my world, my emotions.
I still cannot believe it. One of my classmates, one of the handprints on our high school’s wall no longer belongs to a living, breathing person but a memory.
Life is too short to pretend. To hide one’s pain. To lie away one’s stress. To ignore one’s needs to care for oneself.
That is what I’m aiming for in 2015, to take better care of myself. That might mean blogging at 2:24am when I cannot sleep or eating a whole carton of pineapple. Taking care of yourself means different things to different people – what matters it is to you take yourself and your needs seriously. No one knows you and your needs like yourself.