Living Life Compassionately

compassion

When was the last time you did something selfless? When did you last see the opportunity to do something amazing for someone other than yourself? For someone you did not know? Did you take it? There are countless ways we can support the lives of others and make their lives better. By bringing others up, doesn’t mean we bring ourselves down. We can all rise together.

The other day, Avery called me a bleeding heart. The definition of a bleeding heart is “a person considered to be dangerously softhearted”. (I won’t get into the reasons why he called me a bleeding heart because I don’t want this post to be about what specific things I’ve done in the past but rather what we can all do moving forward.) I don’t view myself like this whatsoever. I think about all the times that I could have done more to help whether the recipient would have been another adult, a child, an animal. When I see people out in the hot, Texas sun selling water to raise money for some cause or event, I want to buy it all. I have this constant, nagging need to help. In my mind, why should I have this nice car, sitting in air conditioning, with the ability to go down to the store and not worry about having more than enough money to buy myself food when I know others are doing their very best and are still struggling?

I’m privileged. I may not feel privileged every second of every day because we all have our own problems and bumps in the road, but when I sit down to really think about my life and how I’ve been brought up, I am very grateful for the life I have been born into. I didn’t ask to be born healthy. I didn’t ask to be born into a family that never had to struggle to put enough food on the table everyday. I didn’t ask to be born with the opportunity to go to college. But others who aren’t born healthy or who don’t have a promised meal everyday or who never had the opportunity to go to college, they also didn’t ask to be born with these problems.

No one asks for the life they’ve been given. This is the perspective we need to use when learning that we all have something to give. Whether it’s time or money or gratitude, we can all stand to show a little more humility in the life we have been handed. And we can all stand to show a little more kindness and understanding to one another. This world has more enough evil; we need to fight it with the love in our hearts.

(photo credit: Aaron Alexander, https://www.flickr.com/photos/asalexander/3190479939)

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21: Year In Review

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Happy birthday to me. My husband made me breakfast and baked me some yummy brownies. He also bought us tickets to DisneyWorld for the end of the month when he graduates before we go back to Texas! Woohoo!

I don’t feel like a year has passed since my last birthday. But an entire 366 days have come and gone since I turned 21. And a lot of things have changed.

  1. I own a dog.
    Or a more accurate description is she owns me. She’s changed my life, and I don’t know what I would do without her snuggles or her incessant barking for attention. I’m obsessed with her and her crazy personality. She’s taught me responsibility and unconditional love.
  1. I graduated college.
    If I don’t want to, I never have to return to school again. It was tough and made me feel beat down some times. Getting to go to the best university in Texas was such an honor.
  1. I moved away from home for six months.
    Okay, it’s only been five, but it’s the first time I’ve been this far away for this long. Now, I know I can do it. (But I can’t wait to get back.)
  1. I’ve been married for a whole year now.
    People say the first year of marriage is the hardest, but so far, it’s been pretty easy. Of course, we haven’t had to go through the rough times that life tends to throw at you, but I have faith in us.
  1. I’ve learned that my health is important.
    Unfortunately, I cannot keep eating Whataburger everyday and stay healthy and fit. (This news has saddened me.) I’m not cutting out junk food entirely, but eating healthy isn’t hard or impossible. It’s baby steps. I’ve discovered that I love green beans. And tomatoes aren’t as bad as I thought. I just know I would rather get ahead of my health before it becomes an issue.

Even when you think your life has been on pause or not much has happened, you are constantly evolving and changing and making memories. It’s important to take a moment to reflect on that in order not to take anything for granted. I’m thankful for having been given another year of life. Looking forward to the next year and what it brings.

College: Best Years of My Life

People say to enjoy high school because it will be the best years of your life. For me, that was definitely college. However, if you would have told me that my freshman year, I would have told you: no freaking way. But it definitely got better as the years went on.

Freshman year was difficult. Moving away from home was really hard on me, much harder than I anticipated. School was much harder than I expected it to be. It didn’t help that I was taking intro classes that didn’t pertain to my major, so I was pretty disinterested. BUT second semester was a turning point. I joined Texas Zephyrs, a service organization. I had thought a little bit about transferring schools, but this organization, and the girls that became such great friends to me, persuaded me to stay.

Sophomore year was definitely the year where I did exponentially better in school. And I was enjoying the more social aspect as well. I started hanging out with Andy, Martin, and Loren. We studied together. Loren and I hung out in the boys’ dorm room because it was closer to our classes than our apartments. I finally went to my first UT football game. I really threw myself into TZ and volunteering. I became really close to a lot of the other girls. (Shout out to Kat, Alexis, Marla, Ashley E, Noelle, Brenda, Olivia; miss ya’ll!)

By far, my favorite year of college was junior year. Loren, Andy, Martin, and I decided to rent an apartment together. This was by far the best/worst decision we could have made. I think they would agree with me on this. On the one hand, I had my best friends with me pretty much 24/7. On the other hand, I had my best friends with me pretty much 24/7 (what I mean by this is we definitely got on each other’s nerves…. A LOT). We had fun, though. I could always count on them for anything. Whether it was a ride to or from the library late at night or midnight snack run to the convenience store. I proofread more of Martin’s papers than I ever cared to. Andy and Martin liked to play 2K16 at midnight when Loren and I were trying to sleep. Living with them was an experience that I’m glad I can take with me into adulthood.

My seventh semester, AKA senior year, was not all that exciting. I was getting ready to graduate. I travelled to San Antonio pretty much every weekend to see Avery. I had an easier class load than previous semesters so I was coasting. It was basically one big countdown to walking the stage.

Overall, I had a great college experience. I met some of the most amazing people and had some unforgettable experiences. Looking back, I wish I could have done more. I would have travelled abroad. I would have tried to participate in more campus-wide activities earlier on in my college career. I would have joined a few more orgs. Hindsight is always 20/20. However, these are all lessons I can pass on to my future, UT-bound children.

Hook ‘Em!