“Do Not, Whatever You Do, Let It Take Away Your Sunshine”

It’s funny what social media can do for you. Thanks to new applications like TimeHop, we can be transported back in time to see and read exactly what we shared with the world in years past.

It’s amazing. You can be brought back to an exact day and relive the same emotions. All from one status update.

TIMehOP

Although I have reminders everyday, TimeHop showed me again today how 2013 was by far the worst year of my life. I say this because I can only pray that I, nor anyone else, ever go through a year like this again. It was the year I graduated from high school with my best friends and the time when I concluded what I now know was a near-perfect childhood in my small town. Following graduation, I had the chance to move to one of the most beautiful cities in the country—Boston.

In between those big milestones though, my life was changed. And not just the “growing up” and “moving out” kind of change, but in the way that could make a positive person who was ready to go out into the big world into a slightly more cynical person. A girl who then had to work hard to believe she was perfectly happy moving to a different state during an extremely difficult time, but just couldn’t make it work any longer.

This reminds me of the first post I ever wrote for my blog. It was the piece sharing my news of my decision to transfer to Ithaca College. I shared how I truly believed (and still believe) that transferring was not due to “failing” at BU, but due to the fact that I had to make a choice for myself. One that was far from easy, but necessary for my personal health and happiness.

The point of this side tangent is that I could go through life focusing on the struggles, but there isn’t one person in this world who is not hurting—who is not dealing with some sort of hardship. There is no comparison between peoples’ hurt. You cannot compare your struggles to a person next to you because you have NO IDEA what that person may be going through.

And that’s when perspective becomes everything in this life. We have the choice to change our lives. It’s not going to be easy, and yes it may be easier for different people. However, life can make you so harsh, so bitter. It’s up to YOU to decide if you want to stay bitter forever.

Everyone I know who has dealt with hardships understands how there are good and bad days. Depending on the circumstances, there may only be a few good days, but just attempting to make those good days outnumber the bad days is the first step in turning your perspective on life right around.

My first step was deciding to transfer schools. It hasn’t been easy in any way; however, I am learning to transform any negative aspect of this experience into a positive. Adjusting is difficult. Adjusting to any change is difficult. But this change is that first step—the first step in making the good days outweigh the bad.

Returning to the actual point of this rambling post–life is damn difficult. It throws us curveballs every single day. And sometimes these hardships cannot be reversed, we cannot take the pain away, but we can make sure we continue living our lives in the most positive way that is possible.

I want people to know I am speaking from my own experiences and circumstances. I am not ignorant to the heartbreaking pain I witness other people, including my own loved ones go through every single day. I can sit here and preach about how we can’t be cynical and we have to keep living. However, I do understand how it is not a quick fix, and cannot be the case for every person. You can’t just snap yourself into forgetting about pain, but you can take a small first step.

With this understanding, I still do believe there is always beauty in this world (as cliché as this sounds). Even if it’s beautiful memories that we live for, this is still beauty. And I do believe that in our daily lives we cannot let the small things get to us and cannot continue to carry the weight of pain with us at every single moment.

Just look for the good. Know that tomorrow is going to be a better day, but without wishing today away. I am far too guilty of wishing my life away–for always looking ahead for the weekend, for the next vacation or holiday, and creating expectations for myself without even appreciating the present. Not living in the present is something that does limit our happiness.

With this long post you’re probably wondering where this is coming from and what I am actually going to do now? Or at least attempt to do…

I’m not going to be bitter, no matter what I am dealt in this life. I’m going to try and share a little positivity to every person I come into contact with no matter how hard life may feel that day. I’m going to put a smile on my face when I walk out the door each morning and I’m NOT going to let anything take away my own sunshine.

-Rachel

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