Life is precious and meant to be lived to the fullest every day. You never know when God, your Higher Power, the Universe, whatever you believe in will take you off this Earth. We are all here to fulfill a journey and sometimes, those journeys are cut short because of the acts of others.
I write this in a state of mourning. A student of mine was shot and killed by a stray bullet during a shooting that was not even meant for him. He was playing basketball in the park with his friends after school yesterday and was shot in the head. This is the second student of mine I have lost within a year. One at my current location and one at a former location. I also just buried my stepbrother last year. Being an empath, death is such a hard pill to swallow. My whole body physically reacts to it a different way. I’ve been nauseous, lack of appetite, on the toilet at all times, having headaches, etc. You name it.
This whole week, I’ve been thinking and wanting to write in this blog, but hadn’t found the time to. I started hot yoga this week and went to that two days while being busy doing tarot card and oracle card readings for five hours one day, and having phone conversations with friends that were overdue and making meetings. I had this urge to write and just drop feelings into all of my writing and then, yesterday, I was hit by this devastating news.
This week was tough. It has been a series of ups and downs with my current work situation, missing my partner and not getting to spend as much time with him as I would like (even though he has been the biggest support and rock in my time of need lately, spending the night with me the past two nights just to make sure I’m okay), and just being fatigued. Add on top of that the fact that I’ve been getting sick and my body has just been feeling like it’s been shutting down. I’ve been at a place where I just feel like I have been trying to figure out what the Universe is trying to reveal to me through all that has transpired and how I can overcome it and still stay as positive as I can. I feel like I’m still in the middle of adjusting to everything in its own respect, and it hasn’t been the easiest. I have not been showing up the way that I inherently want to, and there are still some things that I wish were different; I’m grateful for where I am now compared to where I used to be, but I fight daily in order to stay grounded and just continue to be a light for myself and for others, knowing that that is my soul mission. However, when tragedy strikes and you don’t know how to process it properly, what do you do? How do you hold onto that light and still try and shine, even when you feel dull?
I realize that it’s always not going to be the easiest to shine, but fighters never give up and will never let darkness consume them. I’ve been equipped with the armor that allows me to light up no matter fucking what comes my way. I encourage you to remember that you have a light so bright inside of you that no matter what, you should be able to tap into it and light up no matter where you are. Every day won’t be the same as the one before, but remember that there is a purpose in the reason why you arise every day.
In this space of mourning, I begin to realize how short life is. This particular student was 16 years old. He had a whole life ahead of him. I turn 29 next month. I have a whole fuck of a lot to be grateful for. This poor soul, who was a sweet soul, was taken away from our academic community by senseless violence. I’ve always been someone who has feared leaving the house at times just because I never want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In our current political climate as well as the area that I choose to live and work in, something is always going on, and I come home and thank my Ancestors daily when I return and when I wake up for keeping me covered and keeping me safe. I thank them daily for allowing me to have the space to share the love that they instilled in me with others (even when it comes with a little sass). I thank my Ancestors for choosing me to continue on – the reason I’m not sure of yet completely but I know it’s starting to come together as every day goes by and They will reveal what it is supposed to be when it is time. I also thank Them for keeping my loved ones safe daily.
I also realize that I have to take life by the reins instead of living in worry about things. We all have bills. We all have obligations. We all have things that distract us from joy. We must focus on what our soul needs, and that could be love, human interaction, alone time, socialization with new people, pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, finding our voice in a way that’s uncommon to others but natural to us…whatever feels right, instead of judging yourself or worrying about the judgment of others. We only have one life to live and it’s important to make the most out of every moment, every day …you don’t know when your last breath is going to be.
Losing this student really hit me hard. I’ve lost friends along the years, and family members but when it comes to a student and you’re an educator…that’s a different type of loss. It feels like what I would imagine is like having your own child pass. I mean, I spend 7 hours with them daily, 5 days a week for over half a year. And this reminded me how important it is to show up for myself every day just as much as I try to show up for students. I have to be fully present and just follow my heart with everything that comes.
Bills will always be there. Financial struggles will always be there. Family issues will always be there. But if you allow that to derail you from what the Universe is trying to push you towards, you’re not really living – you’re just surviving. And there’s a complete difference between the two.
Today, I decided to get a tattoo. If you’re familiar with Digimon, you may recognize the tattoo – it’s the Crest of Light that Kari possessed.
I’ve been thinking about getting this tattoo for a while. My partner is obsessed with Digimon and still knows all about it (I was a bigger Pokémon fan but still loved Digimon growing up) and I thought of what the idea of being light meant to me. The light was hidden until it was made to be shown in the show if I remember correctly. Because of the sacrifice Kari makes for the sake of others, her light finally shines and she’s revealed as the final Digidestined in the original series if I am not mistaken. (it’s been years since I’ve seen the show – I should probably ask my man all these questions but I’m going based off memory). Anyways – all this background story is beside the point. I’ve always been told that there is a light that shines around me when new people meet me. Strangers that don’t know me have always commented on the light that surrounds me. It’s one of the most humbling comments I have ever received in my life, and any time someone comes to me and tells me this just based off an initial interaction, it just reminds me that my heart is pure and I’m in the right place at the right time to receive those words. Carrying this light is legitimately one of my goals in life and what keeps me happy. I wanted to get the tattoo for about 2-3 months, before my 29th birthday.
I used to be on a 2-year plan: first at 18, second at 20, third at 22…then my alcoholism really started to rear its ugly head and I just wasn’t myself in any way, shape or form. Within the last two years, however, I’ve found and reclaimed this new sense of power and light that I wanted to commemorate before I turned 29 so I could stick to my 2-year plan. This was what I chose and I chose to get it done today because I realize…
Bitch, I will always be worried about someone’s bill. Bitches will get their money. I’ll eat somehow (even though I could stand to lose maybe 5 pounds or something). I will always be concerned about finances because that’s how I was raised – to always be aware of where money is going. But when you’re gone off this Earth…then what? Spend while you can. Travel while you can. I’m not saying go crazy, but at the same time…enjoy your fucking life while you can. I’m learning how important it is to follow your intuition and follow your heart instead of always allowing your head to get in the way of things. Logical thinking is great in some situations, but at times it is much more important to listen to the voice within. That’s because your angels always have something to say to you and it takes a person of sound mind and a willingness to be able to listen to their gut and go for what they want to. Today, I felt led to just let go of worry and do what I’d been wanting to do for quite some time. And I’m happy that I did.
It has not been easy lately, but something my mother said this week stuck with me. She made mention of how when things feel like you’re in a pressure cooker and you don’t feel like where you are is the place you’re supposed to be, it’s preparation for something better. You’re gathering the materials necessary to succeed at a different level, and she’s right. Everything is boiling and the lid feels like it is about to blow off, but I know that I have the tools to keep it together and take some time to learn from every single moment I am afforded and continue to show gratitude for the opportunity to learn daily.
I ask anyone that reads this to hug their loved ones. Send a text to someone today that really is out of nowhere – I had a friend from high school I haven’t spoken to in probably 7 years call me out of nowhere without knowing what was going on and we just got to catch up and show each other love. Those interactions matter. People deserve to know they matter at all times because you never know what day will be someone’s last day or what could have been said if you just jumped and followed your spirit to show love and be light.
I know that I vow to do what I’m doing and continue to not worry about being perfect at all times, go with what tools I have instilled inside of me because of the light that I carry, and use it for good.
I’m scared/anxious to go to work Monday, mainly because I’m still grieving in my own way and so are my students, but this is what you do for family no matter how they became your family. And let me tell you – I’m grateful for mine, even in times of tragedy. This has brought our community together in such a sad way, and I need to remember that I have a job on this Earth that my Higher Power put me here to complete and I will be the best I can with what I have this week.
You only have one chance to live. Be smart, and make the most of every moment you can at every turn.