Regarding Hope, Love, & Orlando

  • “Find the good in the world, and hold on to it with both hands.” (Quote from a post on @elephantjournal Instagram account.)

I haven’t said a lot about the Orlando shooting aside from sharing some relevant videos and “liking” some relevant posts/videos on social media. This is not because I don’t care (as anyone who really knows me will already be aware of), but rather because I just have so much I could say, and I know myself. If I get going on that tangent, it will turn into a novel before I know it. And there is this weird stigma with speaking up about “issues” on social media. So many people seem to pass judgement on those who often utilize social media as the metaphorical soapbox, getting annoyed about it and rolling their eyes, and seeing it as a very negative quality for someone to possess.

Personally, I love a good soapbox. There has never been a positive change in the world that came about because people remained quiet. As the quote says, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men to do nothing.” So I will continue to try to use the gifts I’ve been given to impact positive change in the world around me. To write about what moves me and try to express a perspective that someone might not have understood previously. To sign petitions and volunteer my time when I can. To be kind to the people I come in contact with and do more good than harm in the world.

I am absolutely stubborn in my optimism and faith in humanity. But in order to truly believe in it, I have to contribute. I believe that one small act of kindness outweighs multiple negative acts, in the balance of our universe. I don’t care if that makes a cynic call me naive. I know that so much progress is needed in our society, in our world. But I also know that love wins, every time.
However, after so many situations like this in recent years, with the same conversations happening over and over again with nothing changing I simply haven’t been able to really form a concrete thought on the situation. I don’t want to say I’m weary, because deep down I know I’m not. As I said, I’m quite stubborn in my optimism. But for the moment, for this moment, I am indeed weary.

My heart breaks all over again every time I think about the Pulse shooting victim who was trapped in the bathroom before being killed, and texted his mother to tell her he loved her and that he thought he was about to die. Can you even imagine? Imagine being that mother, sitting on your couch watching television or perhaps already in bed for the night, getting that text from your child to find out later that they were killed moments later. And for what? For innocently being who they are.
I have so many emotions and thoughts and opinions on the entire situation… the hatred/bigotry, the policy change that desperately needs to happen, issues with gun regulation, mental illness, treatment of the LGBQT community. But behind all of that, all of my own personal thoughts and feelings that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, there are hundreds of friends and family members right now mourning the loss of their loved ones, knowing that they were gunned down for no reason other than someone hated them because of who they loved. There is never any sense to be made out of situations like this. All of those people just had the world fall away from them suddenly, with no explanation, and there never will be an explanation that can fill that void in their lives.
And while I wish I could give each and every one of them a giant hug and it hurts my heart that I can’t… I’m so happy to see the world collectively giving them that hug, metaphorically speaking. ❤ Now let’s see if we do more than just hug them and move on… only time will tell.

Changing Perspective

It has now been just over one year since I moved from Michigan to Arizona. Time flies. 

I highly encourage anyone who wants to move away to just go ahead and do it! You can come up with excuses all your life for why you “can’t” do it right now, but the reality is that you can. It comes down to what is more important to you. If you’re truly unhappy somewhere, I can think of very few things that should stop you from changing your scenery. Aside from taking care of a sick family member, or sharing custody of a child… there isn’t much else that is a legitimate excuse for staying “stuck”. 

I am naturally not all that fearful of change and uprooting myself, so maybe it was just easier for me. I just don’t ever want to become stagnant in my life, I guess. I want to meet new people, see new things, change my perspective by changing various things in my life. Sometimes it can be frightening because we don’t have crystal balls–we never truly know how something is going to to turn out. It could turn out badly. But look at what will happen if you don’t make a change… it’ll definitely be bad because you’ll be miserable, you know? 

I won’t lie and say that I haven’t struggled financially due to moving. Has it kept me up at night or brought me to tears? Definitely not. I’ve struggled financially before. But in twenty years what’s going to be more prevalent in my mind? The bills I barely paid, the shoes I couldn’t buy, or the life experiences I gained?

The life experiences will always win. They will always be there. The minor stresses of money will fade with time. I know I won’t always struggle, so I’m not terribly concerned with it. I can’t take it with me when I’m dead anyway, so I’m going to focus on the more important things! 

Things like… sky diving for the first time… becoming closer with my two cousins & establishing new relationships with them (& their family) that add fulfillment to my life… the lessons I took from going through a divorce… meeting & spending time with a man who helped me see my worth… seeing Disneyland for the first time… becoming more focused on my health and on my writing… meeting and dating someone who seems to also see my worth… and just having fun in general… doing my best to enjoy life in all aspects. 

Seriously… if you’re thinking of doing it… just make it happen. Life will go on. The people who matter in your life will still be a part of it, even from a distance. You’ll go through some bad things, but bad things will happen no matter where you are. All I can really say is… You will survive. ❤