By Nadeen Hachem, MSW Candidate 2016
University of Michigan School of Social Work, Ann Arbor, MI
I don’t know how to write this. I don’t really know how to begin. I don’t know what to include. But I’m finally okay with that.
I’ve always been someone who plans every single thing in her life. It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling because one, I’m always the person others look to for the plans, and two, I’m always the person others look to for the plans. Having a need to plan and noticing most people appreciating it has, I believe, contributed to my dominant personality. I always feel obligated that it is my responsibility to lead whenever I have the opportunity to do so. Though, it seems to be both a blessing and a curse, I struggle with accepting that it’s okay to be vulnerable and not always in control.
You see, a few months ago, a tragic event happened that affected me more than I would have ever imagined. For once, life had gone so out of whack that I didn’t know what to do with myself or even worse, what to do for other people. I couldn’t imagine myself spearheading anything when a tragedy like this hit so close to home. On February 10, 2015, Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha were murdered in a cruel way by a man, no wait– a monster, who so easily took away three young peoples’ lives for the mere fact that they were different than he was; in fact, they were like me. They looked like me, they studied like me, they joked around like me, they tweeted like me, they served their communities like me, they laughed like me—they lived like me. These three college students, ages 23, 21, & 19 respectively, were murdered and I had to learn to sit with that thought even though I struggled with how to deal with it.
Though after some deep reflection and mourning, I was able to realize that these three young beauties were taken away from this world for a reason. Selfishly, I believe that the tragic deaths of Deah, Yusor, & Razan perfectly illustrated how I need to be okay with being vulnerable, not anticipating each day to go as planned, and to enjoy my life as it happens, with friends, families, and even complete strangers. I need to embrace the unpredictable moments in life, the spontaneous events, and not fear tomorrow. I need to do this for my own personal growth. I need to do this for the people around me. I need to do this for Deah, Yusor, and Razan.
I hope that this will allow other planners like myself to realize that life is too short, and needs to be embraced, as it will happen whether you’re ready for it or not. It might take some practice to step away from your urge to always have things straight and agendaed, but try it—try going to that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try without looking at the menu ahead of time. It will be okay.