I believe in being optimistic. Growing up, two of my best friends past away in their teenage years. One died in a motorcycle accident a few months before his graduation day from High School, and my other friend took his own life in the eighth grade. These were friends I played with on sports teams, traveled to Europe, and took the same classes. The loss of these friends really shook me up. However, these losses were shared among the community, as they were both promising, caring young men that had incredible potential. I remember both funerals as if they were yesterday. The churches were at full capacity with loved ones sharing memories and tears. In each of those moments, I remember feeling vulnerable. Life is delicate, and these were friends that I would never see again.
Someone once told me there are two ways to go through life. The first way is to keep a list of negative things in life, and the other is to keep a positive list. Unfortunately, my one friend let the negatives outweigh the positives. The day before he took his own life—he broke up with his girlfriend, did poorly on a test, and got in a fight with his father. My friend let these challenges get the best of him. If he could see his own funeral, he would have recalled the love in his life, the support of his family, and the caring nature of his friends. I value optimism being optimistic and thankful. Like everyone else, there are days where I have felt very down. It is on these days, I remember being in church and seeing how our actions and behavior affect those we care about. It is those times, I think about the positive list and refocus on the my own daily tasks and goals.