Glass half full? Or not?

It’s been a damn day. And I can’t say it with a damn smile. What began as a great day turned very suddenly, not into one. My friend died. He was strong and awesome and the best damn police officer I have ever had the honor of knowing in my small life. When I was seven, I asked him what handcuffs were for. He showed me. I have the proud moment of being cuffed by Chief Tolbert at the ripe age of 7 when he taught me the value of humility.I’m glad to say, I’ve never had to repeat that instance.

He also helped me to learn a valuable lesson as a teenager. I was a badass, I was faultless. I was also stupid and collected a whopping speeding ticket 20 days after I got my license. I was dumb enough to lie to my dad about it. Owen, had my back, even though I didn’t know it. He taught me another lesson, about honesty.

Two years later, on the verge of the rest of my life came one more lesson. Blowing Rock loyalty. There’s such an amazing world here in my sleepy little town. I had the chance to go to school through the community foundation, an amazing group of people who exist to make our small place a little better. Owen agreed, though I was far from perfect, to be a reference for me. He never counted more or less than what I promised to try and be. Thus was his faith I me as a person. This isn’t something I will soon, or ever, forget.

He died today. I mourn my friend. But, the story doesn’t end there. I donate blood every 8 weeks. It’s the least I can do since my blood type is one of the highest in demand. Thanks for my chance to give back parents, seriously, thanks. I am deeply honored and humbled every chance I have to give blood and give life every time they poke the fire outta me.

I learned another lesson today. The world is a much more terrifying place than I thought. Bad, bad things happened today in America. I’m sad. Really sad. Babies, kiddos with their whole lives ahead were taken down. End of story before it began. Another kind of injustice broke my heart. I hate that I lost a friend, I hate more that these kids never had a chance to know someone like him.

I haven’t ever before thought about what happens to my blood once it comes into public domain. i hope it helps someone see tomorrow, especially when so many, unfortunately, won’t. This is no pity party, just a hope. No matter what or who you do or don’t believe in, live for others and what you can give them. Be it blood, loyalty, humility, or lessons learned, please, wing out what you can to help fix it, make tomorrow better than what we’re given today.

Goodness knows, someways, some days, every day, in some small bubble of life and love, we all need more than we can be on our own.

hit the bases running, don’t look back

sometimes life throws you a curve ball. no i don’t particularly appreciate baseball, but the analogy is proper here. you’ll see where i’m going with this. so back to curve balls. you practice hitting all types of throws, you can try to predict what’s coming next. but then there’s that curve ball when you expected a speed ball. damn. here’s the thing, what you didn’t see coming is going to cause something. your knee jerk reaction? it’s going to have an effect. sometimes, you’ll slam the ball out of the park. sometimes you get a swing an a miss. and sometimes, those unfortunate times, you get hit. and it really hurts.

but we still have to step up to the plate sometimes. and it’s terrifying. what happens if you hit the ball and run? does that make everything sunshine and roses? what if you strike out and have to start all over? what if you get hurt? oh dear what if you get hurt? i’m not positive where i’m going with this because conventional wisdom says “if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.” this is true. but how do we deal with the fear of getting out there again.

answer: alcohol. lots of alcohol. oh, wait, that’s college.

answer: you have to decide if what you want is worth a trip to the emergency room. and keep in mind, the more you want that particular home run, the more potential you have to take a curve ball to the noggin. just sayin.

but we keep stepping up. we learn lessons from our past but that doesn’t mean we live in it. at least that’s how the theory is. life is harder. we can’t all live in theoretical idealistic worlds. the truth is, your heart is going to get broken. probably more than once. people you care about are going to die. you will see injustice in this world that is so grossly unfair it will live with you long after it should. those lessons have to be learned. sometimes, most of the time, the hard way. it’s unfortunate and it’ll leave bruises. sometimes scars.

but don’t let what the pain leaves define who you are. define yourself as someone who wears life lessons proudly. pretty or not. take each day and roll with it. bring your wisdom, you know… that little voice in your head that says “remember last time? yeah bring an ice pack and tylenol… lots of it” but also bring your enthusiasm. because more often than not, you’re gonna hit the ball. and holy awesomeness batman, what a feeling that is.