Never Take A Single Day For Granted

Never Take A Single Day For Granted

Life is precious.
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I am reminded every single day that life is a gift and we should never take advantage of our time here in this world. Despite the days when I feel alone, depressed or anxious beyond belief, I know that I am lucky to be here and privileged to have all the opportunities I do. I just turned 20 a month ago and I've been feeling incredibly reflective since. I've become increasingly aware that life is precious and none of us should waste a single moment.

In the past two months, I've seen many unfortunate things happen; both to myself and to others around me. After a traumatic visit to the ER and a terrible car crash that happened directly in front of my house, I've learned to count my blessings and be more present in my everyday life. Though thankfully, nothing tragic happened to me or my family, those two events, among many others, could have easily become headaches for myself and my family, headaches that would be financial burdens for months to come.

I'm not someone who believes in any certain god. I believe that there is a God, but I'm not sure who I believe they are lines up with any specific religion. I place my faith in the Universe and also in crystals. I believe in a sort of spiritual healing that isn't quite as spiritual as institutional religion tends to be.

Regardless, I'm thankful for guardian angels, gods, the universe or whoever is constantly keeping an eye out for myself and my family. We thankfully escape and continue to escape the absolute worst scenario of every situation and circumstance we are involved in.

Life is absolutely and undoubtedly fragile. Any one of us could be here one day and gone the next; it is no secret that time is fleeting. Before a couple of months ago, it seemed kind of silly to be present in my own life.

I've always thought I was as present as I needed to be, you know? As a college student, it's really easy to get caught up in the outlook of your future. You study for four years in high school to determine your post-high school future, and then if you choose, you study at least two more years in order to shape your future post-college. Being present seems like a nonsensical idea when you're stuck in the crazy world of college curriculum and perhaps a few jobs, ones that help to ensure that you have a future in college.

I was so busy thinking about my future that I never took the time to care for myself in the present. My trip to the emergency room was likely a wakeup call and I am entirely too thankful for not only that but every other wake-up call coming my way. They're essential when I'm attempting to focus on remaining grounded, in the present, in my life.

Our lives are fragile. Don't ever take a day, a minute, a single breath for granted. Don't take advantage of today and don't take advantage of tomorrow. If there's one thing I've learned from 20 years in this world, it's that life is precious. Nothing is forever. Be thankful and blessed for every moment you have.

Cover Image Credit: RawPixel

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

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I Have No Label

Labels aren't for everyone, and I'm one of them.

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There's a huge pressure from society for people to know things about themselves—what they want to do with their life, what career they want to be tethered to, where they plan on being five years from now—that we really shouldn't add more pressure by requiring people to know their sexual orientation and gender identity.

I've always been pretty comfortable with my gender, but my sexuality? I'm still figuring that one out. I grew up in a fairly conservative home, so I was never exposed to the LGBT+ community or anything similar to it. Straight was the only way to go, and I grew up completely fine with that. It's only now that I know I'm not, that I'm realizing some of the things I did, probably should have told me I wasn't sooner.

Thankfully, it was never a huge source of stress for me because I was OK with being straight. I was fine with the idea of only being into men because I mostly still am. It's just that "mostly" bit that has me thrown off.

If I'm not fully into just guys, does that make me bisexual? What's the full difference between them, anyway? What does "bi" really imply, anyway? Two? Which two? Does the "bi" aspect of the word "bisexual" even really matter?

Do people identify as "pansexual" because the distinction of "bi" is misleading since there are more than just two genders?

Speaking of genders, would I date someone whose gender identity doesn't conform to the binary? How about a transgender person? How can I really know this for a fact without dating someone like that?

All of these thoughts gave me countless headaches, and they still do if I think too hard about it. Since I'm still discovering myself, I'm not fully comfortable labeling my sexuality as anything other than "not straight."

That should be totally fine.

If anything, I think this should be encouraged. It puts way less stress on people who are already stressed beyond belief. It shouldn't be something that a person has to know immediately, and they shouldn't have to ever label themselves if they aren't comfortable with it.

Let people explore their sexuality and gender. If they find a label early, let them. They may change it later. They may not. As long as they're happy with it, what does it matter? Why tell them "no?" Even if you're their parent or caregiver, you should at least be fine with them exploring their own identity and figuring their life out.

It's healthy, and ultimately, it will make them a happier person to know they had support for the whole wild ride.

Respect people if they find nothing and choose to stay label-less.

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