Life Is Too Short

Life Is Too Short

Why be anything but happy?

"Currently in this moment, you are the youngest you will ever be and the oldest you have ever been. Before you take your next breath, hallucinate your dreams, and let it enlighten you towards your desires. Time is ticking rapidly, make the best of it." -Shahrukh Nasim.

When you're in college, life seems endless. College is all about planning for the next 40 to 50 years of your life, and when you're only in your 20s, that seems like forever. But in reality, life is very short. The years fly by, and suddenly, 40 or 50 years doesn't seem like anything at all. And that is the trap we all fall into. We think we have more time than we have, that we can wait and push something off for another day because we have the time, when in reality, we have no idea how much time we have.

Two weeks ago, a senior at my school passed away in this dorm room. He was 23, a nationally ranked wrestler, and about to graduate with his whole life ahead of him. But one Saturday night, that whole life ended. I never knew him, but every time someone so close in age to me dies, it hits a little closer to home. Because I live my life like I have all the time that I could ever want. I give people the silent treatment, I hold grudges, I pretend everything's okay when nothing could by farther from the truth because I always think that I can fix it another time. But why? Why do this to myself and to the people I love, when tomorrow I or they could be gone?

Why be anything but happy in this life?

I've recently gone through some pretty rough personal changes that have forced me to reexamine how I live my life and how I define my happiness. I've always been the kind of person that defined my happiness in terms of other people. I was happy if my friends were happy with me. I was happy if the person I was dating was happy with me. Anything that indicated that they were unhappy with me could destroy a day that otherwise was going very well for me. I always thought that that meant I was just sensitive and a good friend, but I now see that that behavior is self-destructive. I was sacrificing energy being upset about perceived slights and stupid arguments that could have been spent talking about what happened and moving past it.

Now more than ever, I see the need to define my happiness from the inside. I need to recognize that my happiness starts with me, not with others and what they think of me. Why spend a life time so caught up in what other people think that life never truly starts? I'm doing what I need to do to be happy, not what other people need me to do for them to be happy. I still love my friends and would still do anything for them, but I won't sacrifice my happiness any longer.

The moral of the story is this: Don't let others steal your happiness, because you never know what tomorrow brings.


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Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Gallery

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To The Man Who Catcalled Me

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

Dear Asshole,

First of all, screw you.

I don't know you, but you tried talking to me anyway.

You thought you had a right to raise your voice and call to me--as if I'm a dog, as if I should listen when you speak. You don't deserve my attention.

Unfortunately, I heard every word that passed through your lips.

You went out of your way to make me feel small. I pretended not to hear what you said, but I carried it with me the entire way home.

You probably forgot about it, but your words echoed in my ears for hours. Your stupid comment caused me more pain than I'd like to admit.

How dare you take a few seconds of your life to waste hours of mine.

You made me feel dirty in my own skin.

I went home and didn't want to look at myself in the mirror because all I could feel was shame.

I wondered if I could've done something differently to avoid you--wore less makeup, maybe; anything to avoid comments like yours.

It's not me that's the problem, though. It's you. What kind of man behaves the way that you did? Your words were hurtful, whether or not you intended them to be.

You took my self-confidence and my peace of mind away from me in a matter of seconds.

Before you, I felt good.

I wasn't doing anything to deserve your attention--I was just waiting at a traffic light.

It doesn't matter what I was doing, really. You had no reason to call out to me, to speak to me with no regard for my humanity, but you did it anyway.

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

The amount of time I've spent thinking about what you said is far more than you deserve.

You don't deserve a letter. You deserve a kick in the balls.

Regardless, this is a message for you, or men like you, who think that catcalling complete strangers is okay.

Attention all assholes:

I am female, but that does not mean that I am fragile.

My body is not yours. It is no one else's. It is mine.

Sexualizing my body is not a compliment.

I am more than a body. I am a person. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover.

I don't deserve to be talked to like a piece of meat.

I am not here for your pleasure.

I am tired of being just a body. Women are tired of being just bodies. We are more than that--we are smart, we are strong, we are worthy of respect.

If you cannot speak to women with respect, you do not deserve to speak at all.

I hope you think about what you said, even for a moment.

I hope you never speak to another woman the way you spoke to me.

I hope you realized something from this experience, like I did.

Because you catcalled me, I remembered my worth.

Sincerely,

A Woman Who's Tired Of This Shit

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Borneman

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I'm Headed Back To The Water

Water Is Home. Just Dive In.

When I was a little girl my grandfather and mama taught me how to swim. I fell in love with the water and frankly, swimming was something I excelled at. They taught me how to swim before I could walk. Once I was a little bit older my parents quickly enrolled me in Red Cross swim lessons at a local pool. By the age of four I was swimming on a summer league team, and by eight, I was swimming competitively year round.

The water is where I feel at home. I’m not clumsy or awkward. I move fluidly with strength and speed. When I’m in the water, the world disappears. I get to be in my own head, working towards a goal while not worrying about my surroundings. So, I’m headed back to the water.

I know I will not be swimming the way I once did. I’m not looking to be a competitive swimmer again. I have no desire to wake up before the crack of dawn to hop in an icy cold pool. I’m going back to the water to find myself again. To find the girl who had a lot more confidence than I currently do. To find the girl who trusted her body to make the right movements and get her to where she needed to be. I’m looking to find the physical strength and endurance I once had that has since been lost.

When in the water, I feel safe because of the confidence I have in my ability, but also because I trust my body. I’ve never been scared that I would drown because I knew my body would get me back to the wall or would automatically bring me to the surface. I don’t place the same trust in my body while on land. I’m much more clumsy; it doesn't matter if I’m walking or running. I’ve fallen down the stairs, up the stairs, and tripped over my own feet.

When I stopped swimming, I lost myself. I think it’s time I find myself again.

Cover Image Credit: Maxwell Gifted on Unsplash

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