Childhood Lessons I've Unlearned To Learn More

Childhood Lessons I've Unlearned To Learn More

Surprise, talking to strangers isn't so strange.
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Curiosity killed the cat; good thing I’m allergic.

Throughout my life, my yearning for knowledge and deep curiosity has been the driving force behind my actions and my successes. When I was told that curiosity killed the cat, I must not have been listening.

I also didn’t hear the not-so-pro, pro-tip to not talk to strangers. Since I was a child, I have always been the one to chat with any and everyone around me. Rather than being fearful, I was fascinated. The stories I’ve heard and people I’ve met have reinforced this revelation of mine that talking to strangers isn’t so strange; it enhances your experiences.

And experiencing life to the fullest is a favorite pastime of mine. I grew up hearing that I needed to slow myself down before I burned out, but honestly, I like the fire that grew in me. The constant hustle and bustle of my life never burned, only fueled. And this fuel has sparked my passions that led to my pursuits and ended with my happiness in life.

But life is fleeting and time is valuable. Just as I keep busy, I have to keep myself ahead. I’ve heard that slow and steady wins the race but found that fast and sudden is sometimes the better call. Spontaneity leads to possibility and I can accomplish beyond what I think is possible. With rash decisions come adventure and unanticipated opportunities.

Life, however, also has the opportunity to bring you down. Though I heard that sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me, I learned early the power of my words and their potential to build someone up or just as quickly break them down. This power of words has inspired me to use mine to connect with others and speak about my opinions and concerns.

And while growing up, my parents were always concerned that if my friends jumped off a bridge I would too. Little did they know, I was the one jumping in the first place and diving headfirst into whatever life had to throw at me.

So even without learning the lessons I was meant to, I turned out OK, and hopefully, the cat did too.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Nabors

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10 Shows Netflix Should Have Acquired INSTEAD of Re-newing 'Friends' For $100 Million

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Netflix broke everyone's heart and then stitched them back together within a matter of 12 hours the other day.

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What Do You Do When Tragedy Strikes Your Former Home?

In my desperate attempt to figure this out, I'm writing about it.

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On November 8th, I woke up with a voicemail from my mom. It went a little like this,

"Hey, it's Momma. I'm sorry it's really early your time, but I wanted to have you hear from me before you got the news on. There was a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last night at a country bar about ten minutes from where our house was in Moorpark. There are 12 people dead, the shooter is dead, and a cop. It was college night at the bar, so anyone over 18 could go in. There were students from multiple colleges there, that's all they know so far. It's just horrible." And so on. I made it about halfway through the voicemail before I pulled out my laptop.

A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. This is what is referred to as one of the safest towns in America. This town was a short drive away from my home in Moorpark. These people are mostly my age. Then, the worst one occurred to me. What if when they display the victims' pictures, I recognize a face?

According to USAToday, the Thousand Oaks shooting is the 307th shooting on the 311th day of 2018. Are we supposed to allow ourselves to be desensitized to this gun violence? I sure hope not. I'll save you the agony of listening to how the rest of my day went. Long story short, I watched the news and cried more than I'd like to admit.

As the day carried on, I watched the pictures come up on my computer screen. I scrolled through social media and looked at my friend's posts of their friends being safe. Somehow, that did not calm me down. I watched the victim's faces pop up one by one on my laptop, and I listened to the stories.

All country music lovers, all college students, all heroes who helped save the lives of others before they lost their own. It was not until Friday that I realized I did recognize one of the faces. I logged onto my Facebook to get rid of a notification, and there it was. A picture of my childhood swim coaches, and Noel Sparks. Now, I understand that it's been years, but that doesn't make it any better. Each victim of the shooting had so much more life to be lived, and my heart breaks for each one of them. I send all of my love to the family, friends, and everyone affected by the Borderline shooting.

Not even a day later, there was news of a fire that is rapidly spreading. According to CBS News, The Woolsey fire has burned 98,362 acres of land and is only about 57% contained. While this fire has only 3 confirmed fatalities, the second fire that is burning in California has taken the lives of 56 people and burned 140,000 acres of land. I can spit out as many facts as my fingers can research, but it doesn't change the fact that my heart aches for my former home. When all of this tragedy happens and I'm 1,835 miles away, I have never felt so helpless. I donated to the victim's families, but I have not found a way to make sense of this in my mind. Why do these things happen? There's no concrete answer to this question, so am I going to wonder it forever?

If you would like to find a place to donate to the Borderline victims' families, click here. If you would like to find a place to donate to the victims' of the fires, click here.

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