That’s a Wrap

I honestly did not know if I’d ever be able to say this, but I survived my junior year of college. I don’t know if there will ever be a harder year for me than this one. I’ve been tested, more than I expected to ever be tested. It has been almost 8 months since my Dad passed away and things have changed in that time. I have learned so much this year about myself and life in general.

  1. People leave
    Yes, this is a fact. People will leave you. Some people can not handle you at your worst and they will leave and that is okay. I discovered that some people just simply didn’t know how to handle me when I was at my worst, they couldn’t understand. I understand that, I understand and forgive those who didn’t know how to be there for me the way I needed them to be. This is all okay because this was a good way to figure out who you can always count on and who you can’t. This is important. This will make your relationships with the people who do stick around stronger and richer. It’s not about the number of friends in your life, it’s about the quality of them.
  2. The key to being happy is yourself
    This was a difficult thing to realize, but it’s true. I discovered that I couldn’t rely on other people to make me happy, that was only something that could come from me. This was something I struggled with for a long time. I became dependent on other people to lift me up. Don’t get me wrong, other people can make you happy, but they can’t be solely responsible for your happiness. Happiness comes from within. It comes from investing in yourself. I’m a happier person since I’ve realized that and though I had to be a little selfish in order to make myself better, sometimes you just have to put yourself first.
  3. Loss will become a part of you
    For anyone who has ever lost someone they will know this to be true, the death of someone close to you does not go away. It becomes a part of who you are. The loss of my Dad has become a defining moment in my life. It has taught me lessons that unfortunately can only be learned via experience. I carry my Dad with me everyday. There isn’t a day that he doesn’t cross my mind, I doubt there will ever be a day that goes by that he won’t. Though the loss becomes a part of you, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just another beautiful scar you will wear, one that will always remind you of your strength and the love you have for the person you lost.
  4. You don’t have to have everything figured out
    I have spent so much time this year, this semester in particularly, stressed out thinking that I need to have my whole life figured out. Guess what? I don’t need to know yet. I don’t need to know what I want to do for the rest of my life at 20 years old. I don’t need to know where I am going to live when I’m older and who I am going to marry and how I am going to pay back all my student loans after I graduate. I don’t need to know these things yet. It’s more fun not knowing to be honest. It’s more fun knowing that nothing is set in stone and that I can take my life in whatever direction I want. I have no obligations to anything or anyone except for myself. I don’t know where I’ll be in 2 or 10 years from now but I know that whatever it is I do, I am going to be happy I didn’t stress out and hold myself back by forcing things in my life.
  5. Life Goes On
    This is the last and most important thing I have learned this year. In September when my dad died, I reacted by acting like I too was dead. I didn’t do anything, I didn’t take responsibility for the life I still have left to live. That was a mistake. Someone dies? You didn’t. You’re still alive, you’re still breathing and still walking this earth. Make it count. Someone doesn’t like you? Not everyone is going to. Didn’t do well on that test? I guarantee you that you weren’t the only one who failed, I also guarantee you that that one test will not make or break the rest of your life. The person you want doesn’t want you back? Find someone who sees you for all you are and loves you anyway, don’t force someone to want you. You’re better than that. Life goes on. You will make it through the death of a loved one, finals week, and anything else that is thrown your way. Life will always go on.

So, thank you Dad. You taught me so much while you were here. You taught me to tie my shoe, to ride a bike, and to give your all to others. Well guess what? You’re still teaching me things. Through your death, you have taught me some of the most valuable lessons. You have taught me to be strong, strong like you were your whole life. You’ve taught me to appreciate the moments I have with the people I care about. You always made the most of our time together. You’ve taught me to keep going, even when all seems impossible, you have taught me to never stop. Dad, because of you, I will always push forward. I will always be grateful that even though you aren’t physically here, you are still guiding me the way you did when you were.