Saturday, May 30, 2020

Part of Society

I'm a white woman. This message may not be perfect but it's better to say something than stay silent. 

I don't know where to begin. Racial tensions have skyrocketed and every single news clip breaks my heart over and over again. As a white woman, I do not know their experience. I do not know what it is like to see an individual who looks like me get killed over and over again and for the killers to be set free. I cannot really fathom what that is like.

It is not their problem; it is our problem. When it is our problem, change occurs. Everybody is somebody to someone. George Floyd was a basketball player, a college athlete, a gentle giant, and of course, a father. That is what an entire community lost and will never get back. Mr. Floyd represents countless other individuals of color that have been killed from police brutality including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the list is devastatingly long.

My dear friend, Kevin D'agostino passed away from Cystic Fibrosis. I am grieving a personal loss as well as trying to understand how I can use my white privilege to work towards a more just society. Kevin is not here because science isn't moving fast enough; George Floyd is not here because society isn't moving fast enough. We're all part of society; we can all take action and do better.

In Solidarity,
Hannah

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Good News and the Bad News

I'll start with the good news. I am the student speaker for the commissioning ceremony for my department. The evening before graduation my department gets together and celebrates our hard work. The graduating class chooses a speaker to reflect on their journey at Loyola. I am thrilled and incredibly humbled that the class of 2020 chose me. I've dreamed of speaking on behalf of my class my whole life and it's coming true. That's the good news.

The bad news is it is all going to be on Zoom. I love gatherings, they mark the passage of time. Time is a thief. We pause for big events are because these events are milestones of life. I genuinely was looking forward to seeing everyone I loved; not on a screen but in person. It's in our nature to want to come together and that has been taken away from us. To everyone graduating this year, I feel your pain, however, this is temporary and I know our generation will be more creative, thoughtful, and empathetic because of this crisis.

I know I grieve a loss that is temporary. Some of you may have lost a loved one and for that I am deeply sorry. Some of you have been alone for two months and I can't imagine how much you just want to be with other people. For all essential workers, thank you for your sacrifice. We owe you so much. 

And to Dr. Fauci, a fellow Loyola graduate, you exemplify leadership at its best in the very worst of times!  

Yours Truly, 
Hannah!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

This is Hard

Well, these are hard times. There is no sugar coating it. It is April 12th and throughout these weeks, I've gotten some good advice.

  • Don't feel pressured to learn a new skill. We are going through a global crisis. It's okay not to come out of this as a yoga expert. Give yourself a break! I found this advice on https://www.upworthy.com/coronavirus-productivity-motivation-myths-dangers

  • One of my mentors encouraged me to make peace with it. I'm still trying but it's hard. I get energy from being around people. I love going to Easter Seals, my physical therapy place and seeing people I love. Same with church, Loyola, Starbucks, etc. I find a lot of purpose in checking in with people and not doing it on a daily basis has been challenging. Some days, I'm great about calling, some days not so much. If I have a goal, that would be it: to call someone I wouldn't necessarily call every day of quarantine.
 
  • Spend time with community. For example, my Bible study meets once a month and I suggested we meet on a Sunday night and three weeks later, we are doing it every week. If you want to gather, others do too!
 
  • It's okay to have a good cry. This is hard!  Thank you to our health care workers, grocery store employees, mail carriers, and everyone on the front lines. You're what this country is all about! 
 I hope this message greets you with good health. This country has a long road ahead but if we face it with hope, it'll be a lot easier. Take a deep breath, hunker down, and spread love.

With Love,
Hannah!

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Deatra


Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at my professor's memorial. Here's what I said:



I never wanted to give this speech. Deatra taught me that I could make being a speaker a career and every single speech is a joy, but this is the speech I never wanted to deliver. My love and admiration go beyond the confines of the written word. I’ll start at the beginning because that is where all stories start.

I went in to her first advising meeting not prepared. After about three minutes, she told me to come back when I was ready. See, my first advisor registered for me. Deatra, on the other hand, did not see a reason to treat me differently. That was the start of our relationship. I slowly wanted to impress Doctor Sullivan Morgan. I took all the classes I could take with her as the professor. I wanted to learn from someone who had challenges like mine but who also radiated wisdom and joy. My favorite part of her classes was the end, I would talk to her and learn a lot about how I wanted to live my life. We would slowly walk to her office and I would simply listen. Sometimes, I would have specific questions about life. These discussions led to me believing I could be a motivational speaker. If not for her, I don’t think I would be a motivational speaker.

The week before I graduated, I was in her office trying to prolong the fact that I had to go out in the world. Her office was a safe place as many of you know. Eventually, we would text back and forth. I would text her just to check in, or to tell her exciting news. I loved making her proud. That never ended, nor will it ever end.  Like many of you, I’ll continue to make her proud until I get to Heaven.
She’s great. I’m sure she got her angel wings immediately. However, we now carry the responsibility of continuing her legacy. We cannot do it alone; we need to lean on each other and carry the legacy of Dr. Deatra Sullivan Morgan out into the world.



Cherish every moment with people you love today. 

Love, 
Hannah! 

Friday, January 31, 2020

A Poem

Are You Happy?


Are you happy?
I'll be happy when I get that car.
Are you happy?
I'll be happy when I get married.
Are you happy?
I'll be happy when I have a baby. 
Are you happy?
I'll be happy when I am financially secure.
What if I told you this is as good as it gets?
Are you loving people without reservation?
What if I told you this is as good as it gets?
Are you reading good books?
What if I told you this is as good as it gets?
Are you present in the moment or constantly waiting?
What if I told you this is as good as it gets?
Are you looking into people's eyes or looking towards the future?
What if I told you this is as good as it gets?
Are you happy?

This is a poem I felt like writing. I hope you enjoyed it. 


Love,
Hannah!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

All the Fuss is Over Tomorrow Morning

Gratitude explodes from within me. I can't believe I was a sophomore in college at the start of this decade. you have all been with me from the beginning; some of you joined along the way, and I have yet to meet some of you. I can't wait to see what this decade brings.

While everyone else is reflecting on social media, just remember you will forget it's a new decade in a few days. The kids will be screaming, work will be normal, you'll fall back into your bad habits, it's okay. Everyone will be normal in about twenty four hours. I never understood the whole hoopla regarding New Year's. It means you get the date wrong for three months, it means you forget the diet you started in about a week, a new year means nothing. Don't put pressure on yourself. It's not worth it. I start resolutions on my birthday. There is no pressure, no expectations, just people celebrating me and that gives me the energy to want to impose myself.

This post is free from any advice. However, I will say this: this blog has given me joy every month for twelve years. I've mourned the losses of dear friends, laughed with you, smiled with you, reconnected with some, and felt blessed every day of the twelve years I've been writing. I love each and every one of you. Please be safe tonight. And remember, all the fuss is over tomorrow morning.

 Love,
Hannah! 

June

Coming Soon!