All too often we cycle through our lives with a routine. We wake up to an alarm, we eat breakfast by this time an are on our way to class by that time. We rarely give ourselves a chance to stop and think about what makes our lives on earth truly special. Life is full of magical moments, and everywhere you go, you are walking straight past them. Too many people view their lives as a destination, you are working hard so you can be happy when you are 40 or 50 or 60 and retired. You are killing yourself in the process– you don’t need to think of your life as a point A and a point B. Make the trip from point A to point B one that you wouldn’t go back and do differently. Stop to smell the roses, and to appreciate the beautiful things going on around you and the beautiful sights there are to see. Step one is to recognize the things you are grateful for in your day to day life, whether it be your neighbor always saying hello, even on the rainiest of days, or the flecks of light in your lens when photographing in the sunlight. Make a record of the things you love, and in doing so, you’re going to program it into your head to appreciate those tiny little insignificant (yet significant) things. Ask yourself what have been your magic moments? What made your heart melt? What made you think you were in heaven? What made you believe in heaven? What do you love about the world around you?
Your job, your duty to yourself, is to make a list, of your most magical moments thus far in this 18-19-20 year start of your long and lovely life. Put it somewhere safe, and look at it when you are down.
I am sick with something called cystic fibrosis. It is a lung disease that is entirely fatal, it does it’s best to tear your body down in many ways. If you are not entirely infertile from cystic fibrosis, and have the option to have children someday, if you make it to a suitable age, it is a very scary thing to go through. The complications you would have in a normal pregnancy 10-fold with CF, sometimes there is not enough nutrients for the baby, and the work you have to put in to take care of yourself becomes even more difficult, and in some cases you can pass the disease onto the infant. A few years ago I had been very ill for a long time, and my lung function seemed to have skyrocketed and my weight was stable, and I was doing very well. My doctors had been waiting to talk to me about the options and the complications with childbirth and CF until a time where it would be reasonable to see it in my future (a time when I was expected and hopeful to be healthy enough to someday have children.) And with that discussion came an abundance of joy at the thought that I had crossed that bridge from the banks of avoiding talking about a future, but also great fear. My boyfriend, Ben, came to visit me in the hospital that day and I told him how scary it was for me to think about falling in love with someone and wanting to have children and start a family with them, and them having the CF gene too, and how I wouldn’t want to give this illness to a child. (I tried to keep it subjective, as to not imply that soon in the relationship that I wanted to breed and have children with him.) He said, without missing a beat, “We could adopt.” At that moment, I felt so much love and compassion that that fear was gone.
My 19th birthday. Most people don’t have this appreciation, an appreciation for signs of old age, an appreciation for
pointless birthdays like 19 and 22, an appreciation for defying expectations. I felt strong, and beautiful, and powerful, waking up and knowing I made it to an age nobody cares about. I love nineteen, I love it because of the dozens of people I fell straight in love with who didn’t make it here, because of the promises I made to them to fight through the tired and live as fiercely as possible—
To do it twice over, and three times over, and one thousand more for those who can’t, to feel joy over making it to a senior discount, and to be able have laugh lines the size if canyons from all the loving and laughing I did when I was 19.
Floating in the Mediterranean Sea, where the salty water is so dense that you feel weightless.
Driving through the Tetons with Ben and instead of parking somewhere and walking around, we picked up hitchhikers for a few hours. Hearing the stories of 4 different people we never would have met if we hadn’t stopped was eye opening.They told of stories of adventures and travels and one of them even had a wedding to go to and a pressed suit in his backpack.
By Sara De Noyo