I wish Maddie Yates would have known that life gets better

Photo from YouTube
Some of my favorite movies, I almost turned off in the beginning when I first started watching them.

For instance, the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" took me two separate times to get through the beginning of the film because it was so strange and I was so confused. But once I got through the first half, I was in love with it. And now it is in my top 10 list of favorite movies.

No matter how much I don't like the beginning of a movie, I always try to get through it with hope that the ending will make it worth it.

The same thing with life. No matter how bad of a day I have, I trudge through with the hope that tomorrow will be better.

But Maddie Yates of Louisville, Ky. didn't agree with me.

She lived by a quote by stand-up comedian Doug Stanhope — “Life is like a movie. If you’ve sat through more than half of it and it’s sucked every second so far, it probably isn’t gonna get great right at the end and make it all worthwhile. None should blame you for walking out early.”

But I disagree wholeheartedly. This doesn't always happen in the movies. And, even more importantly, this isn't true in life.

But Yates, a student at Louisville Male High School, took this quote literally and, since she didn't like the beginning of her life, decided to end it early.

In April, Yates killed herself after posting a video on YouTube, saying, “I’m doing literally the whole world a favor. … But I love you, and I’m sorry. And I really, really love you."

Yates did not have the same perception of her life that others did. Shortly after she lost her life to suicide, one of her friends, Adam VanRude (@AVanrude) posted on Twitter, "No Maddie it wasn't a favor at all. You meant the absolute world to me."

Yates declared herself "not a good person." But this isn't true. She changed the lives of many young adults by posting videos on YouTube touting the importance of acceptance.

In one nine-minute video, she said, "Everyone gets in a dark place some time in life. But, whenever you do, just ... (know) you’re not alone I guess. When you’re in high school the only thing you can do is just accept yourself."

I wish, before she decided to kill herself, she remembered that lesson she taught to hundreds of others. I wish she would have remembered that she isn't alone either. I wish she would have realized that, just because the beginning of her life wasn't what she wanted it to be, that she had so much promise for the remainder of her life. 

If she would have decided to live, she could have touched so many more lives. No, none of us know what tomorrow may bring just like, whenever we walk into a movie theater, we don't know what the ending of the film will be like.

For me, personally, the second half of my life so far has been a lot better than the first half. I am so glad that, during the hard times, I didn't check out early because I never would have known what my life had in store for me.

And I really wish the world could have seen what life had in store for Maddie Yates too. I'm sure it would have been wonderful.

I wish she would have known, like I have learned in my life, that many times, the "ending" makes all the hard times worth it.

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5 comments

  1. what is hard and unbearable to some is no big deal to others. we each have had different life experiences... they shape us. who would think a kid with a disability given little chance to live past four would have been a journalist for 45 years and an advocate for others...you forgot to mention faith in God, Monica. I think people forget they have a purpose on this Earth... and that a Supreme Being cares. Some pain is temporary. Some is chronic. There's counseling help of all kinds. We must try and spot those in dire straights and guide them to a path toward health. jer (remind me of this when Mr. Norton dies and breaks my heart)

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  2. Ms. Drake,
    My name is Katie. I attend Louisville Male High School. I have known Maddie since freshman year....You know, I've read articles all over the web about what Maddie did....but none of them got it right. You did. Thank You. Adam spoke for all of us when he said she meant the world to him. And you understand that, and show sensitivity toward your readers, as if you know someone like me, a close friend of hers, might stumble upon this. Again, thank you, for making the world a little brighter. People like you give me hope.

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    1. Wow, Katie, thank you so much for saying that! That is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me.

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  3. Monica, thank you for sharing this perspective.

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  4. Just wanted to say thank you for writing this

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