My normally quiet coffee shop is anything but quiet today. Maybe it’s the buzz that always comes with a new season. Maybe the sun and the blue skies serve as an invitation to get out and face the world even if it would be easier to stay in bed. 

It’s loud here. I’m surrounded by people in all stages of life. A little boy who is perfectly content with seeing how many chocolate chips he can pick out of his muffin. His grandpa who is content with watching him do just that. But for everyone here, whether young or old, quiet or loud, there seems to be a common theme surrounding us all… “Pick me. Choose me. See me. Make me feel like I matter to you.

"But isn’t that what we all crave? We all just want to know that it would be different without us. If we didn’t show up- someone would notice. And more than that- someone would miss us. But it’s more comfortable not to go there. That opens up a door to rejection, so we don’t talk about it. We carry on, ignoring the question that lingers like an elephant in the room, and we remain hopeful that we do matter.  

So even when the people around you don’t say this, know it is true- you matter and you always will. You’re needed. This space that you’re standing in would not be the same without you in it. You have impact which runs deeper than you know. You are adored. You need people, and people need you. You are always worth fighting for. You aren’t something to be sorry for. You are okay. You are enough. Always hold on to that.

Written and loved on by Anna Kate Cartwright

Should I Fight For a Life that I Might Not Want To Keep?


It’s not everyday that an eighteen year old is told they will be dead within two years. Trying to absorb this information, I felt nothing. My chest was aching, but my mind was numb to this diagnosis. A cardiologist had just exposed the stage four monster that inhabited my body, Pulmonary Hypertension. I would be a lucky survivor to say I got through these next couple of years, full of pills, surgeries, and medical bills. 
People think that when you are diagnosed with something terminal, that you automatically become a courageous fighter. You are graceful, forgiving, and at peace with your life. In reality, you’re lashing out at everyone, crying, and questioning if you should even be fighting for a life that you might not want to keep. I had no idea that this physical fight would come with a mental one as well. For a long time, I tricked myself into believing that I, myself, was a disease and not worthy to keep going.
Finally, I started seeing things from my family’s point of view, and with friends’ help, I took my first steps into my own sort of mental rehabilitation of accepting my new life. Having a disease, or battling anything, is really a state of mind over matter. When you can mentally grasp it, your body will soon follow. 

Four years later, I’ve found my way through my art, my writing, my book, my fans, and other patients who have supported me through horrendous times. Pulmonary Hypertension took so much of everything that what it did leave…it left for me to intensify. Four years: I beat my expiration date.

Physically and mentally fighting Pulmonary Hypertension, I figured out that despite my diseased lungs, I was worthy to live the life I wanted to.

That is what I have continued to do: live, and accept that I am so worth loving.

Written and loved on by Haley Lynn