Why I Live For Tuesdays

Why I Live For Tuesdays

Because why not truly live for every single day you get to be alive?

When I was lying in bed the other day I noticed how the last time I had looked at the time on my phone it was 11:59 p.m. Nothing had changed except for seven minutes when I looked at my clock and it said 12:06 a.m. However, I thought of something rather morbid;

I could die today.

Yes, everyone always uses expressions like "Tomorrow isn't promised," and more quotes about how we shouldn't take life for granted. But, this one thought made me change my perception on life.

Lately, one of my best friends has been going through a really hard time. Honestly, it hurts so bad knowing that I cannot take away her pain. We laugh a lot, and I do silly things to make her smile; but, deep down I knew she wasn't OK.

While school, relationships, and finances are all important — often times we forget the purpose of life.

"What if tomorrow, I got the news that I had MS?" I asked her, and she looked slightly confused. "What if I got into a really bad accident to the point that my hand would have to be amputated? I wouldn't be able to be a surgeon."

Yes, I would be able to overcome challenges, and just because life throws obstacles in your way it does not mean that you cannot still have a fulfilling life. But, the sad thing is we put our hopes and dreams into empty promises.

I could be the smartest student in the world. I could be the hardest worker, study more than anyone, but because of the uncertainties of life, I may not accomplish my goals that I put years of effort into.

I could die in the middle of typing this article and it would never be published.

So, why should we choose to live like this?

Day in and day out: stressed. Fearful of a failing midterm grade. Scared of not making the right choices. Stricken with anxiety and mental breakdowns of things that substantially won't mean much of anything five years from now.

One day my calculus professor passed back a midterm that most people did miserably on. He continued by teaching another lecture. Though, when he turned around to see our faces, he must have noticed the disappointed look in our eyes for he said something no professor has ever told me before: "This will not matter in 30 years. The amount of points you missed on this test — you will not remember. It's over now, we just have to move on."

And it's really that simple. We move on. We cannot be so fixated on one mistake or one bad grade or one thing that we failed in life. Life is about failures; but more so, it's about how we overcome them.

Spend time with people that you aspire to be like. Surround yourself with those that make you a better you.

If your legs hurt from being on them all day, be grateful because you can walk.

If your thoughts consume your life, be happy because you exist.

If you're exhausted from lack of sleep, be thankful you woke up today.

The purpose in life isn't to get the most likes on your Instagram picture, nor is it to receive the highest grade out of your classmates.

Because at the end of it all, it truly won't matter who won.

The trophies we collected will be thrown in a box only to be discarded by future relatives. Our names will one day be forgotten when we cease to exist; even famous actors of our time will not be remembered one hundred years from now. Life is so dynamic in the sense that it is always changing, and so are you.

So never stop striving to be a better you today than you were yesterday; Learn to love yourself and do things for you. Go to a painting class. Sing karaoke(badly if necessary.) Try yoga. Make a bucket list. Cross items off of it. It's easy to live for the weekend- but don't. Live for Tuesday's. Make every day a day you appreciate your existence. I don't care if you're 14 or 40. Be the cliche version of you that you've always wanted to be.

When someone asks where you see yourself ten years from now, I hope you think "Happy," because, in the end, nothing else matters.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap.io

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The Ability To Accept Is A Form Of Self Care

And Society's Expectations Of Suffering

The way we live today, it is almost as if some sort of suffering is seen as obligatory.

What do I mean by that?

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Don't you feel that if you go through a break-up, for instance, that it is as if you're expected by society to grieve and suffer?

Or if you are rejected from a major career opportunity that you are expected to be sad and disappointed?

Or if you fall sick, you're expected to lament your fate and the stress-inducing consequences of not completing your work?

It is as if these responses are seen as normal and if you are to react otherwise, you're seen as strange or worse, insensitive.

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How could you not care?

After all, it is human to care. It is human to invest yourself so much into something - an outcome, an expectation, an ideal scenario - that the failure to obtain it, logically, must be met with a devastating outpouring of emotion. Otherwise, it is as if you simply didn't care enough!

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But is that really true?

Does my big emotional reaction to failure mean that I cared enough? Or is it merely an excuse not to work on ourselves to better learn to accept that which is thrown at us?

The ability to accept is integral to a happy life.

Why is it then that we find it strange if someone is able to accept their circumstances with the snap of a finger?

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Because it is difficult for most of us. We find it incredibly challenging to detach ourselves from the ensuing disappointments, feelings of injustice, anger, and resentment. We find ourselves easily lost in the fears that come along in an uncertain future.

Isn't that all the more reason, though, to learn the art of acceptance? Don't we all want to be free from the pain of disappointment, the stress of anger and the anxiety of fear?

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I say yes!

The person who is able to accept the circumstances around him, in fact, cares so much about the happenings of his life that he does not want to waste a single second in self-loathing, pity, grief or pain. He knows that those emotions will arise, but there is no reason to get lost in them.

They can exist but they do not have to stop him from moving on and continuing to live life to the fullest.

Cultivating the ability to accept is a form of self-care. It is knowing your human limitations, recognizing them and allowing yourself to be free from suffering. It is knowing when it is time to let go, to stop resisting the flow of the Universe and understanding the importance of capitalizing on every living and breathing moment.

It is understanding deeply that you shape and create your life with your thoughts and feelings and so choosing to accept and let go rather than resist and suffer in order to create a happier future.

So the next time you see someone not suffering as how you think they ought to based on the events of their life, don't judge them. In fact, perhaps admire the strength they have to continually choose to accept what happens to them rather than channel energy into suffering and choose to learn from their way of life to benefit your own.

Who knows, you may just be happier.

Cover Image Credit: Mathew Schwartz

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To Those Who Feel Everything So Strongly, Do Not Let Your Empathy Crush You

Empqthy and You

I’ve talked about a lot of things on this website, and ultimately, they all have one thing in common: they exhaust me. Every time I write an article or a journal entry or a homework assignment for one of my many classes which focus on human suffering and how to address it, I wind up completely burnt out. My emotions come at me from an alternate angle—as if they were not my own—and I just want to lie down somewhere and sleep. Problem is, sleep won’t fix that kind of tired.

You see, I’m not writing this article to commiserate about how hard it is to be black in America—or on Wake’s campus—or how hard it is to be broke in America—or on Wake’s campus. I’m writing this short little piece of me down to tell the people out there like me that it is okay to get tired. It is okay for you to back off all the save-the-world projects and save-your-friends projects sometimes. It is okay to go home and sleep like the dead for a week instead of going out and doing what other people think is fun. It is okay. But what isn’t okay is taking on all the problems you encounter at the expense of dealing with your own.

For those of you like me—those of you who feel everything so strongly that it seems every day has the potential to crush you—it is important to temper your own empathy. This isn’t to say that you need to lose some of it—lord knows I couldn’t get rid of any of the empathy in my heart if I tried—but you have to learn how to manage it. If that means completely unplugging from life over spring break, do so. If that means talking to a counselor once a week or once a day, do so.

If it means meditating or doing martial arts or reading, please do so, because the world needs you and your empathy more now than you could ever know. The world needs people like us, people who can’t look at the news and mean it when they say, “Whatever, people die every day.” The world needs compassionate teachers, doctors, food service workers and mail-carriers. The world needs more empathy, and it won’t have it if you let your empathy crush you.

Ultimately, this piece is for those of you who are beginning to wonder whether or not there is a point to trying to change anything. This is for those of you who are so tired that it doesn’t matter what you do, you remain that way. This is my acknowledgement—however little that may mean—that you are not alone with how you feel.

The weight of the problems you are trying to face are not yours alone, and you can shoulder the burden, but you must have help and you must make sure you maintain your own emotional, psychological, and physical strength to do so.

This world is fucked up in a million different ways—I won’t deny it, but without empathy and without compassion, we can’t do anything about it. Without you, we can’t do anything about it. So, as I said in a speech once: “It’s okay to lose hope sometimes, as long as you find it again,” because, without hope in the face of everything hurting the world, without those of us who are willing to understand, listen, and feel what others feel in order to address the problems we see, the world will die. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be the one who lets that happen.

Cover Image Credit: Alexander Holt

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