This Is An Enigma

Time is an Enigma

But so are humans.

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Time.

It's different for each and every single person on this earth. Some of us are blessed with plenty while others time has been cut short. While each day passes in the blink of an eye, we continue to go bed at night and wake up and do the same thing we did yesterday. None of us know when our days will end, yet most of us rush through our days to meet certain "deadlines" in our lives.

For example, I am graduating from my dream school a half a semester early than everyone else my age. My best friend is graduating in the standard 4 years, and one of our very good friends is in their late twenties still working on graduating with a bachelor's degree. So, while most people say you have to graduate in 4 years not everyone follows that time frame.

In fact, no one follows the same time frame at all.

When my grandparents were 19, they got married. When I was 19, I was interning for a Congressman, working a part-time job and going to school. When Mark Zuckerberg was 19, he dropped out of Harvard to build the empire that is now known as Facebook. When Alexander the Great was 19 he had already conquered multiple countries.

Ann Frank only had 15 years on this earth while Sarah from the Bible had her first child at 90 years old.

Jesus performed his first miracle at 30 years old, Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 when he painted the Mona Lisa, and Alexander Hamilton became George Washington's right-hand man at 22.

Yes, I know this is all a bit overwhelming. By showing you this I want you to know that you don't have to be anything specific at a certain time in your life. As seen by the examples, everyone follows a different blueprint in life. So if you are feeling you're not at the place you imagined yourself at know you're not a minute behind schedule. Sometimes we focus so much on the future that we forget to reflect on the past and appreciate the present. Look how far you have come already in your life, just imagine all the new adventures you'll have in the future!

While most of us wish days away in hopes of a brighter tomorrow, appreciate the present moments both big and small. Remember life isn't about waiting for the perfect day as there are few and they are spaced out most of the time. Life is about accepting the bad days and learning from them while also rejoicing in the amazing days. Go out and make the most of your life today. You never know how many more days you have to stop living for the timeline and live in the moment. Everything will fall into place and will happen at just the right time.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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