Emily Blair

Emily Blair

What is a cannonball moment? A cannonball moment is a moment in which your eyes are opened to see the world in a new light. Seeing the world in a new light doesn’t always mean seeing good, happy, rosy colored things. Sometimes it means seeing the world in a light that is darker, dimmer, harsher. That’s reality. We all have to face those moments of clouds moving in around us and changing our viewpoint from one of extreme brightness to one of dimness and hopelessness. 

The thing we sometimes forget is that those clouds don’t cover just us. From our perspective, everyone else is experiencing sunshine and rainbows, while we’re trapped beneath a cumulonimbus cloud ready to release bucket loads of rain and strike us down with lightening. Everyone else is content and satisfied, while we feel alone, hopeless, lost, and confused. 

But how are we supposed to know if someone else is trapped beneath the rain cloud too unless we speak up? How are we supposed to know that someone feels lost and alone when their face says they feel content and satisfied? That is my cannonball moment: the realization that outward appearances don’t always dictate realities. A moment when my eyes were opened to the harsh realities of feeling lost and alone and the consequences that leads to if we don’t take action. 

This video shows a talk I gave at my college campus, Loyola University of Chicago. My speech is of a time I lost a friend to suicide and how that transformed my perspective on mental health in the world around us.


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