And I’m not dead yet. And if you’re reading this, neither are you.
Kit, another Taurus and good friend, posted about how, as we get older, birthdays become about celebrating life. The fact that someone exists and is still here. The milestones we and they have crossed and that we’re all moving steadily forward.
Today I celebrate life, after years of being afraid of this gift I’ve been given, the most precious gift of all. I celebrate my own life but I also celebrate the lives of the people I love and who have walked with me, some since I was born, others for 20 plus years, some briefly but with impact.
I celebrate as a person who has faced death several times in her life. As someone who’s been scared to carry on. In the winter of 2009, my life took a turn for the dark and scary. Each day was struggle to get out of bed and feel human. I was so terrified that leaving the house was a challenge. The grip of that depression, as I sat in a grey apartment, isolating and alone, took me further and further down. Through divorce, malaria, abuse, diagnosed with a mental illness, poverty, job and housing loss — that time of hibernation and nothingness was the worst pain I have ever felt. I couldn’t seem to shake the desperation and gripping terror.
And on Christmas Eve I had an epiphany: If I’m not going to *do* anything for my own happiness, then misery is what I will have. I called a friend and then another; people whose paths have crossed mine and for whom I am immeasurably thankful. On Christmas Day, I contacted another person in terrible pain. We started dating a few months later. I am now a mama to two odd and lovely little boys; I do volunteer work that fulfills me; I have a loving partner; I’ve met goals (like finally making it to Burning Man, last year); reunited pets; an ex-husband that I get along with again; and a multitude of talented, smart, funny, caring, kind friends. Life is still challenging but it rocks toe socks.
If I had given up when I felt over shadowed, at any of the times I have felt that life is too much to deal with, I would not have been here to meet these people, to have these positive experiences, to continue to grow and change and love and learn. I would have missed out on so much. I share my story because I know what it’s like to feel scared, small and hopeless and today I am grateful for the little voice told me to reach out on Christmas Eve. The one that wouldn’t let me give up.
Life is a gift and so today I celebrate that gift: mine, yours and everyone who I will cross paths with at some point in the future.
I have a future.