Ohana Means Family

Ohana Means Family

I posted this on my other page, diaryofabeautifuldisaster.com, but wanted to share with you all as well.

I’ve had ravens fluttering in my stomach all day long. Even with a pile of work on my plate, I couldn’t suppress the anxious feeling rising in my gut. In the past, I’ve always been quite steady when death presented itself. It’s a part of life, after all. However, up until now, I’ve only witnessed passing’s caused by old age and illness, never by tragedy.

Over the weekend, a box truck barreled into the back of a car carrying a father and his two young children, killing the 4-year-old son, Nicholas, and seriously injuring the father and 2-year-old daughter. The wife is a coworker of mine who was out of the country at the time of the accident and whose life will never, ever be the same. I can’t even fathom finding myself in this scenario. The what-ifs, should have, could have, and would haves are endless; I’d probably be replaying them all in my head to no end.

The truth is this could happen to any of us at any time. You read about these kinds of things but never suspect your life will be impacted by such an insurmountable tragedy. It doesn’t matter how safe of a driver you are or if you’re doing everything right. All it takes is one split second, one mistake on the part of someone else, and your life can unknowingly change.

The one thing I’ve always respected about my company is that despite having well over 50,000 employees, we are a family. Given our large scale, we have the opportunity to work in many facets of the corporation and meet an unbelievably large number of people along the way. I’ve always admired the people I’ve worked with and felt very fortunate to have their support and friendship, even if our paths crossed only for a couple months. Often times it feels as if we are a small start up rather than a cross functional conglomerate. We somehow all know the same people despite working in different departments, offices, and sometimes countries.

Today, I am reminded of the importance of this family. One of us started a GoFundMe account for this family and the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. This is by no means a panacea for losing a son. The combination of day-to-day expenses, hospital bills, and funeral costs will no doubt become burdening. The funds raised will go to support these costs while the family grieves and heals.

With time and surgeries, the father and daughter should both make full recoveries, but a family has lost an integral member, a mother has lost a child, and life has been forever complicated and altered.

Please visit the GoFundMe page for the Carroll Family to show your support and make a donation.

“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind…. or forgotten.” – Lilo and Stitch

Click here to read more about last weekend’s tragedy.

Nicholas

59. ‘Cause it makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder

59. ‘Cause it makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder

I finally understand the anxiety behind releasing a second album or a movie sequel. Expectations soar and you’re left wondering how you’re going to compete with your initial success, not that my last blog post was “initial.” I posted 57 essays prior to that one game-changing post. The others were meaningless compared to the brutal honesty I shared a couple weeks ago, and since I wrote that, I don’t want to return to writing fluff. I enjoyed baring my soul, but I wonder how much soul is left to bare? How can I top it?

There’s my issue: I’m entirely too competitive for my own good. I always search for ways to improve. I can’t face that life isn’t a steady climb upwards. It’s a rollercoaster with enormous hills and valleys. I won’t always win. (Blasphemy!) I won’t always land the job. (Gasp!) Each essay won’t be better than the last. (Say it ain’t so!) That competitive nature stems from my very core, and for better or worse, it’s who I am. Read more

40. This Princess wears running shoes

40. This Princess wears running shoes

Over a week ago I found myself roaming the Josten’s Center at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with the warm fuzzies only a running expo can supply.  It’s here you realize you ARE a runner no matter your speed, size, or age.  As of yet, I’ve only been to an expo organized by Disney so I can’t compare to the outside world, but if you haven’t been to one and you run, what are you waiting for?

On race weekend there’s no need to worry if you forget any of your running gear at home.  The expo has a replacement waiting to be purchased.  You could buy an entirely new outfit from head to toe if you wanted.  Some of my favorite brands represented here are Sparkle Athletics (sequins skirts), One More Mile (quirky quotes on apparel and accessories), Sweaty Bands (headbands), and Raw Threads (Disney themed apparel).  You can also find after race necessities such as rolling sticks to work out kinks, medal hooks to display your bling, and future race event representation. Read more

39. Strong is beautiful

39. Strong is beautiful

Strong is beautiful.  Thanks Old Navy for transferring my sentiments onto a shirt.  I have always been strong.  I don’t know my body without muscle.  I’ve been building it since before I started gymnastics at 4 years old.  It’s unfathomable for me to imagine my own arms flabby and untoned in a tank top.  Even in rare bouts of inactivity, my strength is apparent.  Seeing as I constantly run races these days, inactivity is limited and my strength only grows.

I’m proud of my strength.  Each year in school when our physical fitness tests rolled around, I was able to defeat the boys in pull-ups.  I wouldn’t stop until I had surpassed the top number.  I’m the girl who isn’t too prissy to carry heavy boxes, who helps move furniture because she can, and who thinks a workout isn’t effective unless there’s sweat involved. I engage in physical activity of any kind, even shoveling snow, because my body thrives off of movement and resistance. Read more

33. My dream ring comes in five colors – blue, yellow, black, green, and red.

33. My dream ring comes in five colors – blue, yellow, black, green, and red.

I missed my calling, one that is too late to resurrect despite my relentless dissecting of how to turn a dream into reality.  I should have been a professional athlete, an Olympian.  Absolutely nothing is more satisfying to me than the thrill of athletic competition.  It’s why I’ve bounced from sport to sport since quitting gymnastics fifteen years ago.  I crave winning.  I enjoy pushing my body to the breaking point.  Not many people do.  My most memorable accomplishments involve sports – receiving a perfect ten in gymnastics, beating an older girl in a school race when I was in first grade, and winning second place in a ski school downhill ski race in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Pure glory.

Every two years I feel a twinge of jealousy in the pit of my stomach for the athletes that walk the opening ceremonies of either Olympic games.  That could have been me gearing up for the most significant performance of my life.  Could it have though?  Could I have achieved Olympic status for any sport?  I’d like to think yes though maybe not in gymnastics (Lord knows all fearlessness fizzled with age).  I have the drive and athleticism.  I would have found my mark if I wanted it bad enough when I was younger.  Look at Lolo Jones who failed to medal in either of her summer Olympics appearances.  She’s now competing in the winter games for bobsledding.  Dreams never die. Read more