I think everyone at work just assumes I’m hungover today, because I’ve done it a couple of times and that’s usually their excuse when they’re mentally distant and out of it.

But I’m not hungover. I haven’t been hungover at work in awhile because I realized that wine isn’t going to solve any of my problems. No, today my heart is heavy.

My heart is heavy because I found out this morning that someone I went to high school with died. And even though I wasn’t incredibly close to him, it’s still jarring to me. He’s not the first that I’ve heard has left us, but each time always strikes a realization into me: life is really fucking short.

We graduated high school thinking we’d see each other in ten years. We graduated with big dreams about how great our lives were going to be. We graduated hoping we’d be able to leave our shitty hometown and never look back.

Nobody tells you that people are going to die before they turn 30. Nobody tells you that car accidents are going to snuff out the lives of the people you once sat next to in class. Nobody tells you that the fact that you get to make it to another birthday is a gift.

And I know, this is all part of life. People die before twenty, before ten. As someone who has endured her fair share of traumatic events, I’ve been lucky that death has not been one of them. This is not something I’m used to.

Don’t get me wrong. This sudden, painful reminder of the fragility of life doesn’t snap me out of my depression. I didn’t walk into work with a spring in my step and a new found love for life.

I feel like a prisoner to my job. I desperately miss living in the same town as my two best friends. The appeal of the newness of living in St. Louis has worn off and I want to pack up and go back to where I’m happy but I can’t because money.

I’m not doing so well.

But I’m alive.

And I think at this point, I’d rather be alive with depression, struggling, and have the opportunity to figure things out, than to not be alive at all.

Rest in Peace, Dakota.