Making Time to Celebrate

“Every day is a good day. There is something to learn, care and celebrate.” ― Amit Ray

When there’s nothing going on except jobs you don’t want to complete and boredom that looms inevitable as you sit on the couch trying to find something to divert your attention and stimulate your lethargic mind, you might want to go out and do something exciting, yet the lack of motivation is keeping you inside and stationary. Too many of these days happen and, in their monotonous and repetitive patterns, we struggle to find the excitement and the celebration in life.

Suffering from loneliness and anxiety in college, I began to lose sight of the good things in every day. I knew I had to pull myself out of the slump by noticing – not just looking – all around me and trying to see how I could learn, remain positive, and feel an appreciation for life and living. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see much to be excited about other than having a satisfyingly exhausting workout, the sun shining (despite the frigid wind that buffeted coat-clad college students across the quad), and the blessing of a really warm shower at the end of the day before going to bed. There were no reasons for me to smile – at least that I could find. And I would get up and do it all over again: class, school work, running, all alone.

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I was not happy, and it was eating away at my motivation and gratitude for the life I’m able to live. I needed a change of scenery—a reprieve from this environment I found repetitive and discomfiting. So, I went home. My sister and her high school basketball team were playing in the PIAA District III Class AAAAAA Championship, which gave me the perfect excuse to make the journey home and support her as she went for the title.

Going home, I found more than I thought I would than when I originally asked to be picked up Friday afternoon. I thought I was going to get away from an oppressive and depressive environment, but I didn’t expect to find so much understanding, comfort, and love back in Harrisburg.

“For there is no friend like a sister

In calm or stormy weather;

To cheer one on the tedious way,

To fetch one if one goes astray,

To lift one if one totters down,

To strengthen whilst one stands” ― Christina Rossetti

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My sister and her team played amazingly. They won the District Championship, and I found a reason to celebrate again. The team’s victory took my mind off my own problems and gave me the reprieve that I needed. Instead of focusing on myself, I chose to focus on my sister and celebrate the win that she and her team worked so hard to achieve.

I’ve always been proud of my sister, and I’ve always admired her resilience and determination. She’s so smart, dedicated, and talented; it’s a shame I haven’t always noticed or appreciated this about her. Even though we don’t always get along, we always find a way to connect as sisters and best friends at the end of the day. And, through our letters, we’ve gotten to a better place in our relationship.

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Now, a District Championship is certainly something to celebrate (as well as her 17th birthday a week later). However, I found something even better to celebrate—something that I can celebrate every day—my family, especially my sister: a best friend who is always there for me. Having this time at home, surrounded by the unconditional love and support of my family was exactly what I needed to find the motivation and determination to make changes, work on my anxiety, and do anything that I could to get better.

In my effort to combat my anxiety, and because I was tired of feeling depressed and sad all the time, I decided to create things to be happy about—things I could celebrate every day. It’s amazing what the mind can do when you focus and force some kind of motivation on it to find the positive and celebrate the privilege of living.

I began listening to up-beat music, performing random acts of kindness, talking to people with whom I wasn’t familiar, and going to events that I wouldn’t normally attend: a poetry reading, a movie, a writing workshop, and a career fair. Granted most of these I attended alone, but I did them because I wanted to and because I knew they would get me out of the self-pitying hole I’d dug. And, I knew I had my family—a loving mother, a generous father, and an inspiring sister—behind me supporting me, which made all the difference. Who knew there was really so much to celebrate?

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