A little over a month ago, I was sitting in the Kyoto Gardens in London, taking in the sights, living my life, exploring London the way I wanted to. When I took these photographs, I was sat on a bench in the gardens, taking in the sights and thinking how peaceful it was to be abroad. You never know when life will turn on you and how short it can be. Today, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Washington DC with a fresh reminder with how short life can truly be.
If you’ve read the news today, you may have seen that 2 students from my college died in the attacks from Bangladesh. I knew one of them very well and spent almost every weekday for 5 months in a classroom with this person. When you see someone out and about in the world, you never think about will be the last time you see them.
I’ve been out of school for 2 months and when you hear about attacks, you never think that it will happen to someone close to you. Well today I found out how it feels. I wasn’t best friends with the victims, but the idea that I knew both of them, had class with one of them, and saw one or both of them quite frequently.
This isn’t about using someone I knew as clickbait, this is about learning how not to be afraid of the unknown. Whenever I travel alone (which happens to be quite frequently now), my parents always ask why. I put on a brave face and say that it is because I want to and that I’m not afraid, but in reality, I’m scared out of my mind. Being afraid is a natural response to what’s going on in the world today. With terrorist attacks, political unrest, mass shootings, and outspoken people on every corner, it is sometimes hard to have a bit of bravery. Today, I realized that I have to keep my head up, but it isn’t about me anymore. This time, it is for the 2 people that my school community has lost.
7 men snatched away a life of travel, laughter, exploration, and life from 2 people who were my age, who had career aspirations, wanderlust wishlists they wanted to fulfil, and friends who will dearly miss them. While I traveled around Europe, that could have just as easily have been me. I could be the person that everyone is talking about on the news, with my latest Facebook profile photo all over CNN or the AJC.
It is July 1, almost the 4th of July in the US. aka Independence Day. Independence can mean a lot of things and for me, this 4th of July is going to mean independence from fear. I can’t travel to London once every 4-5 months alone for the most part and worry myself into a fit about a bombing or a hostage situation in London when I’m having a simple afternoon tea.
I have to live my life without fear of what’s going to happen. That being said, I will be wary, but I won’t let fear rule my life. I have to live the life I want for those who cannot anymore and prove that fear doesn’t control everything I want to do with my life. My life is my life and I have to live it as such. You can read all of the life tips off of Twitter, Pinterest, or blog posts, but at the end of the day, you have to live your life and live it fearlessly.
To Abinta & Faraaz, to the other 18 souls who lost their lives, to those affected by this tragedy & other tragedies across the world every day, I write this post for you. I live my life for you now that you can’t anymore. I travel and explore and live without fear for you and in honor of you. Follow me on Bloglovin’!!! Plus I’ve got a snapchat now that you can follow by username (jordantsnap) or by the snapcode on my sidebar!!