Updated: Mar 24
The past month, my family's weeks have been filled with celebrations, graduations, birthdays, joy, travel, grief, and loss. One of the incredibly beautiful and divine things about being human is the endless spectrums of who we are and how we're feeling. A lesson I seem to be repeatedly learning over the past couple of months is that we have space to carry more than one thing at once. Being in tune with what you're feeling, experiencing, and going through is key to navigating the sometimes polar opposite and complex realities that can be dealt with us all in one hand.
One of my proudest moments this past month is pictured to the left. Being able to stand side by side with my brother, Joe, at his campus at Indiana University, his home, for the last couple of years. It's been such a blessing to watch my baby brother achieve his monumental goal of receiving his Ph.D. in Economics. It meant even more to me to be able to take these photos with him gowned up right beside him. I look up to this man for so many reasons, and it means the world to me we could share these moments. This will be a moment I will hold dear for the rest of my life.
I achieved one of my biggest and personally most challenging goals in my lifetime, completing my college degree. Throughout my life, I struggled with academics. School was something that naturally didn't come to me. I dropped out of college several times before returning this last time. I went back because, as an adult, I felt if I didn't try one more time, I would always wonder. I have often equated school to my own personal Mount Everest, and I am so happy I tried one more time. Things in your life don't always go as you planned or imagined. You are going to fail, and that's okay. I hope you center yourself in grace, love, and understanding in these moments. That's what will give you the courage to keep getting up. If you aren't ready to get back up right away, that's okay. Give yourself a break. When the time is ready, you will know.
We had to say goodbye to my dearest Nana. A moment that will always stay with me is having a lot of our family gathered to participate in the sacrament of final rights or anointing of the sick. As much as this moment of family, blessing, truth, and sacredness meant to me, I know it meant more to my Nana. I am so glad you are with Papa, but I miss you terribly. There are so many memories, lessons, and moments I will hold close to me simply because you were my grandma. I am incredibly thankful for the love and light you have given me throughout my life. I love you so much.
We cleaned out my mom's classroom. My mom is retiring from full-time teaching at the end of this school year. As we began to sort, pack, and haul, one thing was very overwhelming for me. All this "stuff" directly resulted from pouring resources into her students for over 30 years. My mom poured so much of her energy, time, money, and herself into her teaching and her students. Although she isn't fully finished with teaching quite yet, I am so proud of all that she has done and is. Even though I am now a grown (mostly) functioning adult, my mom still pushes me each and every day to be better and do better just by her living example.
This month has been a vital reminder that we as humans do have the capacity to hold space for more than one thing at once. Sometimes that can feel impossible when life throws joy, trauma, grief, happiness, and more at you all at once. I am still learning that the more I can make space and intentionally be present with these feelings, no matter how complex and extreme, the more I know about myself, how I am showing up in this world, and the more in awe and deep my love of other humans.
More memorable moments coming next month.