Twitter / StephAntoinette

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

RIP Ellie Potvin

Its seems entirely confusing to me how life just goes on. People die, people get sick, but around them everything goes as planned. People move on, somehow they're supposed to just keep going. Carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, without skipping a beat. I am completely baffled with this life. How I can be perfectly healthy, while an 8 year old struggles on her deathbed with cancer. I have no idea how a family can bear this pain. I know when those we love are sick we only want their pain to go away, but the thought of them leaving us is too hard to deal with. I've been following the story of an 8 year old angel here in Charlotte. Ellie Potvin struggled with cancer for two years. She died about thirty minutes ago. I sat in my bed last night and cried for her family. Nobody should ever have to go through what the Potvin's have gone through. I sit here in my office and find it incredibly irritating that while the Potvin's are dealing with their loss, others simply go on with life and worry about things that do not matter. Too may of us have no idea how incredibly hard life can be, how your life can change in an instant. Too many of us stress the small stuff, instead of realizing that we're healthy, that we have a family that loves us, and that we have it a lot better than so many others on this earth. We struggle to get that promotion or make that extra amount of money, but that will mean nothing when we are gone. There's a quote, "Its not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived". I think a lot of us need to realize this. When we leave this earth no one will care what's in your bank account, they will not ask what kind of car you drove or the square footage of your house. They will remember you for what you did to help others, and how you've inspired those around you. Today is an extremely sad day, but I know that Ellie has inspired millions. Her story will live on forever, she will teach us what truly matters in life. We'll think of her strength and her smile, and her love. We'll share her story with others, and remind ourselves that no amount of money could ever buy us health, or love, or happiness. Its time to get our priorities in order. RIP Ellie Potvin.

To read more about Ellie visit:


Thursday, June 3, 2010

So here I grad.

You start college thinking that when its all over you'll be at the right place. Right now, I'm completely lost. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted, I thought that somehow going to college would simplify everything and direct me exactly where I needed to go. Well, clearly I was misinformed.

I keep hearing people asking me what I want to do; I remember when I was little always saying, "When I grow up I want to be..." has that time come? Am I grown up? If anyone asks me that question right now, I don't have an honest answer.

Join the Peace Crops, fly to Haiti and help, go to grad school, get a job at a marketing firm, get a job at a Fashion PR agency....confusion after confusion.

I guess this isn't supposed to be easy, but I would appreciate some sort of sense of direction.

One thing I do know, I'm ready to start somewhere new. Charlotte is old news to me, a place where I've lost too many loved ones, and gotten my heart broken numerous times. Yes, there have been some good times, but a new start would be nice.

I think growing up is terrifying, its a right of passage, but it scares the hell out of me.

People get older, responsibilities get bigger. You can no longer wander around aimlessly, without a care in the world. This is now the time to start realizing that the rest of your life begins right now. The grown up life.

I often wonder where I'll be a year from now, even six months from now. Its scary not knowing where you'll life will go, but all the same exciting to see what lies ahead. I find myself worrying way to much about things that I can not control. I tend to pull myself out of situations and sit back and realize that the best things that I have experienced in my life have not been planned, its the unplanned moments that always end up being amazing.

I'm interning at a Marketing firm right now. I've only been here for a couple of days, but I have enjoyed it. I have to say I was worried in the beginning. I was afraid that I hadn't learned enough in school, that I would be completely lost here. I have proven myself wrong. I did learn a lot, and I am confident that I can do whatever work comes my way. Internships are for learning, but its comforting to know that I am prepared. That those four years of late nights and early mornings paid off.

Four years ago, if you would have asked me where I saw myself in four would not have been here. Expect the unexpected.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it's comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart... and if you're very lucky, a plane ride away”

You know that moment when you meet someone and the term "separated at birth" makes sense?

Tonight I'm thinking about my best friend. How I wish that others out there would be as lucky as me to have found someone who understands me completely. These things are never planned, they just happen. Like every other wonderful instance that has occurred in my life, there was never any planning involved.

I spoke with her tonight, and I truly miss her. She lives miles and miles away, and there are times when a phone call just isn't enough. I realize I must never be selfish, I am lucky enough to have found someone like her. My whole life I have been wondering what a best friend is. Asking myself the very question over and over whenever I think I have found a real friend. But after meeting my real best friend, I realized that those others were simply bumps in the road, obstacles that made me stronger and led me to this.

The presence of a real friend is a feeling too large for words. Even if words are not exchanged, there is no awkward feeling, the whole world makes sense. We could sit for hours without saying a word, and be completely satisfied with our day. We laugh together, but I think we cry even more. The disappointments of life are what lead you to recognize the fact that without a shoulder to lean on, it would get very tricky. Although thousands of miles separate us, I know that we are forever bonded. That nothing can break us apart.

Life's bittersweet like that; I find a best friend and then we are forced to move apart. Its like nothing will ever be completely perfect. Like these obstacles that lie between us are what make it all worthwhile. If something was extremely easy, we would never understand exactly how much it was truly worth. And I completely understand this. Too many of us take people for granted. We use people, we hurt people, and we easily dispose of them. We build walls in order to not get attached, we make up lies, we cheat, we lie to ourselves. We run away from tough situations, and at times of great crisis we turn away. We only deserve the things we work hard for, the friendships we put effort in. Everything we have, we have earned.

So many people lose their way. They get caught up in things that don't matter. They surround themselves with expensive things, and change the channel when they see news of another tragedy. In their minds they have done nothing wrong, they have worked hard for their belongings and deserve everything they have. But they have forgotten what truly matters. They have forgotten that they could lose everything tomorrow. They have forgotten that money can't buy health, or love, or friendship.

Before I stray too far off topic, I wish to remind everyone to appreciate your friends. To treat others exactly how you would like to be treated. To cherish those moments that you have with each other. Those moments that could so easily be taken away from you. Sometimes I miss my best friend so much it hurts; there's times when I need her to be here to tell me that everything will be okay. But nights like tonight make me realize that although she's not here, she is a phone call away, and a plane ride away. And after all we've gone through together, I am anxious to see what the future holds. I know she'll always be there, and thats what matter most.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

John Lennon once said," Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans". I find myself having to stop for a minute and remember this quote. Lately I've been extremely busy with school and work, and I've been very stressed with the whole aspect of making plans. I have one more trimester left in college, and then I have no idea what will happen next. I keep trying to make plans for myself. Make sure I end up where I think I belong. But the truth of the matter is, I will most likely end up somewhere I could have never imagined. Somewhere that fits me perfectly, somewhere new and refreshing. And I'll have some sort of master plan, and it will ultimately be thrown away. No matter how hard we try, we can not plan out our lives. We may have an idea of how we wish for our life to be, but we can not foresee into our future. Our lives come together little by little. At times they make absolutely no sense at all, but in the end I know that everything will have a purpose. I'm only 21 years old, and I can already look back on my life and find meaning in a lot of things. There were instances when I felt so incredibly happy, like i truly belonged at the place and in that situation forever. Whenever an instance like this got shattered, I was upset, disappointed, lost...but now I realize exactly why things occurred the way they did. We all need to remind ourselves that our future will not turn out as we had planned, so just enjoy the ride. Take every situation and make the very best of it. And realize that if you are not happy at that moment, it will certainly all make sense in the end. And like they say...if it doesn't make sense, its not the end.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Why are we here, and where do we go, and how come it's so hard?"

These lyrics to a popular song could easily describe what is going on in my mind at this very moment. It is not that I am regretting life or anything, I am currently thinking about others. The earthquake in Haiti has devastated all of us, yet some Americans feel that we should be more focused on our own country and victims from Katrina still need our help. I feel that this is a fair argument, and I do not wish to argue with others about issues such as these. However, my mother has spoken to a close friend who went to help in Haiti as well as Katrina, and she told my mother that Haiti is a nightmare. She thought Katrina was bad, and she had no idea what Haiti would bring. Victims screaming in the streets due to critical amputations done without any anesthesia, babies crying in the streets without a parent to ease their pain, mass graves with those forgotten buried with hundreds of others. So I always ask myself "How come it's so hard?" Why must these people suffer? Haven't they suffered enough? Why do bad things happen to good people? To innocent people. These people who have been fortunate enough to survive the quake are now homeless, they have no idea what their future holds. Their fight is not over yet, there is still a risk of infection, dehydration, aftershocks... They live in the moment knowing that their lives could be taken in any instant. But why? Why are there children sleeping alone at night? Why are there people without limbs? Without food? Without shelter? Without hope? This makes me so angry at times, these people will grow up with nightmares. With vanished relatives, no time to say good bye. They will feel empty inside, like the life has been sucked out of them. Their homes destroyed, forced to sleep on the streets. Their country in ruins. Their churches, their schools, their Royal Palace....dust. This world is so cruel, so misunderstood, so confusing. It makes me open my eyes and open my heart. It makes me realize that I am extremely lucky. That I should never complain, I should never feel the need to want more. I am healthy, my family is alive, there will be food at the table this evening, and tonight I will have a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. Those in Haiti are not so lucky. Their hearts are hurting more than anyone could ever imagine. They have completely lost their way. They have imagines engraved in their minds that they will never be able to escape. They have seen dead bodies, they have seen orphaned children, they have heard the cries of those in pain and the screams of those in agony. All while I sit here typing on my laptop with no immediate worry or pain. These moments are what make me stronger, they make me want to help and change my ways. They make me realize that if I could change one life, or make one person smile, I will be a better person for that. At times we get away from ourselves, but we need to focus on what truly matters in this life. Love others, cherish memories, and live like today is your last day.