I turned twenty about a week ago, and it’s taken me about that long to formulate any kind of coherent thought on the milestone. For a while, I honestly wasn’t sure that I would ever see this day. Over the past five years, my life has taken drastic turns countless times and thrown scenarios at me that I hadn’t even known could exist. Every time that I didn’t know how to tolerate the situation around me, or whether it even could be tolerable, I found a way to work through it. Every time that life felt a little bit too tough to handle, I proved to myself that I could be tougher. For a long time, crises seemed to keep piling up incessantly and I wondered when life would allow me to finally rest.
The past few years have not come without their scars, both physical and emotional. After all, no warrior leaves a battle unscathed (as much as I dislike the warrior imagery when it comes to chronic illness, it has got a certain powerful feel to it). I still struggle with remnants of the past; experiences which haunt me and control some of my actions to this day. I don’t know that the trauma of this journey will ever quite leave me, to be honest.
These days, I’m doing better, better than I ever could have imagined. I have friends, hobbies, plans for the future and independence. I have energy to pursue creative projects and hone new skills, as well as rediscover old favourites. I can climb, and I can make music. I can write, and I can take photos of my friends and family. I can appreciate the life around me, and work to capture it’s beauty.
Ages fifteen to twenty were beautiful, difficult, draining, exhausting, and motivating. They showed me just how strong the human spirit really is; just how strong my spirit really is. The past five years have been a wild ride, but I cannot wait to see what the next five bring.