In all honesty, I’m not sure where this blog post is going. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about how unfair the world can be at times and how the worst things happen to the kindest, loveliest people. Since he was 21, my Dad battled with poor health and he passed away last year- I’m still not past grieving and I don’t think I ever will be. Last month, a senseless, abhorrent terrorist killed innocent people outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Just this afternoon, I found out that a kind, lovely girl I used to get the bus to high school with for years has passed away. I feel anger that these things are allowed to happen, but mostly I just feel devastated and purely saddened that the world can, frankly, be utterly shit. Writing this is frustrating, because I can’t find the words to completely express my sadness- I guess there never will be the words in situations like these. We can’t articulate the unspeakable, unfathomable and unfair things in life; least of all, there’s no explanation for why they happen.
I don’t want this post to be negative. I’m not completely sure what I’m even getting at. I just know that although life throws some devastating things at us, we need to make sure that we do our best to put the good back into life. Yes, life can be utterly shit, shit beyond words can express, but life is what you make it and we must do our all to make the best of it. The first thing my Dad did when he told me he didn’t have long left to live was to crack a joke to try to make me smile again. Outside the Houses of Parliament, there is a sea of flowers, with poignant and heartfelt messages left for the dead, written by strangers who felt compelled to express a tribute to the innocent people murdered. The girl I got the bus to school with radiated kindness- she was a rare example of a kind, decent person through and through. You just needed one conversation with her to realise that she didn’t have a bad bone in her body.
I think what I’m trying to say is that we need to take moments to reflect, to stop and think about our actions and to each day try our utmost to be the kindest people that we can. In moments of reflection such as when a devastating event happens, we realise that life is too short to spend worrying about anything- we need to enjoy what we have. For want of a hugely better phrase, you only live once and therefore we need to make the most of it.
So now I’ve word vomited all my thoughts onto this post, I’ve managed to gather some coherence, and so what I want to do now is to talk about the simplest things in life that we are all guilty of taking for granted, simple things that we should spend some time each day being thankful for, or maybe things that we can improve in ourselves to make the world a better place for those around us. Make the world a happier place.
Cherish the time you get with the people you love the most
If you meet up with a friend for coffee, don’t spend your time scrolling through Instagram, really be with them in that moment. Make sure to pop back home to visit family when you’re away at university. Tell your partner how much you love them. We lead busy lives, and often we only spend fleeting moments with special people- cherish that time.
Last night, amid the stress of finding work experience, writing university assignments, earning some money back over Easter at work and revision, I went round to my boyfriend’s and made sure to just spend time with him. For once, I didn’t let my mind wander to the work I had ahead of me in the morning, I didn’t moan to him about how stressed I felt, I didn’t look at my phone at all. I just cherished my time with a special person and for someone who gets easily stressed, I found myself utterly relaxed. I was all the more motivated and prepared to do work this morning because of it.
Live in the now: don’t spend every day looking ahead
It’s so easy to fall into the pattern of constantly planning ahead, or looking ahead. If you’ve booked a holiday for summer, you want to wish away all the days between now and then. If you’re at uni, all you seem to get is people telling you to ‘get work experience’ and ‘plan ahead for your career’. We are always looking to the next thing that we forget to just live in the now.
If you’re always looking ahead, you’ll never fully enjoy life. With exams coming up, I know so many of my friends are working their bums off every day to cram in as much revision as possible, but it’s important to take that time off, too. Take one day a week to just really live in the now, do something fun or even just lounge around in PJs all day. It’s not a day wasted; it’s a day off that’s been earned.
Find the good in the bad, where possible
If you’ve not had a good day and everything seems to have gone wrong, remember to still feel thankful for everything that has gone right. An idea that I think is so lovely is to write down every night 5 things you are thankful for right now. It can be as simple as having had a really good Nando’s, or to have finally bought that dress you’ve been lusting over. Nothing is too silly to be thankful for.
The world is more good, than bad. It often doesn’t feel that way, but there are so many things we can be thankful and happy for.
Appreciate the little things
As I’m sat writing this now, the sun is starting to set outside, bathing everything in a spring glow. Today, I went on a walk with my little sister and I saw my first white blossom tree of spring. It might sound ridiculous, but thinking about it now, these minor things have hugely contributed to my happiness today. Nature is beautiful and has a calming effect. It’s little things like this which we often take for granted, when in fact they’re hugely important to our lives.
Just be kind
Finally, after my ridiculous rambling of a post, I’m around 90% sure the main thing I think I’m trying to say is this: just be kind. Treat others with kindness, make people happy and you’ll find kindness coming your way in turn. The more kindness we spread in this sometimes awful world, the better the world will become. Remember the happiness in the world when you’re faced with the dark and you’ll be sure to find the light again.