We all remember our glory days of sticky, slobbery fingers, messy hair, and innocent carelessness. We could run around in messy clothes, we could leave our rooms a complete pig stye, and we could poop our pants, and everyone adored us. Those were the days.
When I was younger, we lived right next door to my parents’ best friends. They had three kids near our ages that my siblings and I would play with. We would spend our summer days in the desert, where we would play games and have paintball wars and build forts out of scrap metal. One of the kids, Corey, was a year older than me. Though he was always a grade above, he would still play with me at recess even though I was annoying, and protect me even when I didn't want to be protected. For the five years we were neighbors, he was one more big brother to me, and I idolized him.
When I was 11, his family moved to Utah, and mine moved here. Corey and I stayed in touch, but it was never the same. I felt like I had lost a part of our relationship, one that thrived on sunlight and the sweltering heat of the desert. But it was on July 17, 2015 that I lost him for good. I received a text message that read, “I'm sorry, but I just don't know what to do. I've tried so hard but nothing is enough. Please know that I love you.” I immediately called Corey back, but it went to voicemail. I called his mother, his father, his siblings. No one knew where he was. The next day, he was confirmed dead.
The Corey I knew wasn't suicidal. The Corey I knew was an Eagle Scout. The Corey I knew was the only sophomore on the varsity rugby team. The Corey I knew was a golden scholar. He was a brother, a son, a friend. He was the boy I chased around the backyard. He was the boy who protected his family. He was the boy that had enough strength and faith to carry himself and those around him. He couldn't have been all that if he was so unhappy.
I believe in empty crowds. I believe that we can be surrounded by our closest friends and we can still feel completely and utterly alone. We've all dealt with hard things. You might be dealing with hard things right now. If you haven't, believe me, you will. And the hardest part is that no one will know.
You can cry, and you can scream, and you can give up, but you'll still feel alone. No amount of mourning and no amount pain can change that. So why stand alone? Be open to help. Be open to helping people. Be open to change, because change leads to progress.
If our world was dominated by empty crowds, we wouldn’t get anywhere. We’d sit, sad and lonely, while the world around us faded away because we couldn’t get back on our feet and it was just too hard. It is hard, but worth it. You can't build a relationship without trust, and you can't have a friendship that will prosper without openness. To feel a little bit of happiness you have to feel a little bit of sadness. You take the good with the bad and that's just called life. It might be hard sometimes, but that's not all there is. We can't ever give up because when we give up that's when we lose the good in our lives, and that's all we have to hold onto in the end. These are the days, so why not live a little?