Confession: I have no valid ‘excuse’ for my blogging absence. My life has been pretty status quo since our last time together. I haven’t been without WIFI (because honestly, how is that even possible these days) and between my mom visiting me for a week, my boyfriend and I navigating through our first tiff and savoring the excitement of my first network show premiering I have had plenty of topics to write about. So if you will accept it, please take this as my apology for being MIA. On that note, I wanted to share with you some thoughts and feelings that have been splashing around in my mind over the past few days. Between you and me I was a little hesitant to post this blog. Not because it spills some deep dark secret but because it isn’t a post full of rainbows and sunshine. I know that most of you come to my blog to read a few paragraphs that leaves you feeling as if you aren’t alone and motivated to go out and kick some serious ass. But as I have said before – reality does a good job of smacking us in the face from time to time and this is one of those moments. With life, unfortunately, comes tragedy. So if it’s ok with you I wanted to take a different spin this week and go down a path that you and I have yet to venture together.
I woke up last Thursday at 6AM/PST to unread text messages from my childhood best friend Melanie. I didn’t think twice about the time since she lives on the east coast so by the time my alarm goes off she is already three hours ahead in her day and typically already has a mouthful to share with me. With half of an eye open I typed in my phone password to read what I predicted to be a message that would bring laughs to my early morning.
Four digit code.
“Chel Chel. * insert link to an article titled “Fort Lauderdale- Fatal- Boat- Crash.”
I could physically feel my stomach sink. I simultaneously fully opened both eyes, sat up in bed and reminded myself to breathe. It wasn’t until I read the last word of the article that I realize I had tears sitting on my cheeks waiting to fall. I immediately dialed home to hear my family voices.
Six high-school seniors from my close-knit hometown were in a boat accident. One of their lives was tragically taken and the others have a long road of recovery ahead of them. Their lives, the lives of their families and of their friends are forever changed. Forever.
Sadness, questions, heartbreak, worry, frustration, and shock ran through a community as they all huddled together to give endless hugs to those in need.
And there I sat 2,000+ miles away from anyone who was directly affected, unable to do anything besides send a text message expressing my grief and prayers for them. I walked around the following days in an ‘alert fog’. I know those two words contradict themselves in a sense but that is the best way I can describe it. I found myself driving a little slower on my way into work, giving the barista a bigger smile, hugging my roommate a little tighter, and vocalizing my “I love you’s” a little louder.
As I sit here now writing this post I think to myself - God damn. What a double edge sword tragedies can be. Why does it, sometimes, take a gut wrenching situation to make us view things through a different lens? Why don’t we already make it a point to tell those special people in our life how much they mean to us just because it’s Tuesday? Why don’t we pass on more smiles to a stranger in hopes of brightening their day? Even if just for a moment. Why don’t we take the time to take two baby steps back and ask ourselves if what we are about to do is safe?
However your day, your week, your month or your year is going up to this very point – realize the blessings that your life is graced with. I don’t care if you have to get on the ground with a microscope to find them, do it. Even in those moments where you may feel as if the world is crashing down on you, know that you are still here. You still have a heartbeat and air in your lungs and that my friend’s is one hell of a blessing.
With protection and healing,
“And to think that were invincible, that we could get out of any situation with only a small scratch. That such a good situation with great friends and company can go so horribly wrong in a matter of seconds.” – Brett Bartholomew (best bud of John Baker. RIP.)