It’s December, and I am in shorts and a tank top. Christmas is a few weeks away, I have already bought so many presents, but I am not feeling the joy of the season.
Growing up in the North, I miss experiencing different seasons. I thought that now having an endless summer would help avoid the weather mood swings: I was wrong.
High School in New York:
Summer: My favorite. The sun, the warmth, and no school! Worked a lot, but made money. Adventures with my two best friends through waterfalls and malls. My mood ~ I could usually make it through the day with a smile and laughs, but nights always came with crying for no reason.
Fall: Soccer season. Hours of practice and games. Surrounding myself with a team who didn’t really like me. Adjusting to the routine of school. Early mornings and late nights. My mood ~ disappointment in myself, lonely, and hardly sleeping.
Winter: Basketball season. Even more hours of practice. Snow, ice, and long days. Midterms and winter vacation. Family visits and lots of food. My mood ~ cold, tired, and hopeless.
Spring: Softball season. Recovering from the harsh winter. Snow would surprise us every now and then, but the flowers and birds would come around too. Bright green would replace the dead brown grass and trees. My mood ~ a little more upbeat because warmer and end of school close by; but still sad nights.
College in Florida:
All the seasons are the same. There is always sun, warmth, and school. I was hoping to achieve a more positive look, like I did in summer at home. But instead I figured out that the weather does effect my mood, but not as much as the night. And I can never escape the tired thoughts that consume me as I lay awake.
Four years ago, I told you to suck it up and take some Advil for your headache. We had practice and we needed to be ready for our first game. I needed you to play, coach couldn’t know you were in pain. You listened, but it didn’t get better. A few days later, as I climbed on the bus looking for you, I knew something was wrong. You wouldn’t be late to our first game. Soccer meant so much to you, I never met someone with so much passion and dedication. When Coach announced the news, so many emotions rushed through my body. I immediately blamed myself. If you went to the doctors sooner, maybe they would have had more control. But I told you to suck it up. I let four goals in before I pulled myself out of the game with tears covering my face.
Four years of strength and suffering. With cancer there is no escape from the treatment, the pain, the reality that life ends. You never showed that side of cancer. You never let it get a hold of your spirit. Your smile remained pure and filled with hope. You weren’t suppose to make it to the end of the season, but four seasons later your smile still lit as you joined a college team. You won homecoming queen. You danced at prom. You walked across the stage and earned your diploma. You proved all the statistics and diagnosis’s wrong. You achieved more than most in just four years. Cancer did not define you, you defined courage.
Four years later I am wordless and numb. But I promise I won’t let you down! You are my superhero. No cape or magic powers… Your smile and courage was all you needed. You have and will continue to bring light when I see only darkness. I don’t know what happens after our “life” here, but I know whatever or wherever it is: it’s more beautiful after it gained you. You gave me hope, and now I know it’s real. Hold On Pain Ends. Rest in Peace Beautiful Girl.
Life is about finding yourself and determining who you are. After nineteen years, I am still not sure! I think this is normal tho, I don’t think we will ever stop learning, growing and changing. But for now, this is what I know: I am attending college in Florida, studying Finance. I was born in New York. Upstate, far away from the city. I grew up playing soccer, basketball, and softball. My life consisted of sleep, school, practice, homework, repeat. Low grades always caused me to have panic attacks, so if I wasn’t playing, I was studying. I developed a high work ethic, time management, and dedication. But even with high academic standings and earning awards in sports, I wasn’t satisfied with myself.
My depression started freshman year of high school, but diagnosis didn’t come till the end of junior year. Hiding my feelings and crying silently became daily activities. Constantly fighting the thoughts in my head was tiring but I hardly slept. I am not sure why the feelings of hopelessness and self hatred started. An extremely tragic event never occurred, all I have is my genetics to blame. Close relatives of mine struggle with bipolar and schizophrenia, its not unlikely that my family history caused my illness. At least thats what my therapist said. In college, my depression continues, but I am learning to control my emotions better. My grades are still high, but my self esteem is low. Being alone is an obstacle I am trying to over come. I am currently pledging for the professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, something incredibly outside my comfort zone. I also work three jobs that consume parts of my life. I am thankful for the opportunities, but my busy schedule doesn’t allow for the “normal” college experience of drinking, partying, and all nighter Netflix binges.
Many people have asked me why I am so different and weird, why they never see me out, or why I am not having a good time. I don’t think I am the only one with this problem. I am not the only one that wants friends, but just can’t seem to make them. I am not the only one struggling every day to put a smile on my face. That is a goal behind this blog: I want to meet and help others like me. I want to prove we are not alone. I will share stories to connect us, opinions and ideas that you can comment on, and motivation that we can both use to keep going.