To a lot of people, April 1st is a day like any other; one filled with happiness, endless opportunities, and an unknown outcome after the 24 hours pass. It’s a day that brings along fun and friends, mostly due to the fact that it’s notoriously known as April Fool’s Day. For a couple years, this day hasn’t always been filled with such things. For me, this day has been classified as my “Worst Day.” However, as I write this, I’m slowly transitioning from looking upon this day with a somber and grim attitude to treating this day like I would any other: with positivity, determination, and cheerfulness.
For those of you that don’t know, I lost my dad to suicide in 2004. Today marks 12 years since that day where the police came to my door to let me and my mom know of his passing. I was only seven, and I remember that day like it was almost yesterday. Unfortunately, it plays out like a movie that’s burned in the back of my brain. Every time this day rolls around, I’m always afraid that I’ll have to relive the day all over again.
While this day brings a darker and drearier side of me that I usually don’t like others seeing, it’s made me the person I am today. Whenever I’m going through something that’s causing me emotional distress or getting me down in the dumps, I try to remember that I’ve been through worse and that this is just a mere test to my mental strength. One of the things I brought with me to college to remind me of what I stand for is a deck of cards. Why? Because in any card game, you have to play with the cards you’re dealt. In the words of Eminem in his song “Beautiful”, “Nobody asked for life to deal us with these bullshit hands we’re dealt / We gotta take these cards ourselves and flip them, don’t expect no help.” Nobody’s going to help you live your life; it’s you who has to pick yourself up when you’re down and take the initiative to move forward.
Last year, when I was a senior in high school, my mom and I made a vow that this day shall be grieved upon no longer. Instead, it should be looked at as the blessing we’re given everyday: the ability to wake up and live another day in this crazy, unforeseen world. Just ponder that: you’re able to see the people you see everyday, talk to the ones you’re closest to, and breathe the sweet air into your lungs like you do almost mindlessly. Seems routine and regular, I know, but I call it a blessing.
So, take a minute and think about the little things that make your life great. It could quite possibly change your whole outlook on your day, maybe even your life. Chin up. Smile. Strut your stuff. And, most importantly, keep on truckin’.