Today, Tomorrow And Every Day To Come

Who am I to let the unkindness of someone so insignificant to my life determine my self worth?

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt as though you did your best and it still was not enough? That day in and day out you worked hard for a goal that just was not in sight? I feel as though every day we are faced with obstacles – ones that constantly challenge us to be the best version of ourselves. I think about good days and the bad days and the ones in between. I recall the times where kindness played a major role in the overall atmosphere of the situation and ask myself, who am I to be unkind?

As the sun sets this evening we begin Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. As this year comes to an end my mind races trying to gather the good and bad memories of this past year with hope that this upcoming year will be better. From unfortunate working situations and upset to some of the best days with even better people. I see myself in a light that is unlike the Courtney of the past. This time around I see the endless possibilities  of the beautiful world in which we live.

Going into a new year, I can’t help but to be thankful for the opportunity of starting fresh, not just today, but every day. From the second we close our eyes at night to the moment we open them the following morning, we have given our mind and heart the chance to let go, move forward and be the person that we want to be (how cool is that?).

Every single day we have the opportunity to ask ourselves if we are going to hold a grudge that only allows us to carry the burden of unfortunate situations of the past or are we going to breathe and understand the lesson behind the situation then let it go and move forward? The choice is ours, every single day.

The reality of growing up is understanding and accepting these 4 principles:

  1. Not every one is going to be kind to you — but that doesn’t mean you can’t be kind to them.
  2. Not everyone cares about you the way that you care about yourself — and that is okay because you probably don’t care about them as much as you care about yourself and that is completely fine!
  3. Not everyone has the same heart as you — don’t discredit them, everyone has their own obstacles that have made them who they are, remain kind…maybe they need it more than you know.
  4. Not everyone is going to choose you — So why not choose yourself?

The roller coaster of adulthood has caused me many sleepless nights, tears and stress but that has not stopped me for aiming for my true purpose (whatever that may be) with a full, open and kind heart. I see my failures as a learning experience and a chance to come back better than before. I see my failures as the wrong place at the right (or wrong) time and it is only a matter of time before it becomes the perfect place at the perfect time.

Today I woke up. Today I chose to let go of the people who have done me wrong. Today I choose to be the Courtney Alexa DeYoung that I know I have the ability to be. But most importantly, I remembered to always choose kindness – today, tomorrow and every day to come.

L’shanah Tova – may this year be filled with kindness 🙂



The Goodbye I Will Never Accept

You do not know true heart break until you have lost your best friend.

Life moves fast; I run out the door, late for a meeting that I didn’t remember I had, shouting bye to my family as your picture sits on the table. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of us smiling. Life was simple then. We always used to talk about how weird it was to grow up but how we would tell our children the stories of our childhood, the story of how we became best friends. We would laugh at the days that we thought we were invincible. Invincible, quite the word, huh? You were bigger than life and always had the answers to the questions nobody wanted to ask, you were one in a million.

You don’t expect the last conversation to be the last conversation. You don’t expect the last text to be the last text. You don’t expect to lose your best friend when you’re 21. Nobody prepares you for the heartbreak that comes with the phone call that your best friend has died.

I am 23 now. I graduated college, I have been in and out of love about 73 times a day with people I won’t remember a year from now – but you, you I will always remember. So cheers to your laugh, your smile, your smart mouth, the boy you were and the man you would have become – you are truly missed, every second of every day.

To all the people who never got to say goodbye, you’re not alone. To all the angels who went to heaven too soon – keep resting easy. This one is for you.

How Not Getting A Job After College Became A Blessing

I have always been a girl with a plan and when the plans changed I had a thought out reason why I was shifting directions. When I decided to go to the University of Arizona, I never second-guessed my choice and to this day it was the greatest decision of my life. Throughout senior year I jumped from wanting to get a job to wanting to go to graduate school and whenever I thought I figured it out, it changed. Every time my plans changed my grandparents told me not to worry about it because everything would work out exactly how they should and for whatever reason that was enough for my anxiety.

My grandparents have always been my voice of reason because they raised me since I was an infant. Between the bad days and the good days, they were always on my side. After graduation I moved home which I saw as my first of many blessings. Many people whom I attended college with would explain how their parents did not want them back home post graduation so knowing the doors at my childhood home remained wide open gave me enough confidence in my decision that timing would help me get where I needed to be, when I was fully ready.

I took a job at a local summer camp where I spent my days with four-year-old angels. Every day I would come home and tell my grandparents the stories that made up my day and we would laugh and smile at the dinner table and I truly believed everything was okay.

Once camp ended I knew it was time to get down to business with figuring out my future until one night, my grandfather fell. Now, this is not the first time he fell but at 3:00 AM, my grandmother, uncle and I got in the car with my grandfather and took him to the hospital an hour away. We talked, we laughed and despite my grandfathers bruised condition, he was in good spirits.

Days passed and my grandmother and I were back and fourth from the hospital and one day, I noticed my grandmother was too tired to go up so I volunteered to go alone. That was the day that I saw a man I did not recognize, that was not my happy go-lucky pop that I saw days prior. As the doctor began reading the numbers off, I felt myself get hot and the tears started to form, what was happening? The heart medicine was all off; the guy lying in front of me was not my grandfather. I lost it.

After a few weeks, things started to improve, he was moved to a rehabilitation facility where he tried to regain his strength, he tried eating again, his numbers were going in the right direction, we saw the light in his bright blue eyes. A month passed and there were some bad days followed by some good days followed by some confusing days. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, I got calls for job interviews that I was excited to go to only to have to cancel them because something new was going on with my grandfather. My grandfather went to 5 different facilities, my car gained thousands of miles and after seventy days, I lost my best friend.

If there ever was a good time for something bad to happen, this was the time. I never thought I would be thankful for the jobs I did not get or the opportunities I passed up on, I never thought I would say goodbye to my best friend, my father figure for 22 years, the man I loved the most-but it happened.

I was never one to believe in blessings in disguise but how could I not believe in something so real. How could I not be grateful for the final seventy days of hand holding, stories, laughs and even tears that I got to share with you. The stigma associated with post graduation life is one that could make any college student anxious but I come to believe that the time comes and rushing into something that does not make you happy is not something I would wish on anyone. I have come to value living in the moment and understanding that even on the worst day of your life, some of the best days are not too far-gone. I would not trade the time spent with my grandfather for the most ideal job in the entire world because I am who I am, because of him and for that, I am eternally grateful.