Grad School

Almost a month ago I started grad school. To be completely honest with you, I was terrified. I wasn’t sure what to expect, let alone realize just how much of a time commitment I was making by going back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning. Knowledge is power! But something was still bugging me.

I’m going to grad school to become a licensed marriage, family therapist and a licensed professional clinical counselor. I should be excited about this new career path, right? Yes and no. I was excited because I love back-to-school shopping, but I wasn’t for some unknown reason. It wasn’t until I had this pretty painful conversation with my psychotherapist that everything became clear.

I have had my fair share of friends that have passed away. Each one has  affected me to my core, and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Each of my friends had made future plans, and while they are in a better place, I’m continuing on with my life. The plans we made will be unfinished plans. The different life events we planned on experiencing together will be ones that I will now experience without them. Realizing that sucks. Why do I get to keep on living? What makes me different?

Enter survivor’s guilt. Never in my life had I expected to lose three friends by the age of 23. This is the time when we are meant to be invincible, and yet their lives ended far too soon. Moving on is hard. We made to hang out, grow up, graduate, start families, and here I am (seemingly) alone.

With this newfound revelation of what has been going on inside my mind for the last several years, I’m trying to move on without guilt. I’m trying to keep the promises we made, because we promised to be more. We promised to make a difference. We promised to be there. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not easy now. I feel this knot welling up in my throat, and I just want to cry because I am still that young girl that lost some of her best friends.

If you have lost a friend to death or a circumstance out of your control, know that you’re not alone. I am here for you. I know the pain. We can get through this together. Take care, friends.

Lots of love and hugs,
Becky Espinoza

Advertisements

Tell Me When My Time’s Up

What is there to say about life?

I always feel like I could be doing so much more with my life, mainly because I know that I can be. I mean don’t get me wrong, binge watching your favorite show on Netflix for the fiftieth time will finally get you to notice that one hair twitch that changed the course of the entire series and ultimately your life is super crucial.

I do not mean that in any serious way, but I just start to question what I could be doing instead of watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager for the tenth time (go ahead and judge, I know it’s ridiculous and I own it). I could finish reading the book I started over the summer, or one of the seven crochet projects I’ve started over the last few years, apply to grad school! Oh, wait… I actually did apply to grad school, and I also have an interview for that… I should start prepping for that…

The thing about life is that we never really realize how short it is until we look back at old calendars with only doctor’s appointments written down, or yearbooks in which maybe five people wrote in it including your two favorite teachers. Maybe it’s not even going through these old mementos, but rather going to a funeral/memorial of someone that you knew.

This happened to me recently. I went to the memorial service of a girl that I went to middle school with. When I first met her, I wasn’t too sure if I even wanted to know who she was because of the people that she hung out with. They weren’t very kind to me, and I wasn’t too sure if she was the same way. Fast-forward a year later, and I am on a bus with her on our way to Mexico on a mission trip. I got to know her really well. She was very kind and empathetic. I liked spending that time with her.

We get back to the States, and we didn’t talk much after that. Life just got crazy busy for both of us, and we lost contact with each other. Several years past and we are in December of 2014. I see a Facebook post saying that she had passed away. I just couldn’t believe it. The sweet girl I met was no longer around.

I sat staring at my computer screen just waiting to feel something. Anything.

Is this real life?

And then it hit me. I felt as though I had been catapulted back into the hotel room I was in on February 23, 2013 when I had two phone calls with two very important people. It was like I could almost hear both Lindsey and Teri saying that Paul had passed away. I felt like everything was still and I could just hear my heart beating. The knot began to form in my throat. I sat in shock.

While I sat at my friend’s memorial service, I kept going back to Paul’s death. This wasn’t to say that I didn’t think of my friend either, it’s just that they both had the same shock factor and it was like I was going through the experience along with this current death.

My friend had plans to make herself better; to make a better life for her daughters. Paul was filming as an extra and he wanted to continue his music. They were actively doing something with their time and lives.

I’m over here shipping Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak.

I want my life to be meaningful and not just empty calendars with appointments written on them. I want to write a book (about what, I have no clue). I want to be proficient at the ukulele. I want to learn how to be a barista. I want to go to awesome concerts. I want to run a half marathon (training for it counts, right?). I want to fall in love. I want to do things that can help people. I want to change lives.

But to do that, I need to leave my room. I need to stop being lazy.

Oh, Lord, give me strength.

Love & hugs,
Becky

Life and Death of Ben Breedlove

Early this morning, (around 2:38 AM) my attempts to fall asleep had failed, so I wanted to check the news on my laptop and see what was going on in the world. The first story that popped up was a story titled Teen’s video goes viral after death. I clicked it thinking that it would be interesting. Needless to say that I would be changed by someone I never knew, by someone I never met.

Ben Breedlove was 18 years old when he died on Christmas Day in Austin, TX. He suffered from HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) a heart condition that causes the myocardium (the muscle in the heart) to thicken, causing problems when pumping out blood. A week before he died, he left two videos (This is my story:Part 1 and Part 2) talking about how he had cheated death three times.

I saw the videos, and I also looked at the videos where he and a few of his friends give advice about different things. I began to like him. He seemed so happy, so full of life, even though he might not live the following day. He accepted death, but until then, he lived life, and that to the fullest.

Realizing all of this, I started thinking, Am I okay with death? Am I living life to the fullest? Am I making a difference? For me personally, I would have to answer either no or sometimes. As a Christian, I should be able to confidently say yes to those questions. What can I do to change this? Find my identity in Christ, know that my life is in God’s hands, serve in every way possible (without burning out, a post about this will come soon, I can feel it!), and lastly, love God to the fullest.

I never met this young man, but he has changed my view on life, as well as many others. My prayers go out to his family, friends, and community.

Ben Breedlove’s Obituary

I hope to meet him one day in heaven.