we live in a world full of beauty. sometimes it stares you directly in the face and other times it is not so easy to find.

The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within- strength, courage, dignity. ~Ruby Dee

I’ve been flirting with the idea of writing my next post for the past two days but kept decided against it until the I knew the time was right because the concepts in which I choose to write about are of great importance to me.  I hope that I can conquer my weary mind and express my inner thoughts to inspire the way in which I’ve been inspired these last few days.  Where do I begin?  First, let me say that a puppy is not accompanying me as I write this post.  After soul-searching a bit on Thursday night- before and after my call with Joe- I woke up on Friday morning with the overwhelming notion that now is not the right time to adopt.  The truth is that I have too much traveling and work/volunteer commitments these next few months to take on this new responsibility.  Plus, I think it’s better for me to play with my (human) best friends instead of one that barks and needs potty-trained.  One day though, hopefully in the new year, I’ll be ready to bring one home.

After making my decision, I spent the majority of my Friday multi-tasking as I worked from my apartment and listened to the Eric & Kathy 36-Hour Radiothon at Children’s Memorial HospitalTalk about inspiration!  The radio broadcast was filled with stories about children who were/are patients at the hospital, sharing the strong-will and courage of these admirable kids, as well as their families, friends, doctors, nurses, etc.  They are so resilient.  They are filled with hope, full of belief.  They are fighters.  True SUPERHEROES!

Some of the tears were shed in sorrow for the children that lost their lives, as well as in sympathy for their families.  However tears were also shed in admiration as I felt as inspired as ever to pursue my calling in the Child Life profession and continue serving as a volunteer for the hospital and Foundation. 

Yesterday I spent my morning representing Make-A-Wish at the CureSearch Walk on the Great Lawn at Soldier Field.  Not even the rain & cooler weather could keep the participants & volunteers from participating in the event for such a worthy cause.  I really enjoyed interacting with the kids and families- (fake) tattooing them up and doing arts & crafts- and left feeling even more inspired to find my path in the Child Life field.  At the Walk, the kids & their families reminded me that beauty also shines in unfortunate circumstances- like illness and death- and therefore, it’s important to always keep in mind just how precious life is.  I, for one, am guilty for getting caught up in the stress & anxiety of our world today, but being in this environment allows me to refocus my priorities and fight to see more beauty. 

Today I’m also reminded of the beauty of friendship.  Back in my hometown of Pittsburgh, high school friends are gathered together to support another (an Ovarian Cancer survivor) at the Walk to Break the Silence event today.  Not only is Kelly (the survivor) an inspiration to us all, but her friends & family are too for showing their love & continued support. 

I’ve found myself looking at this picture of Hazel & me a lot this past week, and now it’s even in a beautiful frame in my bedroom.  (Thanks Stef!)  Hazel and her little brother, George, are the two main reasons I remain dedicated and focused on the Child Life profession.  This happy, healthy, beautiful little girl makes me smile each time I think of her.  I want more for her than I want for myself.

In this photo with Hazel I am reminded of so much with respect to the beauty of my own life: My Journey.  I look at Hazel and think of her mother, Rebecca, who was one of the first friends of the nineteen year old that left her hometown in Pittsburgh, PA for an adventure at Ohio University (gasp) 7 years ago- which reminds me of the girl who grew up in Hampton Township and dreamed of what her life may aspire to be. 

Life really is a beautiful journey.  It’s not flawless nor as smooth as we’d like it to be, but there really is so much beauty that we sometimes fail to see during but it’s a blessing when we can look back and acknowledge what was surrounding us all along.  That’s where I am today.  I write, sitting here acknowledging all of the beauty that I have been fortunate to have in my life.  Sure I sit here wishing that some things were different and full of a few what ifs…but I refuse to ignore all of the blessings that the little girl from Hampton was given.  I just hope that Hazel realizes the beauty of life long before I did. 

It’s there, Hazel.  I promise you.  Sometimes you may have to clear your weary eyes to see it, but the beauty is always there. 


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