Not that I've ever had trouble identifying my priorities, but events this past week have made what's important even more glaringly obvious.
I found out that my cousin took his life last Thursday.
I can't even begin to imagine what my aunt and cousins are going through right now. I was stunned when I heard the news. This is something that happens in movies or to people you read about in the newspaper, not in real life. It's crazy that suicide has touched my family. I truly hope they are able to get through this time, and I wish I could be there for them right now in some way.
Hearing about various people in my family being affected by either an affair or suicide (and lest we forget - cancer) has been a lot to take in this past week. I know it sounds weird, but I feel like I'm not allowed to feel sad about all of this - I feel like my pain is nothing compared to the pain they all must be feeling, so it's not right for me to act like this is happening to me, if that even makes sense. These tragedies are closer to home for these people, and I feel so helpless.
What I take from these events is that minor things truly don't matter. The ignorant opinions of bitter small-minded people, various issues at work, worrying about money - all of those are not a concern of mine right now.
I didn't really want to get into serious stuff like infidelity and death, but I feel like it's worth mentioning if it gives just a wee bit more insight into my life. I've never been one to ever think my problems outweigh others', which is why I blog about mostly irrelevant things. I don't ever want this blog to be a soap box for me to complain about how hard I have it - because let's face it, I know how fortunate I am and how the proverbial grass always looks greener.
To even bring up serious family issues is not how I want to roll - this blog is meant to be a creative outlet for me to dispel the random, irrelevant ramblings of my mind. Is this really the most appropriate forum for me to delve into my inner-most secrets? Hell no! My dad reads this and doesn't need to know about my insane coke addiction (that would be sarcasm, people).
These personal tragedies have also shifted my thinking when it comes to work. I've been looking into my priorities for what I want to do with my life, and I became inspired reading another girl's blog where she details the work she is doing in Africa. To be honest, it makes me feel so insignificant in my job. Don't get me wrong - I love what I do. But I just have always felt this overwhelming sense that I'm meant to do more. While I'm young and free, why not dedicate myself to cause like that girl in Africa is doing?
I do volunteer a fair amount now, but I may look into doing something full-time in the future, maybe something similar to that girl's Africa experience, possibly related to women's rights since that has always been a passion of mine. I keep seeing all of these people on Facebook getting engaged and popping out kids. We're in our 20s, people! This is the time to be free. I honestly don't see myself settling down anytime soon. There's too much I want to accomplish without the dead weight of a relationship.
So in sum, I have the best family in the world and I know everyone will get through these rough times. One of my favorite quotes is "Tough times don't last, but tough people do." I really hope this cloudy time passes for everyone. For now, I just want to hug those I love while I still have them and dedicate my life to things that truly matter.