All You Have to do is Survive

Life is full of joy, tragedy, and everything in between. We’ve all had so many different experiences in the course of our lives, and we somehow survive through all of them. It’s interesting to me what rises to the surface in our mind sometimes, and a very old memory decided to make an appearance recently for me. (The picture featured below is the work of my very talented friend Davina).

The Memory…

My senior year of high school, one of our classmates took her own life. I am not going to pretend that she was my best friend, (we had only spoken a few times), but I did have one class with her and the day we found out what had happened was an experience that really impacted my life. Because of this experience I realized how fragile life was, and how someone could be going through something really dark even when they look fine on the outside. I remember texting both of my parents the day we found out and telling them that I loved them, and it was an introspective day for me in many ways.

My English teacher that year, Ms. Scully, before class took a few minutes to talk to us about the events of the day. She told us, “All you have to do is survive”. Ms. Scully repeated that statement several times, and told us that we didn’t have to make straight A’s, or do anything spectacular, but as long as we made it through, and stayed alive, it would all be ok. She talked to us about how much we had ahead of us in our lives, and how much there was to live for.

The Take-Away…

Maybe it’s funny that this off topic English lesson is what stuck with me most from that entire year. But she had a good point. It really is ok to go through the motions, and do the basics for a while when we get on our feet again. There is no need to take on more than you can handle and cause yourself more stress. When you’re ready to step up again, you can. Do it at your own pace, it will be ok. All you have to do is survive. Everything else is optional, and icing on the cake.

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