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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Wisdom of Why

A lot of things have been going on lately in my life... And the majority of these things have been blessings... Hidden blessings even.

I feel myself growing as a person; in my heart and on the outside to others as well. I don't know how or when or where it started, but I realized what was happening and I am so grateful to have gotten all of these opportunities and situations.

Thank you specifically to LifeKraze and Melita Jaric - The picture on the left is the last memory I have with Melita.

First, I want to talk about Melita Jaric. Here's her story:

March 8, 2013 seemed like any other Friday. After lunch, Melita Jaric ambled across the FIU campus to AHC to attend a PhD defense at 2:00 PM. She went home after the seminar. At about 4:00 PM she told her roommate that she was going to the Walgreens a couple of blocks away. As she stepped out of the house, she was struck by a car. The driver never stopped to help her. A few more cars slowed down, but did not stop. When the roommate investigated, she found Melita in a pool of blood on the street. Melita spent the next 3 days in a coma at Jackson Memorial's ICU. Doctors, family and friends tried with the help of science and technology, prayers, and good wishes, but to no avail. Her brain could not be revived -- the damage was too severe and irreversible. Friends and family, and the entire FIU community mourn the senseless loss of a valuable life, a brilliant mind, a cultured intellectual, and a good soul. For her mother (also called Melita Jaric), her father (Prof. Jovo Jaric), two younger sisters (Natasa and Jasmina), the neice and nephew she adored, the brother-in-law, and many loved ones, life would never be the same again.
There's more to her story at the Facebook Page.

My own personal connection with her is this: My boyfriend has been taking a Computer Programming I course in the university, and she was kind enough to let me sit into the class. I didn't understand the material and was personally frustrated, but I loved the way she helped the other students and specifically went out of her way to challenge my boyfriend who already knew and understood all of the course material. We often bumped into her in the hallways, and even though she looked stressed out, she always had a smile on her face and a nice attitude.

During the Memorial Service for her yesterday at the University, I realized that she was such a positive influence for not just the students in that class, but to other teachers, students, friends, and family.

Someone mentioned something that caught my attention though: Melita was in touch with her essence. She was at peace with herself. She lived out her life to the fullest, no matter what, and she was happy. She was doing what she was passionate about, and she made sure she did it well.

A quick side story actually: She was doing research at the university and she submitted a paper a while ago that ironically was accepted the day she passed away. :(

I always looked at her in class and always thought, "I want to be like her." I never told her that she inspired me, I guess because I barely knew her anyway. But I saw a strong, stern woman in computer & engineering, getting things done and working hard.

There was also a certain characteristic about her that stood out: She always questioned things. And this is where things start to get linked together.

Let me back-track a bit in my own personal life.

I started using LifeKraze a couple of months ago, and that eventually inspired me to write my blog. A fellow LifeKraze user and a reader of my blog reached out to me, offered me an amazing job, made a generous donation to Serenity Online, and continues to help me and encourage me on a daily basis.

This person, yesterday, shared a similar wisdom to me that I think Melita already knew and developed: Always ask yourself, why? And answer it.

I personally just started this journey that will mostly include answering my own "why" questions, reading books, affirmations, positive thinking, meditation and anything else that will help... But it's amazing to see now that Melita Jaric had done this. She had reached her inner peace. I saw her daily work stress on her face, but in her eyes and attitude I saw someone genuine and someone I wanted to be like.

There's also a few others that have inspired me, and there's no better way to show how than to share this thread with you:

Kat Alvarez: If any of you have depression or anxiety, please reach out to me. I want to meet you & talk you. Let me help somehow. I added a contact link on my blog <3

John Y: Nice blog.
Brenda Leavitt: I know I'm a lot older than you & we might not have much in common, but I have lived w/depression& anxiety for a very long time & have been in some very dark places. So I'm going to reach out to you.... If you ever need or want a totally supportive shoulder to cry on or vent to I'm here for you, no strings attached. Email me if you ever feel too alone.
Lyndzi Emerson: I 2 have gone through some similar feelings and still struggle with those feelings sometimes I am here for you if you need someone to talk to email me anytime 
Kat Alvarez: thank you everyone :) i'm really looking forward to talking to everyone <3
Kat Alvarez: How do you two cope? Like with the feelings and such? I feel like it's never going to be fixed >.< I want to find someone that fixed it so I can have a little bit of hope or something idk
Brenda Leavitt: I can say that it's finally getting better for me. I can't believe how much changing my diet & getting active have helped me immensely. I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. Sometimes worse than others, but always feeling... Rather empty inside even on the "good" days. Therapy has helped in the past, but I got resentful & tired of taking the meds. So I would stop taking them. Looking back I can see how I did some self destructive things just to feel something. I feel so much better in general these past few months. I wish I had known a long time ago how much my eating/activity choices could help me. I also used to keep everything locked up. Over the past decade probably I've let go of hiding it & I openly Admit to my problems that I struggle with. I can definitely say it will get better. Remember to surround yourself with people that support you, even if they might not understand. If the people in your life don't support you, they don't deserve to be in your life. Even if they are family. Xoxo I've started meditating too. It's been helpful to calm the chaos in my head.
Lyndzi Emerson: there is always hope :-) and even though you might have set backs there is always hope... there isn't really enough space to type how I cope 4 me it was life changes I started exercising more eating better that's helped but I am a long way from fixed. I am just trying to better my life and think more positively taking it one breath at a time and stop being around people who don't treat me right and learn to stand up for myself... I can stand up for everyone else just not myself :-/ very well said Brenda :-)
John Y: I can't say I can relate or that I can even begin to understand the way depression feels, but I know it is very real and we have all experienced it in some degree in our lives. I believe the opposite of depression is expression. It might be beneficial to do something that defines you (not through someone else' eyes but through your own). I am not sure if this is resourceful to you, but I like to share the messages in this video:
ANANDA D: A very nice blog. I think that you are doing a very good thing by expressing your feelings. I used to feel that by talking about what was bothering me I was being a nuisance. Don't ever feel that way. It facilitates the healing process naturally. The people here are wonderful btw ;-)
Kat Alvarez: Brenda: yeah that's what I feel too like that emptiness even if everything is going well. And it's hard to like keep up a good healthy lifestyle and such when i just want to stay in bed all day and cry >.< that's why i'm also doing the 6 week challenge so i can get up and be active. and I hold in a lot of things but mainly because the people around me (with the exception of my boyfriend) don't let me talk out and fix my problems. My boyfriend and my blog are the only outlets I have where I can say "I feel empty and this is why…" and find a way to fix it. And I've been wanting to meditate but I am like the last person to stay still and quiet lol
Kat Alvarez: Lyndzi: Yeah I've been trying to do the same exact thing, like I'm the complete same way. It's just hard cuz some days I feel hopeless and then other days I feel ontop of the world and it really throws me off. And it's usually because of the people around me, like they bring me down a lot and i've been trying to avoid those people but it's hard, especially since it's family.
Kat Alvarez: John: Thank you :) I'll take any resource right now, so I really appreciate it. I've been trying to find something that defines me and I guess my blog is part of that… But also the project I've been working on are like really important to me so I hope that turns out to be something
Kat Alvarez: Ananda: Thank you :) I honestly feel like so much better when I write things out. I felt like that too! I was so scared of posting the link to my blog on my Facebook or twitter but I did and I don't feel so bad about it anymore. It's my own release and if someone doesn't like it, then whatever lol And yessss they are! I love LifeKraze for this reason :)
Brenda Leavitt: I really would suggest you try meditation. I found an app to start. It's really just 8 min of soothing music & I take really deep breaths. Focusing on positive things I want on my inhalation & breathing out the negative. Right now I'm doing a meditation challenge & it's a little more guided which I'm really liking too.
Kat Alvarez: What's the app called? And what's the challenge? :D I'm definitely going to write this down cuz I'm planning on doing a 6 week "meditate everyday" challenge on my blog
Brenda Leavitt: The app is just called 8 min meditation music. Google Deepak Chopra 21 day meditation challenge. It's been really interesting and helpful to me so far.
ANANDA D: I did Depaks challenge twice. The second time I challenged a few people that I knew and @ then end we got together and discussed how we felt afterwards... Truly an awesome feeling to be in the present moment.. :-)
Kat Alvarez: Omg i really want to try it now xD lol
Lyndzi Emerson: Kat I understand exactly I have ups and downs as well and most of my depression and anxiety is caused by my fam as well... it's hard when it's your fam they are supposed to love you unconditionally and support you, and Idk maybe they just don't realize how much their actions or lack of actions hurt but for me it just became to much and I ended up leaving home because of it all which just got more harsh words and name calling thrown at me but I couldn't stay any longer without going mental. Don't get me wrong though I love my dad more than anything and it kills me to not be there for him right now but he moved in 6 fam members into our home and they are very disrespectful towards me so I left, then another fam member (from another state emails me about how I'm being immature and selfish but really I think they are all being selfish letting these people move in and use my dad ... Anyways what I was trying to point out is for me it just got to be to much and I said enough is enough. sorry it's so long didn't really know how to explain it very well with fewer words but I think getting more active will help (sounds like your doing that) and I've heard meditation helps a lot 2 been thinking about doing it myself :-)
Kat Alvarez: yeah but I have a year to move out according to my parents, so I'm working on that lol I moved out once and I was like so much better but it didn't last long... the economy sucks :/ but hopefully things with your family like ease up a bit too
Lyndzi Emerson: well a year's a long time maybe things will get better by then? I'm sure you would feel so much better if your parents were able to become a part of your support system and things are betterish with me and my dad he is trying and that's good. and the economy is horrible! I wouldn't have been able to move if it wasn't for my boyfriend and his parents O.o we live with his parents which sucks being an adult and all... but it's what we have to do :-/
Kat Alvarez: the thing is that my mom wants me out of the house, so i don't know how she'd ever be part of my support system. if she doesn't want to be, then i can't really force her ya know? same with my dad. my boyfriend's parents would probably help to but like his dad already pays for my phone and is willing to pay for my car insurance when my mom cuts me off in 6 months :/ so i feel bad
Lyndzi Emerson: awe :-( I'm so sorry
Kat Alvarez: it's okay, I wrote 3 blog posts about it lol so it's definitely off my chest already and I kind of feel better. like i'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do, but i'm getting there. i just get really like depressed about it at times
Lyndzi Emerson: I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better... but I do know excersise and surround yourself with peope who love you for you :-) it's the best thing you can do for yourself
Brenda Leavitt: And email us if you ever need to! :-)
Kat Alvarez: haha i definitely will do that xD I have both of your emails saved lol thank you to everyone :) <3
Lyndzi Emerson: yes email anytime :-) maybe you could do something in exchange? my boyfriend originally moved back home to help his mom she has fibromyalgia and now that I'm living with them I help with the cleaning and do most of the cooking (we talked them into doing the p90x diet with us) they have lost weight already O.o haha sorry I didn't see the post about boyfriends dad
Kat Alvarez: well the thing is they would take me in and like not let me do anything in return. it's a really nice and generous family lol they really don't expect or want anything in return
Lyndzi Emerson well if push comes to shove and that's what you have to do don't feel bad about it and who knows you might end up helping them in some way and you can insist that you want to do some stuff around the house just tell them it would make you feel better 
John Y: Kat, your blog is your expression, that is what defines you, don't worry what others might say as you can't please everyone, nor should you even try to, the first thing we should do is to put our lives into balance, and once we have mastery in our own lives, others will either follow you for inspiration or sit on the sideline saying hurtful things because they hate the fact you are becoming what they want to be but failed. Life have it's own seasons, and everything will come and go, good and bad, so if things are looking bad, it won't stay that way, and if it is looking good, don't forget the bad times so you can appreciate what you have at that moment. My friend used to say "Tough situations don't last, only tough people do." So I invite you to find things you can do that comes natural to you, and that you can derive comfort, for example, your writing, exercising, traveling... whatever it might be, set goals, and derive comfort in tackling these goals. Good luck, cheers.
There will probably be more of this thread as time goes by, but this has been the majority of the conversation and it is the best example as to why I absolutely love LifeKraze and it's community. Whether you're on there or not, I urge you to reach out to me so we can help each other and really connect together as a community.

So I hope every reader can take at least one piece of wisdom from this post. I am so grateful for all of the advice, stories, and conversations I've had the chance to receive and experience. And if you have anything to add to my blog, please go ahead and comment! Tell us what you think or what you've experienced. Or join LifeKraze and really get a great, positive, and unique experience :) Love you all.

Kat <3


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