One year ago I lost my best friend. I honestly never thought I would be have to experience such loss this young. Tragedy is all around us but we never think it will affect us. It's always somebody else's problem. When my dad passed away so unexpectedly I didn't know how to act around anybody. I felt like a charity case. In this past year the most important thing I have learned is that happiness is always a choice. Of course I'm sad. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my dad and how much I miss him. I have got up and walked out in the middle of class because something reminded me of him and I didn't want to cry in front of everyone. Losing a parent is really freaking hard no matter how old you are, and some days are harder than others.
I was lucky in that I was able to go back to school and have a constant distraction. I had to find a way to get around my sadness so I didn't fail my classes. I took time to be upset but then I had to get back to work because college is a lot of work. December to March of last year were by far the hardest four months of my life but they taught me something. The combination of losing my dad and then my boyfriend breaking up with me in March taught me that life is too short not to be happy. I had spent so much time being angry, being sad, trying to save my relationship that I forgot what being happy felt like. This might stir some people up but the past year has been one of the happiest of my entire life because I chose to make being happy a priority.
One year later, I feel peace. I know I will never "get over" this loss but I also know I have a whole life still ahead of me and quite frankly I don't want to miss any of it. I feel beyond grateful to have been so close with my dad and spent the first twenty-one years of my life with him by my side. There is nothing I can do to change the past so instead I am focusing on cherishing the time we did have together. I am working to ensure that I am surrounded by only the best of people who will stick by me no matter what. I am busting my ass in school to chase my dreams. I took the plunge and signed up for my first ironman. I don't want to look back on my life and have regrets.
So I am choosing happiness because I can.