A lot of things happened this week. For starters, I finished my last class of my college career ever on Thursday at a university in the most magical city of my freaking dreams. Wednesday, I woke up at 5am just so I could do two SoulCycle classes BACK to BACK for a friend’s birthday. Then on Thursday, I was able to talk to influencers and work on social media… because that’s my job. What a life.
If you were to have told me four years ago or even last year that I would be where I’m at now, you can only imagine the look of disbelief and shock I’d have on my face.
In this week alone, I’ve been recognized as a blogger or “the chickpea” on the street, in SoulCycle classes, and at my favorite coffee shops. I’ve been inspired, happy, on an energy high, nostalgic and if anything… strong and accomplished.
Now that I’m done with my senior year of college, and school in general, I realize how strong of a person the last nine or ten months have made me. Everything that’s been thrown my way this year has been completely and utterly unexpected.
Including this week… which is what brings to me to writing this post on expecting the unexpected.
As you will know if you read my post on grief, I lost my mom to cancer on January 5th of this year. While her death coming so soon – and quite frankly at all – was slightly unexpected, those closest around her somewhat saw it coming because of how severe her cancer had been during her diagnosis early last spring.
It was kind of one of those things you knew in the back of your head would happen sooner or later no matter how strong and optimistic you tried to be.
But what I couldn’t have seen coming at all was the death of my aunt, my second best friend, second mom this past Sunday night. Not even four months after the death of my mom.
When my mom died, my aunt was there for me literally every single day via phone call or text. She would always call me and say, “give me a jingle”, send me $10 almost weekly with cards that said “get yourself a smoothie!” (she knew my love for smoothies and coffee was oh so real) and didn’t fail to give me the largest Easter care-package with a stuffed animal bunny.
There’s an interesting feeling you get when you hear you’ve lost someone so close to you. I am sure everyone is different but this overwhelming sensation takes over my whole body, head to toe, and it’s as if I lose all feeling. Numb, for lack of a better word. My eyes focus in on one particular thing, usually a computer or tv, but every pixel in front of me is unfocused. That’s when the emotion and shock factors set in and coincide.
When I heard the news of my aunt’s passing and still think of it, I realize how unexpected everything in my life has been. In a four month time span, I’ve lost the two closest people in the world to me.
I keep thinking to myself, how did this happen to me? In high school I knew of people who lost their loved ones but never imagined this unexpected horror would happen to me at such a young age. But then again, you have to expect the unexpected.
You have to prepare yourself and know that every day is different. Every day something new, challenging, groundbreaking, positive or negative can be thrown your way and despite whatever it is, you’ll get through it and make it out onto the other side.
Going into college four years ago, I had an eating disorder and was extremely underweight. But I knew by the time I graduated, I would be healthy and happy. I told myself in the back of my head that I’d do it for my mom (I even told her that). I knew that I would graduate from my university with a job and here I am. I’ve done it.
You could say that was expected.
I expected to graduate with a business degree or work in a public relations agency. But here I am, working with a small food brand and I’ve never been happier.
I expected to have a photo on my graduation day hugging my mom and finally seeing my aunt in Chicago. While I may not have that, I have my closest friends, a huge support system of friends through the blogging community, my roommates, my family and especially my brother, who has been my best friend more than ever these past few months.
I expected multiple relationships with boys, more friends in my classes, more parties to attend… so on and so forth.
And while I didn’t get that, I met so many interesting people who changed my life in one way or another. From people I spent 10 minutes with, 3 months with or met just last week. They were all unexpected but all worth it. They showed me how to appreciate my life for what it is and be thankful for even the simplest things. To ignore the trivial problems and stop worrying SO MUCH. An issue I often seem to carry with me.
My mom would always tell me, “Worrying won’t do you any good and it won’t change the outcome. If something’s going to happen, it’ll happen.” She was right. If we stop focusing on the stress, what’s gone (or might go) wrong and just BE, we’ll be more at peace.
As I graduate (in 4 days, holy sh*t) and look back on the past four years, I think if anything I’ve learned to focus and appreciate the moment before you because you truly never know what is yet to come. At the same time, know that whatever is thrown your way – you can make the best of.
In times like these especially I like to think of that over-used quote, “Everything will be okay in the end and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
The unexpected has hit me in more ways than one in the past 365 days but despite all of the “not okay”, I’ve also found and experienced so many wonderful things that I am forever grateful for that were even better than just okay.
P.s. I just recorded a podcast talking about this exact topic – expecting the unexpected – with my friend, Christina, for her podcast ‘Actually Adultish’ that should be up sometime end of May/early June. Be on the lookout!
Happy Sunday, friends.