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Taking a Step Back After the Las Vegas Tragedy

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This is the first time I’m talking about Vegas since finding the news out on Monday morning.

My heart is still aching for the families who lost loved ones, friends who know people who were shot, and for the friends I still haven’t heard from. I wish I could take the fear and pain away my friends are feeling.

I feel guilty for not being there to support them, but I learned an important lesson in the days following the shooting: I learned to slow down and appreciate the little things. I learned the importance of not rushing my future.

As someone with a chronic condition that is not accepted by society, unless I continuously prove what I can do, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve slowed down and appreciated the little things.

Over the past few months I’ve wanted to get my license, degree and move out as soon as possible so people can stop assuming I will be dependent on others forever. After the shooting, I found myself stuck between wanting to be a totally independent 20-year-old to stopping my dreams to stay with loved ones — since life is a precious gift that is not a permanent guarantee.

Family support and personal goals are a hard balance, but I hope I (and you) can understand I am doing the best I can to treat them as equally important.

Don’t stop working towards what makes you your own person, but don’t forget about the importance of relationships with family and friends. They made you who you are, and life is a gift that won’t always be here.

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Thinkstockphoto by Andesign101

Originally published: October 8, 2017
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