I don’t deal with change well. Actually, I would rather stay in the same place, with the same people for the rest of my life. Kind of in my own bubble. But life just doesn’t work that way. I don’t like to be pushed out of my comfort zone. It scares me to even fathom trying new things. But when I finally do, I find this new sense of identity and direction every time. It’s a feeling I can’t describe.
Before I lost my dad to cancer I had the perfect family, perfect childhood. We went on vacations, had big family dinners, parties and always spent the weekends doing things as a family. I guess you could say I was naive and oblivious to what was set to happen, which would change the course of my life, entirely.
I don’t think any 10 year old can ever understand what battling a terminal illness is like.
I was still playing with stuffed animals and barbies, holding onto my favorite red blanket any where I went.
I had that security that a lot of other kids didn’t have. My parents were happily married, had respectable jobs, we lived in a comfortable, modest townhouse and I had lots of toys and friends.
I was in paradise.
That brief point in my life is now, only remembered through the dust-stained photo albums.
Fast forward to four years later, in some ways I ache for the comfort and security I had before.
I never had to worry if we could afford to pay the bills, food on the table or a place to sleep. That luxury was given to me.
Until it wasn’t anymore.
My family struggled. Emotionally, physically, financially. But we did it together. That’s what kept me strong.
The day my dad died we stopped going out together on the weekends, we no longer ate family dinners and I couldn’t pick all the toys off the store shelf.
His funeral ate a big chunk of my mom’s savings. We were uncertain what was to come.
I had to mature and be resilient without a choice.
Since then I have always built walls around the people in my life in order to protect myself. It was my main coping mechanism when my dad I was receiving treatment and continued after he died.
I am naturally out-going and very social. But now I find having meaning relationships is something I’m yet to discover.
I’ve been so used to others walking in and out of my life. They all leave to find other people who suit them better or just get tired of me.
I struggle with anxiety. Every little thing is like a mountainous journey. I procrastinate and worry about everything. I have always been afraid of showing people who I really am.
Because it’s not easy grieving and feeling like your always alone.
So I shut myself out even when I don’t mean to. I can’t control when I’m about to break down or just snap.
I want so badly to feel control. To feel like I can cope and organize how I feel.
But right now it’s a catastrophe.
I can only find serendipity in music and dance. I am in another world. I am a different person when I’m on stage.
That’s what keeps me going.
I thrive on the memories of the relationship I had with my dad to keep me going.
So even when I lose and gain friends I know that there is that constant that I will have for the rest of my life.
And though I am fearful of where I go and what happens, I know that deep down the world is a beautiful place.
Despite tragedy, loss and change.
Because this is how I grow. Through every little victory. Because every day I look up to the sky and know that my dad and who I really am is out there floating among the clouds and I just have to try.
There is hope and possibility in every moment and every challenge you may face.
You are built to fail. But you are built to overcome.
No one can help you find your identity, only you can. Who you are is a multitude of misadventures, fails and plenty of heart break and loss.
As much I yearn for friends that I once had, that are now a distant memory and the life I used to have with the most important person in my life, I know that my life ahead of me is going to be better. Not because people tell me it is. Because I know that I have experienced alot more in fourteen years than some people experience in their lifetime and that’s what makes me who I am.
I have a lot to give to the world and that’s what I’m going to do.
Everyone has a story. Big or small. Everything matters.
You are beautiful. Who you are is so important to this world, I hope you never lose it.
Life is beautiful and never forget that you alone are good enough.
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