I was born on February 9th, 2001. Twenty years later, this is me.
I am made up of all the bad, the good, the beautiful, the ugly, the crazy, and the sane moments in my life. And only now, at 20 years old, can I say I am proud of the woman I am today.
I never thought I would see 20 years old. Sixteen seemed impossible. But it wasn’t because I am writing this right now. I wouldn’t call what I conquered, “strength.” Of course I am strong as I believe all humans are. I would rather tell you that each day I would rather give up. And I am so serious. This life thing is freaking hard. Add a mental illness on top, it’s like the world is always on fire.
But then I think of the four year old girl that just wanted to put headphones on and listen to “Wake up” by Hillary Duff all day. The seven year old that would watch Wizards of Waverly place, see Selena Gomez and think “I want to be like her one day.” The nine year old dancer that cried when she got her first solo to perform at dance competitions. The twelve year old getting asked out by a boy in her class but then going home sobbing because she did not want a boyfriend right now. The fifteen year old girl in her first year of high school after girls took pictures of her changing and sent them all over the school. And the sixteen year old that just wanted the pain to go away. I am this same girl.
This all before the hospitalizations. The diagnoses. The medications to take twice a day. The depressive and manic episodes. My life only feeling like a nonstop rollercoaster ride that I wish to just get off.
I use to believe that if my child self saw me now, she wouldn’t be happy. As humans we get caught up in the life that looks good on paper rather than the life that is already within each of us.
Now, I know just how proud I would be looking at Sky at 20 years old. I may not be a dancer on broadway, but I am a kind person. I am proud of that. I may not be tall and a stick, but I know my body is beautiful because it is all mine. I may not be confident every day of my life, but I know my worth better than any person who tries to bring me down. And as I get stronger in who I am, the more and more people will envy it and try to steal my power.
Life is meaningless if you do not make your mind and soul a safe place. This year we are taking back our voice. Our power. I am so sick of mean people in this world trying to steal this power away.
My sickness will not nor ever define my life’s worth. And for the first time in my life, I am the only one who will decide how I want to live. Not someone else’s hurtful words. Not a judgement put on me. Just me.
Twenty years ago, I came to be. Four years ago I was almost gone. And now life is something I live not just survive. I am proud of myself. I am proud of you, whoever you are reading this. Life isn’t easy. If you are here, I love you.
Cheers to many more years of growing and love.