Hug Like You Mean It

Time is a funny concept. A second may consist of only a blink or a step. In a minute, you can have a brief conversation with someone regarding the weather. In an hour you can learn something new. A day passes and it can feel like you either accomplishing everything, or nothing at all. When you look back at a whole month, maybe even a year, you forget the miniscule things and look back at the moments that rendered that period of time either good or bad. Well, it’s been a hectic past couple of months to say the least and I found myself turning into an emotional psychopath for a majority of it. See, the problem is that I’m so focused on the idea of bettering myself and moving up in the ranks of success that I am consumed by it. There exists a social pressure that as soon as college students graduate, it’s survival of the fittest. We all jump in to piranha-infested waters and just hope that our swimming capabilities allow us to reach the other side unscathed. But then again, this is coming from an anxious, impatient 23-year old girl who naively thinks that all good things are just going to gracefully spring upon her. Hey, at least I can admit how silly that thought process really is…

July and August have been an emotional roller-coaster. Like, giant, scary, obscenely tall emotional roller-coaster. In the beginning of July, E’s close friend and godfather passed away in an unfortunate, untimely fashion. Then again, one can never predict something like that happening to someone like him. I mean, nothing bad is suppose to happen to good-hearted people right? Or, at least that’s what we’d like to think. The majority of July was spent grieving and wondering. Wondering why on Earth his path was destined to reach such an end. Then came August, marking the end of summer and the month before school starts. I really felt that one. It had been a little over a year since I graduated college and I had told myself back then that after working a year, I would begin looking into graduate/professional schools. And yet there I was, 15 months later, without a clue or an ounce of motivation to push me in the right direction. It was especially harsh because E’s godfather’s death reminded me of how short life is, and if you don’t roll with the punches, “you’ll blink and suddenly be 40 years old”. An older man from the dog park told me this, and it induced a silent panic inside me. He was 42 years old with solely his poodle as a companion, and a 21 year old son who he barely knew. “Yea I had intentions to get married and big dreams for my future, but then I got old”. He also told me to get married and have kids while I’m young, but that is not exactly what my ambitious 23-year old self wanted to hear. So here I am today, just days into September, and finally grasping a hold of what I want to do with the rest of my life. My outlook is optimistic, and the sun is just peeking over the horizon.

After the past two slightly troubling months, I’m feeling positive. I’m doing things that make me feel good, and spending time with people that bring good into my life. At the same time, I’d like to think that I’m equally as much of a positive impact on others as I know people are on me. With that being said, my wish for you this month is simple: 9. Hug like you mean it. When you pass that familiar face you always seem to see on your morning walk with the dog, ask them “good morning, how are you today?” and actually mean it. Give someone one of those genuine, squeeze-the-life-outta-you hugs, knowing that it stimulates the production of oxytocin (the feel-good neurotransmitter). Have you ever heard of strangers paying for the person’s coffee in line behind them, and wondered what it’d be like? Well now’s the time to pay it forward. Because you never know when someone like me, or someone like E’s godfather could use a giant bear hug, or a latte.

Back in MN with the kids I grew up with

Back in MN with the kids I grew up with

My very best girl friends from college

Some of my very best girl friends from college

Me & my little sis, Geena

Me & my little sis, Geena

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