I have been sitting here for a good 20 minutes typing and re-typing trying to figure out how to start a post about my sweet friend, Taylor Helland, who passed away two years ago today. There really is no easier way to say that someone has passed away, is there? It sounds so harsh because there are so many mixed emotions behind that. Everyone misses her a TON, but at the same time, we know she is pain-free and happier than ever which is much more important.
Throughout 2017, I thought of my friend Taylor a lot because of her mantra- "Choose Joy". One day I sat down...I was having a hard day, and I decided to write a little in my journal about my friend, who even in the afterlife continues to inspire me. I wrote a little poem. I do like to write poems, so that isn't unusual, but since this particular one was about Taylor, I figured today was a wonderful day to share it with others. It isn't perfect, but it's from my heart and it makes me smile. Here it is:
I walked in the room, not knowing a soul
Scared and Unsure of what the future would hold
The girl was sunny blond hair & the brightest smile
Turned out to be a true friend who would stay a while
Taylor was brave and she was strong
She did not complain nor miss a beat
She always kept others on their feet
Taylor battled cancer long & hard
Her attitude and spirit was always a glow
“Choose Joy” she made sure everyone would know
It was her motto, her armor, her greatest defense
It has helped me more than I can ever admit
Choose Joy has impacted many far and wide
Especially the Horned Frogs whom cheered alongside
I miss Taylor
I thank Taylor
I often look up and talk to Taylor
She was my friend & most certainly my peer
She is someone I will forever hold dear
I Choose Joy today
I Choose Joy tomorrow
I Choose Joy to avoid feeling too much sorrow
Here’s to that girl flying around
No doubt as a butterfly high off the ground
You taught me a lesson important to all
“CHOOSE JOY “Taylor would say, no matter how often you fall.
Taylor was a wonderful friend to me and today I choose to remember the good times, like struggling to the point of extreme laughter in elementary statics. This week at TCU is coined "Taylor Week" in preparation for the annual Dance Marathon Event that benefits the local hospital, where Taylor was treated. Taylor was super involved in Dance Marathon and helping others, whom she could so easily identify with. Last year, while at Dance Marathon, I broke my scapula (LOL yeah TBT to that). This year I have been involved as a member of the PR committee for Dance Marathon. Even though it wasn't my favorite memory from last year (hence the broken bone and all), I still wanted to be involved in the organization because I know Taylor would have loved that! Because of Taylor, Dance Marathon is something so close to so many of us. I would love it, and appreciate so much if you would donate to my fund at this link:
I have been behind this year on my personal fundraising but would LOVE even the smallest amount you could give to this cause. I promise to do my best not to break any bones this year!!
Taylor is someone that will never be forgotten. She has made such an impact here on campus and much further. I see people every day in the "Choose Joy" shirts that were created in her memory. Today, many of us remember her and celebrate her goodness. If you want to learn more about Taylor, or hear her story, here is my post from last year:
Choosing joy is just that...a choice. I often have to remind myself that if my friend, who fought cancer fiercely, can do it, then so can I. I am thankful for my friend. I miss my friend. I love my friend and I am forever grateful she was placed in my life at such an important time.
Thank you, Taylor.
Southern and Thankful
Let's talk about tomorrow. No, it's not just any other day. It's V day!
Valentines Day is fast approaching, and honestly, we all know the mixed emotions that come with this holiday. Some people having nothing but heart eyes all day long hoping for all the flowers and chocolates in the world. Some people complain all day long on social media and to their coworkers because they want everyone to know they are miserable not having anyone to share the day with. Love, hate, sadness, happiness, joy- everyone feels some type of emotion on Valentine's day.
To be honest, I am a fan of the day. I will admit it is fun when you have someone to share the love with, but overall, I do like the stereotypical traditions on Valentines Day. No matter who you are, I believe it is important to love every day, but it is especially fun on Valentines Day.
One thing you should know about me is my love for all things in celeb culture. I read and keep up with popular culture each day. Partly because I am intrigued and hope to work in the industry one day, but also because I truly am such of fan of so many musicians, actors, actresses, tv personalities, comedians, dancers, and entertainers. There is just something about staying up to date with that world that is fun to me.
Last week, one of my favorites, Selena Gomez did an interview with the Fashion magazine, Harpers Bazaar, where she talked about several things from her music, to being the most followed person on Instagram, to her street style and to overall life lessons. She even talked about her love for the restaurant Chilis, which I could 100% relate to. Again, I was reading this because I am such a fan of hers. She is my WCW every day. But one thing really stuck out to me. She was asked if she believed that 2018 was going to be better than 2017 and in her response, she addressed her health struggles in the past and even her battle with depression and anxiety. This was her response:
"I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. There won’t be a day when I’m like, “Here I am in a pretty dress—I won!” I think it’s a battle I’m gonna have to face for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that because I know that I’m choosing myself over anything else. I’m starting my year off with that thought. I want to make sure I’m healthy. If that’s good, everything else will fall into place." -Selena Gomez
If you would like to read more the article can be found here: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a15895669/selena-gomez-interview/
First of all, I applaud her for being so open about such a personal struggle. That is hard. I cannot imagine being on her level of fame and talking openly like that. I really identified with this because this year already I have learned the importance of putting myself first (behind God, of course). I always try to put others first because I believe that is the way I am wired. But what I am realizing is that there comes a time in your life when you have to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Making the right positive decisions that are healthy for YOU. I spent so long worrying about others and trying to please others that it truly started to affect my health. When I was casually reading this article I instantly knew God was sending me a sign, telling me to keep doing what I have been doing. It is working!
Selena is my Valentine this year even though I believe she may be back with Justin Beiber (lol). Little moments like this teach us the biggest lessons. This Valentine's day, let go of other things and love yourself. Love yourself because I am assuring you that in the end, it will not only make you happier, but it will make you healthier. A happy lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. I am grateful for my health and the things I have been doing lately to make me a happier and healthier person. This Valentine's day I will love others immensely, but most of all I will love myself because, ironically, we were also created to do just that.
Happy Valentines Day! I love you. I love me!
Southern and Thankful
Blessed is an understatement when it comes to my life. Each and every day I am amazed by God's steadfast love. In return, I have claimed this space to show my thanks and whatever else comes along the way. A student at Texas Christian University who loves any creative insta post, all donuts, and dress pants that make you do a double take. I pray God has a grand purpose for me and I plan to get there with a little Southern and a lot of Thanks! Join me!