For the past few months, I’ve been struggling to find happiness in life. Between having my heart broken and losing an amazing job, I’ve felt like a failure. And when you feel like a failure, your life takes a turn for the worst. You slowly move through the day, counting down the hours till you can curl up in bed and cry yourself to sleep. You see the smallest mistakes as another sign that you suck. You can’t see the sunshine; only the darkness.
But then something truly tragic happens, and you’re forced to face the fact that your life, while difficult at times, could be worse . For me, that tragedy was today’s attack at the Boston Marathon.
When I first heard the news, I wondered why. Why would anyone want to hurt 27,000 runners and their fans? Why do we have to hurt innocent people to prove some sort of political statement? Why can’t we use words instead of violence, guns, and bombs?
Then I started thinking about all the tragedies that occurred in the past year, specifically the Newton massacre and the Aurora shooting. These ordinary people were doing ordinary activities before they lost their lives. Since when did the simple things, like going to school, the movies, or for a run, turn into scary risk-taking events?
As I reflected on today’s tragedy, and those in the past, I realized how lucky I am. Yes, the past few months have been hell. Yes, break-ups and unemployment suck. But you know what, I’m alive as are most of the people I love. I can call my mom tonight and hear her say, “I love you.” I can take the subway to see hug and my friend. I can wake up tomorrow.
Too many people have lost their lives or their loved ones to tragedy. I may not be able to help all of them, but I can honor all of them by finding the light in my life. By letting go of those tiny, meaningless upsets and taking in more joy no matter how small it may be.
And I challenge all of you to do the same.