Check your blind spot

Last year I danced to a spoken word poem by by Shane Koyczan called Instructions for a Bad Day. I quote it on Instagram when I’m emotional.

There will be moments when the drought of joy seems unending. Instances spent pretending that everything is alright when it clearly is not. Check your blind spot. See that love is still there. Be patient. Every nightmare has a beginning, but every bad day has an end. Ignore what others have called you. I am calling you friend. Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis. Silence left to its own devices breeds silence. So speak and be heard. One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context – if you find that no one is listening, be loud. Make noise. Stand in poise and be open. Hope in these situations is not enough and you will need someone to lean on. In the unlikely event that you have no one, look again

Check your blind spot.

Junior year was a bad year. Between almost failing a class, having to retake it, stress over the MCAT, questioning if I’ll make it into medical school, my grandpa passing away, always worrying about my family, health issues that landed me in doctors offices almost every week, and general life-blowing-up-in-my-face, it was bad.

Humankind is really stinking cool because everyone is connected in a web of relationships, friendships, acquaintances. The downside, though, is that everyone carries their hurt and sorrow through the web. And (consciously or unconsciously), people let their own issues hurt other people in their web. Hey, baggage is heavy, and sometimes you want to drop it on someone else’s foot. Whether someone actively seeks to hurt others to make up for the times life hurt them, or someone repeats toxic patterns because it’s all they know, the human web facilitates a community-wide flow of negativity.

But the beauty of human kind is that every single person has an opportunity to stop the flow of negativity. Every single person is broken to a degree, and every single person can choose to wear their sorrow. But life is so beautiful because you don’t have to.

This blog post was intended to be a short Facebook status thanking people for saving my butt this year, but I realized I had more to say. So:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who chose to end their personal web of negativity (even for a minute) to touch my life.

Thank you to my dancers for reminding me that it’s okay to sit out of rehearsal when you’re sick or injured, to my friends who are teaching me how to take care of myself, those who dragged me home from the library at 4 am and reminded me that “yes Danielle you do have to sleep and eat eventually because you’re not a machine.” Thank you to everyone who noticed my bad days and asked (out of concern, and not curiosity) what was wrong, and reminded me that I’d always come out on top. Or, if that wasn’t the case, thanks for offering to beat people up for me.

Thanks to the stranger on the street the other day who reminded me to “smile, because life is gonna suck anyway.” Thanks to the stranger on the street yesterday who told me my smile reminded them to smile.

Especially this past week, thank you to everyone who forced me to take care of myself when I didn’t know how to – thank you to the friends who dragged me to the ER when I was too dehydrated and sick to remember my name, to everyone else who put their life on pause to make sure I was okay, to my roommate (aka my guardian angel from heaven) for helping me get any possible extensions on finals and making sure I slept and had a good supply of Gatorade. And thank you to the people who are smarter than me and banned me from working out for a week so I could finally get healthy (don’t let that go to your head).

tl;dr – Life sucks. People hurt other people because life sucks. But special people choose not to hurt other people, even when their life sucks, and they decide to help make other peoples’ lives suck less. Thank you to my favorite people for making my life suck less.

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