You Are Alive, But Are You Living?

You Are Alive, But Are You Living?

"May you live every day of your life." -Johnathan Swift

As I occasionally scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter throughout the day, I see an array of things. I see politics, memes, drama, and so on, but most of all, I see people going through the motions. Many cannot see this with the naked eye, however, some can. These lifeless posts stick out like sore thumbs to us, as we envy what you take for granted. "Another month closer to graduation," "can't wait until summer," and "not feeling the gym today" are a few things that I have read in my newsfeed within the past week. As I sit here on the couch for the eleventh consecutive day of not leaving my home, I wish nothing more than to be in school, to be wrapped up in a winter coat, or to be working out with my team.

On days prior to becoming ill, and even since becoming ill, I am guilty of going through the motions as well. I looked back on my social media accounts and found posts about how I wanted basketball season to come faster, how I was upset I could not do things because of an injury, and so many other meaningless reasons I could not allow myself to be happy in that moment. I was so caught up in the few negatives that I completely missed the many positives I was surrounded with--my health to name one.

One of the many definitions of the word "live" is "to have an exciting or fulfilling life." I beg that each of you asks yourself, "am I, by this definition, living?"

We get so wrapped up in what could be rather than what is, and before we know it, what is becomes what was. My one biggest regret from my healthy self is not living, and I write this praying that readers do not realize they never "lived" after it is already too late. There are so many things that can be considered "exciting or fulfilling" like in the definition. Every day that you wake up, you are gifted with another day on Earth; is that not exciting and fulfilling within itself? I am by no means suggesting you cannot be excited about future endeavors, complain about the crazy weather, or be upset your team did not make the playoffs, but instead am challenging you. I am challenging you to live every day of your life.

As the ill community tries our best to live life to its fullest with our limitations, I ask that each of you live your unlimited life in our honor. Appreciate everything; dwell on nothing. These are the six things I strive to do every day and wish I would have done back when it was so much easier to do.

  1. Live every new day with a fresh start. Do not let your mistakes of yesterday keep you from having a wonderful day. Today is too good of a day to have a bad day.
  2. Use every opportunity to your advantage. Each day is filled with endless opportunities and adventures, do not be afraid to take a chance now and then.
  3. Never wish your days away. Accept each day as a blessing and make it a great one.
  4. Be kind. There is nothing more fulfilling than to make another person smile. Perform a random act of kindness each day. It can be anything from buying someone's lunch or even simply complimenting them; a little goes a long way.
  5. Stop doing things just to do them. If you do not enjoy what you are doing, either stop doing it or try to make the absolute best of it.
  6. Allow yourself to be happy. Do not let little things drag you down. Remember to relax and smell the roses.

Now it is up to you; are you going to accept this challenge and begin living, or are you going to continue going through the motions?

Cover Image Credit: Sara Lynch Photography

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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What It Is Really Like Having Sisters Close To Your Age

While having siblings close to your age is pretty amazing, there can be a lot of issues that can come with it.


I come from a family of 5 people and 1 dog. I have 2 sisters, Grace and Caroline. We are all pretty close in age, Caroline being the youngest and 3 years younger than me.

My sisters and I share a bond like no one else, no one can replicate it. When you have siblings close to your age you have built-in best friends, and since they are around your age you have the same interest, or at least, enough so that you can do things that other siblings cannot. Examples of this would be seeing R-Rated movies and going to the mall without too much complaining, along with being able to shop in the same stores or even share clothes. Grace and I sometimes even split the cost of a shirt we both like.

We even overlap friend groups! Which is not much of a problem for us, Grace and I are both in music programs which overlap enough for us to have the same friends, which is great for when one of us has a sleepover, the other can join in on the fun. Caroline, however, even though she is seen as the sporty one of the 3 of us, she still has a lot of friends who have similar interests as Grace or I, giving us a lot of the same friends. It's nice not to be considered the "cool older sister", I am just like the rest of them.

While we do fight a lot, we make up really quickly, because most issues we have are stupid sibling fights: who gets the T.V., what to have for dinner, what movie to see. But it is always fun because there are 3 of us, which means majority rules, something we tend to go by most of the time depending on the situation.

Having 3 teenagers in the house can be a handful for our parents though, when you have three teenage girls going through puberty at relatively the same time, it can be grueling, especially when you are all on your period at the same time.. (yes, that has happened before) (and yes, it sucks). While I am on the topic, let's say a prayer and a thank you to my dad for dealing with 5 girls (including the dog, obviously) because he does a pretty damn good job at dealing with all of us.

When we were younger, we always had a play date even when one was canceled. We all made up songs and dances and would perform them for our parents. We even had a band called The Halsey Sisters (AKA the female version of The Jonas Brothers) where we had a hit song called "We Got The Heart and Soul". It was a hell of a time. Let's just say the music video for that song is, interesting to say the least.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't switch my sisters for anything in the world, they are my rocks, and I wouldn't want it any other way, Grace, Caroline, keep doing what you're doing, because you're pretty damn awesome.

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