It has taken me four years to figure this out.If we live long enough, we all will experience this.Don’t ever predetermine how you think that you should feel on an anniversary of a tragic event in your life, such as a death of a loved one, or on a holiday after such an event.Each year starts out with 365 days, and I will be damned if I am giving up even one of them to misery.
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It has taken me four years to figure this out.If we live long enough, we all will experience this.Don’t ever predetermine how you think that you should feel on an anniversary of a tragic event in your life, such as a death of a loved one, or on a holiday after such an event.Each year starts out with 365 days, and I will be damned if I am giving up even one of them to misery.

-JohnA Passaro

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A few years ago I spent Christmas and New Years alone. No family. No friends. No gifts. A little tree with some lights on it. A small Christmas dinner (in a can). Far from home but with a lot of good memories of it. I didn't feel too sad because I knew things would change for the better because I knew I would change them for the better. It was all up to me, not fate, or luck (although understand that those are big players in this game too). If I didn't like where I was at that moment I couldn't feel sorry myself and blame someone else, play the victim. I was the one who put myself there and I knew I was the one that had to change. So I did. See, misery is never very far away from us (it lurks around every dark corner) but neither is joy. You've got to roll with that black horse when it visits, ride that bitch out if you can but you've got to enjoy the hell out of the other too, when it chances to come your way. Above all, you've got to recognize joy when it shows up to dance with you and, sorry, that's not nearly as easy as it sounds. You've got to fight tooth and nail in this life to try and be as happy as you can with the circumstances you've been given. You've got to fight with every inch of your being for that and grit your teeth and stick out your chin while you're doing it too because although without a doubt it's the right fight to be in, it's going to be hard sometimes. So hard that maybe you'll be blind to everything else. Along the way however, always remember one thing: even though there are people out there in the world who will take the heart right out of you...there are those who will put it right back in again (let them). Learn to recognize who they are because that's something really worth knowing. But it's up to you in the end. It's up to you to embrace the wonders in this life and to deny the darkness (and there are plenty of both). Be strong, be brave, be kind, be noble and above all, slay your dragons and keep on moving. Don't stop. And finally, even if happiness forgets you for a little while, never completely forget about it. It's there waiting for the other to pass. Even in your darkest hour don't ever doubt that for a second.

-Noel James Riggs

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Pudge/Colonel: "I am sorry that I have not talked to you before. I am not staying for graduation. I leave for Japan tomorrow morning. For a long time, I was mad at you. The way you cut me out of everything hurt me, and so I kept what I knew to myself. But then even after I wasn't mad anymore, I still didn't say anything, and I don't even really know why. Pudge had that kiss, I guess. And I had this secret. You've mostly figured this out, but the truth is that I saw her that night, I'd stayed up late with Lara and some people, and then I was falling asleep and I heard her crying outside my back window. It was like 3:15 that morning, maybe, amd I walked out there and saw her walking through the soccer field. I tried to talk to her, but she was in a hurry. She told me that her mother was dead eight years that day, and that she always put flowers on her mother's grave on the anniversary but she forgot that year. She was out there looking for flowers, but it was too early-too wintry. That's how I knew about January 10. I still have no idea whether it was suicide. She was so sad, and I didn't know what to say or do. I think she counted on me to be the one person who would always say and do the right things to help her, but I couldn"t. I just thought she was looking for flowers. I didn't know she was going to go. She was drunk just trashed drunk, and I really didn't think she would drive or anything. I thought she would just cry herself to sleep and then drive to visit her mom the next day or something. She walked away, and then I heard a car start. I don't know what I was thinking. So I let her go too. And I'm sorry. I know you loved her. It was hard not to." Takumi

-John Green

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