I remember waking up in my bed the morning after I found out my mom had passed away from her long and tough battle with cancer and thinking:
“Do I get up?”
“Do I stay here?”
“Can my body even lift itself off the bed?”
“How am I even still breathing?”
It took me a great deal of time to understand how I could’ve possibly woken up that morning when the reason I existed no longer did.
Yet there I was, staring at the ceiling of my bedroom eight hours after my worst fear had come true. I wasn’t crying or angry. I just lay there watching the sun peak out of the bottom of my shade.
Weirdly enough, this little ray of light reminded me of a line from the movie Cast Away (Yes the one with Tom Hanks), a movie my brother and I had watched an embarrassing amount of times growing up,
“So now I know what I have to do. I have to keep breathing. And tomorrow the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide will bring in.”
As cheesy as it sounds, this is the moment I think I decided how I would live the rest of my life. This moment I decided I was going to make it out of my bed. I decided I wasn’t going to break.
This is the moment I decided I was going to keep moving.
However, this didn’t mean I was just going to go through life like a zombie. I was going to keep reaching for my dreams and working hard to do everything I set my mind to, just like my mom had taught me to do for the last 20 years. I decided I was going to grab ahold of my passion and never let it slip from my grasp because in the end, no matter how often we forget, we never really know what the tide will bring or wash away.
The lesson here is to get up, brush yourself off when the world knocks you down, and keep going. No matter how scared or uncertain you are about what lies ahead, let it inspire you.
Let it inspire you to live more freely,
Live more positively,
Succeed in what makes you happy,
And love harder.
Since that moment, I’ve continued to make strides in school, discover incredible friendships, meet influential people, land my dream internship, discover more about the person I want to be in the future, and yes…. fight more battles, but all the while keeping in mind, “you’re going to make it because you’ve made it this far.”
All things mama would be proud of and I know she’s has had a part in thus far.
So next time you’re asking yourself whether to get out of bed or not, just remember that you have to live through the toughest of days and struggle through the toughest of moments to get to the best of your life.
Lesson by Lauren Makely.
Lauren Makely is a coffee powered human being with a slight obsession with morning talk shows. She is a human rights activist entering her senior year at James Madison University, finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology. When she grows up she wants to influence policy and fight for the rights of women and girls facing gender-based violence, because every empowered girl leads to a better world.