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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Making A Difference

"Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room."
Christine Todd Whitman

Things have been pretty uneventful since the wedding. There was a bit of a come down. Well, at least until the puppies arrived. I mean I say it's been uneventful, but I mean in the sense I've not really had much to write about. I've been super busy dog sitting my cousin's dogs while she's on her honeymoon. I plan to write an entry dedicated to them and their stay (which will mostly be an abundance of cute photos), so all I'll say for now is they're like two small children that want attention from at least one person most of the time, but also require that attention so they don't get up to mischief. I have to say they've really helped get my mind off stuff this week, and I think my parents have noticed. But more on that later. 

The reason I'm not doing the puppy entry now is because there is something I actually wanted to write about for the last few days. However aside from the puppies keeping me busy, I also just didn't know how to put the feelings into words. I'm no better equipped to do it now, but if I don't try, well then this entry will just never happen.

Unless you've been living under a rock, then you're probably familiar with the name Stephen Sutton. If not, I guess I can fill you in. Stephen was a 19 year old who fought cancer from the age of 15. When he found out his cancer was incurable, he made a Facebook page called Stephen's Story. On the page he made a bucket list of 46 things he wanted achieve in the time he had left. When he made the page it consisted of casual updates as he made his way through the bucket list. Eventually he gathered a huge following and the page and Stephen grew into a source of inspiration and positivity. He'd had to change his life goals dramatically, but still in the short time he had left he did more than most do in a lifetime. His dream was to be a doctor and help people and make a difference in the world. And although he was never able to become a doctor, he was still able to help and inspire so many. Stephen made a big difference.

Admittedly I didn't know much about Stephen's story until I seen the rest in peace statuses. I'd seen little bits here and there, but it wasn't until he passed away that I visited his Facebook page (link) and his website (link) and read all about him. About the goals he'd had before he found out his disease was incurable, and what he'd achieved after.

I think I have quite an unhealthy gut reaction to hearing about the death of an inspiring or talented person. My initial thought is always 'why am I still here and not them' I almost feel like I'm a waste of a life sometimes. Why would someone so smart, so brave and so able to make a difference in this world be just... gone. And yet I'm still here. I don't do anything to deserve to be here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not being down on myself. It's not a self esteem issue. I guess I just feel guilty for wasting time on doing nothing with my life. I'm always starting things, or dreaming up things to do and I procrastinate and never follow through.

These are things I wanted to change. I want to make a difference, I want to have goals. I don't want to look back and think I never did anything positive in the world. Stephen made such a big difference in such a short amount of time. Instead of wondering why his time was cut short when he had so much to offer and why I'm still here when I'm not offering anything, I'm going to try and live by his example. I'm going to stop telling myself I'm too small to make a difference and using it as an excuse to never try.

Ever since my panic attacks and anxiety really became a problem, I've been so afraid of dying. I kind of forgot that what I should really be afraid of is never truly living.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I'm afraid of not cramming as much into my life as I should have done." 
RIP Stephen Sutton
16/12/1994 – 14/05/2014

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