"once you choose hope, anything is possible"

Friday, February 21, 2014

meet monte

You know those weeks where you just feel like no matter what you do you are 2 steps and 15 minutes behind? It has definitely been one of those weeks for me. After a weekend spent with my family in Milwaukee, my monday started off with a lot of tears and even more priorities that I had forgotten about during the weekend. I have spent the last 5 days running around like a crazy person, working ridiculous hours, forgetting about necessities like food and sleep, and trying to catch up even though my efforts sometimes seem futile.Yesterday after I finally got home from a 14 hour long day I sat down at the kitchen counter and within minutes I was surrounded by my 4 best friends, my roommates, asking me how my day way, if they could make me dinner, if I needed any help. As I sat there trying to fight back the inevitable tears, I realized how incredibly lucky I was that these 4 incredible women were brought into my life.

Through my blog you have all heard about my 2 closest and first friends here at Marquette, Catherine and Shannon; the two that have stood by my side through all of my best and worst times. Last year when we decided we wanted to live together, we also chose to live with two girls that Catherine knew, but I didn't very well: Emma and Lauren. While I was a little hesitant at first, looking back on it now it seems silly. These two girls have become some of my favorite people at Marquette and life at Monte is definitely the highlight of my whole college experience thus far. Sometimes I try to imagine what junior year would have been like if we would have decided to find a three bedroom, or if we had chosen two other roomates, but it is honestly something I can't even picture. Between Emma's incredible sense of humor, Shannon's endless hugs and outpouring of love, Lauren's kindness and compassion (and cleanliness :) ), and Catherine's energy and spirit, Monte just seems to work. This year has been filled with so much laughter, impromptu dance parties, snuggle sessions, family dinners, nights out, and memories I will never forget.

Sometimes it is really easy for me to lose sight in all the amazing things in my life. I get so wrapped up in the stress of school and work or the personal things that I am dealing with that I just forget that I have such a happy life. I am so lucky that I get to live with 4 of my best friends, go to a school I adore, work 2 challenging yet rewarding jobs, and have the time of my life as a college dancer. I hate those days where I lose sight of that and have breakdowns sitting at the kitchen counter, so I am even more thankful that I have 4 girls who will put on Beyonce Pandora and gently remind me that I have a really great life.

My upcoming birthday has me a little bit down. I feel like I always have a hard time around holidays or mile stones because it reminds of how much or how little has changed in a year. This year especially with all the ups and downs that have happened in the last 365 days. After last night though I know it is going to be okay, and that this birthday weekend will be one of my best. And I know I can thank Monte for that.

So today I choose joy. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

why do you wear purple?

I wear purple because the six letter, two syllable 'c' word was enough to change my entire life. and it continues to change others every day.

I wear purple because nobody should have to watch their family, their friends, their neighbors die from cancer.

I wear purple because the words chemotherapy, radiation, oncology, and limited time went from being words that I had to look up in the dictionary to words that I used in everyday conversation. The change happened far too fast, far too young.

I wear purple because I met Anna, because her spirit and strength changed my outlook on pretty much everything, because losing her impacted me in ways that I didn't even think possible.

I wear purple because to this day, almost three years since we lost Anna, I still wear her bracelet. My heart still skips a beat when the clock flashes 12:12, in memory of the prayer I used to say daily that she would get better. I still smile every time I hear the song "Float On" because I know in that moment she is right there beside me. 

I wear purple because the American Cancer Society has become a part of me. The hope and healing that it provides everyday is something I live by and work constantly to spread to others.

I wear purple because last year I watched my best friend ride the roller coaster that is cancer with his mom and ultimately lose her in the end. I wear purple because I would do anything in this world to take his pain away. 

I wear purple because according to the American Cancer Society there is an estimated 1,665,540 people who will hear the words "you have cancer." 585,720 of those people will have family members who get "the call." The one where they have to hear the words that their loved ones are finally without pain and suffering because they have left this earthly life.

I wear purple because I have received that call too many times and people I love have received that call too many times.

I wear purple because cancer sucks.

I wear purple because I have faith that together we can make a difference. Together we can create a world with less cancer. 

Today people unite all across the world on World Cancer Day in order to show their support of those fighting, those who we have lost, and those who have survived this awful disease. We all have different reasons for wearing purple, every cancer story is a little bit different. Why do you wear purple?

If you haven't already, purple you profile by joining the fight with Chevrolet, who will be donating up to $1 million to the American Cancer Society for every social media profile turned purple, the color of cancer survival. 

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" Romans 12:12