Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Humbled

It has been a long couple of days; my house is made up of two floors and the first floor, where Meg and I live, was flooded with water up to waist height. Needless to say most of our possessions and new supplies bought for the upcoming year were completely destroyed. Despite being in such a tough situation, I can't help but be hopeful and realize there is a lot to be thankful for. I have posted some pictures of the damage, not to get sympathy from everyone or to make anyone uncomfortable, but to show that even in times of trouble, there are clouds with silver linings.
I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with amazing people throughout the past three years. One friend in particular immediately said "yes" when I asked if I could crash on her couch for a few days. I will  forever be grateful to her and her apartment mates. I am currently in an on campus dorm, living with Meg. It is always a comfort knowing that Meg will be there to come home to, but it is especially reassuring now. Other friends have been amazing by asking me how I am doing and even offering me a place to stay if needed. I have also realized that even though I am going through troubled times, my friends are also experiencing their own personal problems and it is really important for me to be there as a support system for them and to listen to their problems and to help out any way I can.  

 

There are still many individuals residing in our university's Event Center evacuation site and for a couple of days I was able to volunteer. These people lost everything - their homes, possessions, and any tangible memories they made. By helping out at the Red Cross station, I was able to play a small role in helping people recover; but sadly I feel as if it is not enough. Listening to their stories made me realize how insignificant my situation is. Some individuals were extremely grateful for the help they received while others were very resentful towards the volunteers and were at times rude. I understand that they have a reason for being upset, but I have promised myself to learn from their mistakes and to always treat people with respect, especially if they are helping me out.


While I might be in a bit of a funk due to the disappointing fact that I don't know when I will be able to return to my house and that I can't enjoy any of my usual fall traditions such as apple picking (and baking a pie by myself for the first time) and decorating the house with fall decor, I'm trying to keep my spirits up. I made a fall to do-list and will try to accomplish as much as I possibly can while living in a dorm. I am humbled knowing that I have such a great group of friends and a loving family. So many people have lost their homes; I keep reminding myself that I lost a house for a bit and not a home. Material things mean nothing if you don't have the love and support of family and friends. It sounds cliche, I know, but until it happens to you, one cannot understand. I only hope that I can return the generosity given to me to others in times of need. Having a positive attitude and trying to see the bright side of things has really helped to keep my spirits up! "Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it" - Charles Swindoll
[Finds] -Charles Swindoll
Last night I had drinks with my former gymnastics coach who taught me pretty much everything I know in drive, discipline, and ambition. And more. I came across this quote which reminded me of our saying we used to practice: Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react.

3 comments:

Maddy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your house, Stephanie. It's horrible to go through this at any time, but especially in your senior year where the time you have left at school is nearing its end. But I'm so happy to hear that you're keeping your head up and not only that, but also volunteering your time giving back to other less fortunate too! Your great attitude and giving spirit in the midst of all this is admirable. So glad to hear you are safe and that you have a wonderful support system surrounding you. I hope this gets better real soon so you can go back to enjoying your senior year. (((HUGS)))

Haute World said...

Sorry to hear about the flooding, but glad you're keeping your spirit. There are worse things that could happen and people out there have much huger losses than we can ever fully realize. It's good to know you have such a great support system and also great that you're helping others!

Like, Whatever said...

take care. friends, family and love in your heart.