UNITED STATES—I always say life will test you in ways sometimes that you never expect. Things are thrown in your direction that you never expected. I don’t know what to say about the past few weeks, with work (not one job, but two), school, family, death and so much more, I can’t believe I’m still standing. I pride myself as someone who is able to juggle a lot of stuff at any given time, but jeez, I feel battered, beat down and just exhausted.

Right after attending the funeral of a family member, I turn around to deal with another serious crisis, one that had me in an ER room for hours, and at the hospital, every single day for the past week on pins and needles not really knowing what is going on with a loved one. A lot of people have no idea what is going on in my personal life and to be honest, it’s none of their business. The people who are important to me are well aware of what’s going on; I don’t feel the need to spill my guts to the world because you don’t need to know, it’s not a weakness for me; it is a hiccup.

Life is full of hiccups, and you have to be able to maneuver through the obstacles to come out on top. Let me be clear emotionally, right now I am all over the place. I’m anxious, I’m nervous, I’m rattled, I’m sad, I’m worried, I’m confused, the list goes on and on America. I feel when you sense the life of your loved one in grave condition it totally places you in an odd position. You start to question life; you think about the things that are important and you consider making choices that are not just best for you, but your family and your overall life.

I’ve been trying to juggle work the best way I can. Most people in my situation would just cave in and just crash and burn. Work helps at times, but sometimes it can be a bad thing, because you’re doing your best to occupy your mind, but the problem with trying to occupy your mind doesn’t always work out the best. Some people don’t get it and I’m not going to try to explain it. You cannot explain grief, you cannot tell a person how to react or respond to certain things. Why? Not everyone is YOU! What works for you, does not always work for others.

You have to analyze the situation and do what is best for you, not just personally, but professionally. If you need to take time off work, take time off work. Don’t feel guilty about needing to take time away from work, because the one thing I’ve discovered in life is that it’s indeed precious and family is not promised. People here today, can be gone tomorrow. Tell people you love them, spend time with them and don’t be apologetic to anyone for doing it. I always say if your job is incapable of operating a day or two without your presence that is never a good sign. They should always have backup, because as I say time and time again, life is unpredictable.

I don’t want to focus solely on work, because when you have a crisis that should never be your focal point, family should. I am literally baffled and I mean baffled to realize that my little brother hasn’t stepped foot in the hospital or even picked up the phone to contact my dad during this trying time. I don’t know if he doesn’t get it or he doesn’t care. I’m keeping my distance because if we have a conversation it will not go pretty to say the least. At the same time, it’s not about me, and it’s not about him; it is about my dad.

The most important thing I’ve learned from this crisis about life, is that sometimes you just have to take time for yourself. Sometimes you have to unleash a scream. You have to shout, you have to punch a pillow. Let it be known how you truly feel, but do it in a way that it’s not inflicting harm onto others. Your ability to remain calm, cool and collective during a crisis can absolutely give off positive energy to others.