As of late, I have been meaning to post something new to my blog. Many nights, I sat staring at the WordPress app on my iPhone, hoping to find some inspiration for my thoughts. Most of those nights, I simply put my phone down on my dresser and turned around to get my shut eye.
Well around 10 this morning, I was reading through my Twitter feed when I came across WordPress’s Weekly Writing Challenge, which was to write a manifesto. Ecstatic that I could possibly have something to write about, I clicked the link and read all about it.
“A declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer,” huh?
Despite the ideas given in this post, I could not rack my brain for anything that I could really write about.
I said to myself, “I have passion. I care about things. But what are those things? There has to be SOMETHING I can write about.”
Disappointed, I saved the link in my bookmarks in hopes that I could return to it later.
A few hours passed and still, nothing. So I decided to take a nap on my couch.
At about 4 in the afternoon, I finally got up and I refreshed my Twitter feed again, this time, only to find #RIPRobinWilliams on my timeline.
I was devastated.
There was no way in Heaven or Hell that this could be true.
Robin Williams, one of the greatest names known to man, found dead in his home in Tiburon in Marin County at the age of 63.
Cause of death:possible suicide by asphyxia (a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death; suffocation).
Though it is still unsure that this is the reason for his passing (and I pray that it not be the case), it is a scary, and sad, irony to think about.
A man who dedicated himself to making people laugh, who seemed so happy and filled with fun, had depression and ended his own life.
How cruel this world can be.
Celebrities, YouTubers, and common people alike tweeted about how Williams was a beautiful person, and how they would never forget their encounters with him, or the impact he made on their lives.
Lindsay Lohan: “Mr. Williams visited me the first day of filming The Parent Trap. I will never forget his kindness. What an enormous loss. My condolences.”
Tyler Oakley: “Very sad to hear about Robin Williams. From Jumanji to Aladdin, and Mrs. Doubtfire to Hook, he was a staple of my childhood. RIP.”
Even one of my colleagues from my university, who works for an Apple store in Marin, posted about meeting Williams 3 weeks ago at work. That day, she told me, he brought flowers to his wife.
Along with simple gestures like that, Robin Williams was clearly involved in charity. He founded the Windfall Foundation, supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and donated his proceeds from “Weapons of Self Destruction” when an earthquake hit Canterbury in 2010.
Robin Williams was loved by all on television. He always seemed to play a character that was motivational, uplifting, and just down-to-earth. He could reach out to children and adults alike, either as Genie from Aladdin or as John Keating in Dead Poets Society (one of my personal favorites). I actually put in my DVD of Hook tonight as I was eating dinner, and I admit that there were multiple times that I teared up, just by some of his William’s facial expressions and the things he said.
The man was truly a gift.
He had his share of personal struggles with drugs and alcohol, which caused him to go to rehab at some point in his life. In March 2009, he underwent heart surgery. And from most recent news, studies say he was battling depression the last few months of his life. Yet, this did not stop him from giving. He did not cease to bring joy to others, to the point of death, and he could not save himself. But he was selfless, and the world needs more people like Robin Williams.
So as I continued to see dedications to Mr. Williams on all sorts of social media, I came across this particular quote that stood out to me:
“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
And then it hit me.
There it was; my manifesto.
I can say that I’ve been at war with myself for a while now. And while I can’t say I have severe depression or something close to it, I have had my late night breakdowns here and there. And I’ve been trying to look past it, because I know that I have many wonderful things in my life.
And today, Robin Williams made me realize that.
I may not be rich and famous. I may not think I’m the best-looking person, but I have my attributes and I should learn to embrace those, along with my flaws. And with all that has been given to me, I should live to better myself.
I am crossing my fingers that I will never reach the point where I feel as if I am so lost that the only solution is death. And my heart goes out to anyone that is battling depression right now, because it is a horrible mental illness that is often overlooked. And the fact that some people brush it off as nothing just makes me sick. Even to those who may have hurt me, I would never want to learn that they suffered from depression and ended up taking their own lives.
With that in mind, I hope I can make some kind of a turn in my life. With a new school year coming up, I know I will be faced with a lot of new experiences, from fun times to hard times. So I hope I can follow through with all the goals I place in front of me.
1. Be more kind.
I can be a bitch. I won’t lie. It’s second nature for me to be sarcastic, even if I’m purely joking, but I know some people take it seriously. Although it kind of pains me to “deal with stupidity,” I am not the only one with insecurities and I know by experience that words really can hurt. It’s good to push the pride away too.
2. Have more patience!
Ooh. This is a BIG one. I hate waiting. Lately, I feel like I deserve to have so much more than I have been receiving. Like, I’ve done volunteer work. I get good grades. I don’t get into trouble. So, why can’t I have my car? Why couldn’t I get an apartment instead of on-campus housing? Why can’t I have a significant other that loves me above all else? Why, why, why? It’s not fair. This sucks. Blah, blah, blah.
I need to realize that God has His plans for me. He is only waiting for the right moment to give me all that I need and deserve. And hey, maybe I’m not ready for all the things I want right now and He’s still fixing me up before he gives me that. Looking back, He protected me from so many occasions that could have gone wrong, and it seems like that’s what he’s still doing. So it seems that I’ll have to play the waiting game a little longer. Which kind of sucks. But thanks for being a homie, God.
3. Seize the day!
Now this seems a little counterintuitive to my last goal, but the phrase, “seize the day” or “Carpe diem” was stated by Robin William’s character, John Keating, in DPS. Additionally, Williams starred in a film called Seize the Day.
Life needs its balance. And while we must have patience for some things, we can’t just sit on our asses and expect it all to fall into place. No. If you want to go that music festival, get a job and start saving money. If you want to start a hobby, look at guides or tutorials on whatever it is you want to do, whether it be painting or rock collecting.
“Seize the day. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.” ~ John Keating
4. Smile more and don’t be afraid to make new friends.
Yes, I love to laugh. I love to flash my pearly whites. Who doesn’t? But I’ve also been told that I look very stern when people first meet me because I’m quiet. I have no intention of looking unapproachable; I guess it’s just my initial demeanor because I don’t want people to think I’m too weird and totally reject my personality. But in this past year, it has become pretty clear that like attracts like and the friends I’ve made are just as weird as I am. And that’s pretty cool. Plus, smiling can be contagious.
5. Find reasons to love myself.
I struggle with self-image. People look at me and see a skinny, proportional girl with a nice tan, and I see a mess. I’m insecure about my acne. My eye bags. My small boobs, which can’t hide my tummy when I’m bloated. My thinnish hair. My round, flat nose. My annoying laugh. The list is endless.
But I guess I have a nice butt. And legs. And my eyes are pretty big. And my lips are full and my teeth are straight. And I don’t sunburn. This list is also endless.
I’m not trying to be narcissistic, oh no. But I can’t keep bashing on myself and hope that someone will accept me when I can’t accept myself. Cliché. But it’s true. And it’s not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Because really, when you’re beautiful within, it’ll show on the outside.
6. Don’t ever let drugs become a vital source of comfort or happiness.
Just another point I never hope to get to. I pity the people who can’t go out sober. It’s sad to think that some people get drunk just to go watch a movie. Like, what?
I know people that drink daily and come up with the most profound theses on life, but most times, alcohol ends up in crying and rants and puddles of vomit.
Drugs are only a temporary source of pleasure that mess with the chemicals in your brain and the other organs in the body. How many celebrity deaths occurred because the person overdosed on pills? Or got alcohol poisoning? A lot.
And the drug culture is expanding. And not slowly, as a matter of fact.
Drugs and alcohol are “social substances” so to speak, and although I strongly believe in “living life while I’m still young,” a bottle for a few hours of fun? Shrooms? Worth it? Mmm…perhaps not.
7. Surround myself with good people.
Everyone needs friends that they can fall back on. It’s as simple as that. I’m not talking about people who are down to hang out all the time (that’s nice too), but the people who know you inside and out and are your real support system. I think it’s important to have that good balance of people who are blunt with you, but are willing to stick with you and help you through your troubles.
8. Stop living in fear.
This sounds repetitive and can be classified in the same boat as “Carpe diem,” but everything here has to tie together at some point, so why not here?
I need to stop being scared of failure. Of rejection. Of falling for people that maybe “I shouldn’t be falling for.”
Because it’s bound to happen. I’m bound to get hurt. I’m bound to get my heart broken. Things won’t always go my way. I’ve already told myself that countless times. It would be more detrimental to let events go past me and wish that I experienced them. And after all, if I trip, I’m going to get up eventually.
I wouldn’t let myself do otherwise.
Now I’m not saying that when I wake up in the morning, I will be totally changed and on the right track (what right track, really?) of my young life. That is pretty impossible. I’m pretty sure I’ll still write some angsty blogs, but it’s a process. And the most important thing is that I WANT to do this.
I want to fulfill this manifesto.
And with that, I leave with three final quotes from the man himself:
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”
“There is still a lot to learn and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful.”
Thank you, Robin Williams for inspiring me and so many other people around the world. Thank you for being a wonderful person, despite your trials. Rest in peace. Hope you’re having fun in Neverland.
July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014.