Life is short. How short? We never know. If yours ended abruptly, would you be content with your relationships today? Do the people you love know how you truly feel? Are you holding onto a grudge that you wish you weren’t? LIFE IS SHORT. It seems like it only becomes real when it is threatened, and that statement only gains substance after having suffered a loss.

Of all of the things my loved ones can vouch for (family, friends and lovers alike), it is my “mushiness.” I am often criticized for “saying too much” to people who would rather turn their cheek than listen, but the truth is, I don’t care. I don’t care if I am judged for my expressions of affection. I don’t care if someone I love feels otherwise for me. I don’t care if the grudge being held is justified. Hearts are not meant to be censored, so if I love you, you will know. I would rather go to sleep comfortably knowing that the people I love are reminded of it, wake up light hearted than be plagued by regret, and put my pride aside than torment myself. I have a constant need for embraces - both physical and verbal - because you just never know, and I always want them to know. That isn’t “mushiness,” that is my truth. That is my love. These are our lives.

This is an ode to life and love. Be present - not just today, but every day. Put the phone down and pay that person a visit. Hug your friends and family every chance you get. Look them in the eye when you speak to them. Be gracious of their support and expressions of love. Let go of resentment. Be proud of your feelings, but never let pride hold them back. Pay attention to detail. Build memories. Cherish time. Don’t wait - love today. Do better. Be better.Live.

Art by Katie Daisy.