It Is Okay To Be Scared

It Is Okay To Be Scared

It's 2017 and "you're the bomb" has a whole new meaning.
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My normal morning routine of reading the Washington Post and New York Times has been flooded with horrendous events lately. I want to say that I am not scared for the future of our nation, but if I said that, I would be lying.

All I want to do at this very moment is give people who are affected by our worldwide violence a big hug. Usually, hugs make everything better, but in this case, I don't know what to do. For the first time in a long while, I feel helpless and lost about the uncertain future of our world.

I am normally the one who sees the world from a glass half full perspective. Right now, it is so hard to live that way when we are bombing innocent people and destroying lives. If that glass was filled with anything at this moment, it would be the tears of mankind. I am crying for the lives lost and affected by violence brought on by hate.

We have a saying at Southern Miss from the amazing Dr. Joe Paul, and it is to leave a place better than you found it. I want to do that for the world. I think that my generation is wondering how when so many terrible events have happened. It is impossible to know where to begin when we do not know how it will end up. However, as history shows, we have the ability to persist. Our world leaders have heavily discouraged the idea of a resistance, but in order to initiate the change we want. we must. In the words of the fabulous Hillary Rodham Clinton, we must "resist, insist, persist, and enlist. It is through the help of our worldwide resistance that things will start to point in the right direction.

I am proud to be an American, but I cannot be a proud American when our president is breaking up families and harming innocent people. If he is doing it to innocent people, what will happen when he steps on enemy lines? Another war is almost certain to happen at this rate, and I am scared of what is coming to us. With failed missile strikes already happening and directed at the United States, it is scary. What I have had to come to the realization of is that it is okay to be scared. Just as it was fine to get upset over the election results, it is okay to be scared. It's what we do with the tears that will define our millennial legacy. While we could easily turn our tears into bullets, let's turn them into hugs.

I know how easy it is to want to stick your middle fingers in the air and take a dose of Screwitol, but we cannot afford to do that. We have to become the architects for future generations and build the structure of our future on the foundation of our ancestors. We may build walls, but there will always be a window to let light in.

Cover Image Credit: New York Magazine

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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To My Friends Who Are In Love...

Thank you for giving me real relationship goals

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There are no words to express how happy I am for you all.

After being witness to the tears, heartache and sadness your exes caused, I am so grateful you all found people that see how beautiful you all are and are gentle with your hearts.

As your friend, it comforts me knowing you all are with people that would never, ever purposefully hurt you.

It is also comforting to know that you are being taken care of emotionally. They don't belittle or discourage you, but instead motivate and challenge you. They enhance your lives, rather than take away from them.

It makes me happy seeing you all with people that are supportive. People that want you to experience life's opportunities and appreciate your desires to see the world– and rather than holding you back, let you go without an ultimatum.

I love hearing about kind things they do for you.

Whether it's them buying flowers, surprise getaway dates, poems and letters, or just showing appreciation for you– it makes me happy knowing they are treating you.

Or like one of you telling me about a night out and that when you got a little too drunk at the bars, your boyfriend didn't get mad or shame you for your intoxication, but instead got you home safely, made you something to eat and even made sure you took your makeup off– he's a keeper.

I'm happy you are with people that are proud to be by your side. When it comes to your relationships, they don't care what people have to say. They proudly hold your hands, kiss you, post pictures with you, gush about you to their friends and take you home to their families.

Lastly, I'm grateful you all feel loved in return– you all deserve the world and nothing less.

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