Today, as I was running I saw a girl skid off the trail and fall into a pile of mud. She was upset, dirty, crying, and mumbled how this was her life, something about always being stuck in the mud. It was at that moment that I felt a deep amount of sympathy for her. I felt so sad that there is someone in the world who walks around in life expecting the next worst thing to happen to them. I helped her up, offered her a hand, and went about my run. But the event stuck in my mind the rest of the miles on. Why do people walk around so jaded? Since when did it become okay to think that nothing good is coming your way? It’s completely heartbreaking to me that someone doesn’t have the ability to look at the bright side, especially a young woman whose just starting out in life.
I grew up in a home where I was always told I could do more, be better, act greater, and think bigger. I’ve always had this perpetual positivity that beams through me. I’m an eternal optimist and I always believe the universe will have my back. That was until last March when I was snapped into reality when I had a health scare that changed everything for me. Luckily (and I thank my lucky stars every single day) everything turned out to be okay, I healed quickly, and was back to normal life again. But the entire experience really got me thinking. What about the people who aren’t okay? What about the people who don’t bounce back? Why is it that when we receive scary news about our health, that’s when our perspective’s change?
It’s coming up on a year since my surgery for a benign cyst removal in my right ovary, but I’ll never forget the feelings I felt during that time. I was terrified leading up to my surgery and a complete wreck. Now I thank god for every single day, because I know I’m lucky to be healthy and happy. I wanted to shake that girl on the trail and say to her, “You’re alive! Go live your life, think positively, and be happy! Get your head out of the gutter, life is fleeting!” Instead I just helped her up and felt sorrow for her.
I’m an eternal optimist and I’m positive most of the time, but since my surgery I’ve struggled with anxiety disorder and months after my surgery I was diagnosed with PTSD. My symptoms seem to be getting better now that it’s been almost a year since my surgery, but some nights I wake up in a cold sweat, drenched, screaming for help. Some days I feel trapped in my own mind and my anxiety overcomes me like a black, thick, fog that suffocates me. Some days my worries pile one on top of the other over the other like snakes replicating themselves in a terrible nightmare where you’re trapped and consciously you know what’s going on, but you can’t wake up. I now envy people who have never struggled with anxiety disorder. I envy people who never worry about health conditions or have “white coat syndrome”. I find myself getting agitated when I see people on social media complain about little things, like having to get their oil changed, or being worried about their thick thighs.
I’ve reached the point in my life where I try not to worry about the small stuff, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. What matters is how we react to the small stuff and how kind we are to others. What matters is how we take charge in the big stuff and how we don’t act mean or single anyone out. I’m so over the mean girl thing, hey ladies on Instagram, mean girls are out, kind women are in! I wish I could wake up tomorrow and have my anxiety be gone. I wish I had the ability to never worry about a single disease again. I wish my mind would never turn to the dark side. And I wish that everyone could be eternal optimists and stop complaining about silly things.
I’m a seeker of the light, I always have been. Heck, I make a living off chasing light with my camera. Despite how my anxiety monsters attempt to take over some days, I will always choose the light. I will always believe in the better, bigger, kinder, side of life. And the next time I see a girl fall off her bike in the mud, not only will I help her, but I will tell her to seek the light.