Gettin' Real

Don’t Realize Whatcha Got Until It’s Gone

Had a change of plans for this week’s post so apologies if this isn’t as lighthearted as you were expecting.

Growing up with a father who was emotionally connected to sports in a way I’ll never understand, the passing of Kobe Bryant is not something my household took lightly. Regardless of any emotional ties to the sport of basketball or Kobe Bryant in general, the shocking death of this man, his 13-year-old daughter, and the other 7 passengers involved in this tragic accident is something that has affected the nation in an incredible way. The wave of social media posts and heart felt messages to the families impacted, this horrific topic has shed a different perspective on how I’ve viewed the American population. Amongst the news articles, the Instagram posts, Twitter threads, and conversations in general, there has been one common theme: stop realizing what you have until it’s gone.

We spend a lot of our lives getting stuck in the rut of life. We wake up in the morning, exhaustedly drag ourselves to our desk jobs, just to come home, eat dinner, and go to bed early so we can muster up the energy to do it all again tomorrow.

We go through the motions.

We forget to tell our friends how they’ve saved us from ourselves more times than they’ll ever know. We forget to thank our parents for giving us everything we’ve ever needed, and almost everything we’ve ever wanted. We forget to appreciate where we came from, the towns we grew up in, the schools that taught us how to be ourselves, the sports that shaped us into who we are. It’s funny because we think we remember all of this stuff when it matters most: birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again- the biggest days in our lives are not the most important of our lives. The most important days of our lives are everything in between. It’s the random Monday nights you spend drinking wine and laughing with your best friends until you have tears running down your cheeks, the Tuesdays when you remind your mom how much she means to you and how much you appreciate the life she gave you the opportunity to have, it’s the Wednesdays you spend pouring your heart out sitting next to the person you’re in love with for no particular reason at all, the Thursdays you jump out of bed in the morning, put on your favorite outfit, listen to all your favorite music, and go to work thankful for the salary you earn every two weeks, it’s the Fridays, and the Saturdays you didn’t plan for anything exciting but make some of the best memories you know you’ll tell your kids when they’re old enough to know, and it’s the Sunday’s you spend talking to God.

The most important days of our lives are not labeled. The most important days of our lives are every day.

I am guilty of it more than anyone, but I forget to remind the people I surround myself how much I truly appreciate, love, and need them. We all do. These days we pride ourselves so heavily on being strong, but all in all, regardless of how strong we are, life itself is so damn precious. Our health, our ability to walk, run, speak, breathe- there are people in this world who would kill for our “average” and “bad” days.

Life is short, appreciate your opportunities, your abilities, your family, your friends. Appreciate the bad things that have shaped you, the failures that led you to your successes, and appreciate all the good the world still has to offer you.

“Life is short and it’s fragile. We don’t know how many birthdays we have. We don’t have to have a birthday to celebrate, just celebrate life. if you haven’t told someone you love them, do it now.” -Ellen Degeneres


Carlie Bradshaw

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