Unfiltered Commentary: Some things I believe

Alexandra Strausman


I believe in do-overs. I believe in second chances for those who don’t necessarily deserve them. And I believe that each person is good—even those people with the darkest of hearts are good to someone.

I believe in love. I believe the heart is more than just an organ. I believe that when love gets ripped from you, your bones deteriorate, your heart slows and this makes me believe that broken hearts aren’t just a metaphor.

But I still believe that love does not stink.

I believe that each person you meet comes into your life with a purpose and that those who are meant to stay, will. I believe in the human soul—that ever-binding commonality we have with each other that makes us care, makes us need, gives us emotion and provokes thought with the same excitement lava feels when it escapes from volcanoes after years of anticipatory boiling.

I believe that sadness storms in like clouds that form quickly, filling the sky with gray and they wait for rain, but I also believe that the sun resides not too far behind, always chasing to catch up to you in your most difficult times.

I believe there is discovery to be made behind every door and that those doors your parents or friends advise you to stay away from are just more tempting. I have learned that those advising you to keep that one door shut always seem to know better than your naïve heart, time and time again.

We learn constantly—about ourselves, about each other. We get taught lessons, after which we are able to process how our lives have been altered.

One of my favorite poets, Sarah Kay, who happened to visit the university last week, writes: “—and we didn’t grow up, we grew in, like ivy wrapping, moulding each other into perfect yins and yangs.”

By definition, the black and white sections of a yin-yang symbol represent the interactions of energies found in all things in the universe. The yin and yang balance each other and cannot live on their own—like the way a plant cannot grow without soil.

As we walk through life, we connect opposite, interdependent forces and form meaning. We give rise to nerveracking ideas, warning us that true happiness and love cannot exist without first experiencing great heartbreak. We tend to forget that good can come without first experiencing bad.

We have to dismantle the idea that life is not standing in front of you, loading lemons into baseball-pitching machines.

I believe my happiest times are those spent by the kitchen table, steam pouring off the meals in front of my roommates.

Those times when thunder rattles my house in the middle of the night and my dog finds his way to my bed, shaking before allowing himself to fall asleep in my arms.

I believe that no matter how hard we try to grow up, we will wish we could attain the happiness we see engulfed by those small bodies swinging on tattered old park swings. I believe everyone should experience unexpected happiness.

I believe that the frostbite running up my veins on top of a mountain in December makes me want to ski longer. I believe that falling down and getting hurt should be the push we need to get back up and that courage stems from those small moments when we do stand back up.

I believe that the places I want to travel will still be there to see when I finally find the time, money and independence to hop a plane. And that in this life messing up only means that next time, I’ll know better.

I believe the fact that everyone believes in something that connects us and makes us all human. I believe that every someone has a someone out there. Somewhere––wondering if they too––have a someone.

Ocean Vuong writes: “The most beautiful part of your body is where it’s headed. & remember, loneliness is still time spent with the world.”

With all the uncertainties in life, we have to remember to believe. We have to believe in a future where the storm clouds above are temporary and that it is okay to cry with the rain as it hits the ground. We have to believe that the sun is hiding––waiting for us––allowing us have a moment here and there to collect ourselves.

I believe in these small moments. I believe most on my gloomiest days when my eye catches a glare and then through the gray sky I see it. The sun breaks through and reminds us that there is so much in which to believe.

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