If I could go back to the 15 year old version of myself, the most important thing I could ever tell her, is that “everything is going to be ok.”
After several years of illness and death, unmentionable treatment and pain for my entire family, it was just impossible to make sense of the emotions I was trying to balance, and I just needed someone to tell me that everything I was feeling was normal, and justified. And maybe it wouldn’t ever completely go away, but rather swell and wane in waves for the rest of my life, and that, actually, was going to be ok too.
For me, its taken 15 additional years, to finally come to a place where I am actually genuinely, wholeheartedly, deeply convinced that everything that I was feeling IS and WAS ok.
In fact, as it turns out, there are a lot of people who have probably felt (and are probably still feeling) all of those same feelings. I love that I have finally reached a place in my journey where the person that acceptance came from is me, and I love even more that I have opportunities to share that acceptance with you.
From my mother’s original diagnosis when I was 9, ’till my journey brought me to Massachusetts, I have felt anger, sadness, guilt, anguish, regret, abandonment, hatred, fear, nostalgia, love, and appreciation. All of those things, balanced in my tiny little body have taken on different shapes in my adult life – the ones toward the end of the list have gotten a whole lot bigger, and the ones towards the beginning have each had their own thread intricately woven into my tapestry.
I feel so incredibly lucky to be alive, to be able to use some of the emotions I’ve collected on my journey to finally know that no matter what happens, ‘everything is going to be ok.’
Life doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but at 29 (yay! a new year!), I am more loved and accepted and nurtured and driven than I’ve ever been before. It took a lot of external reminders of that to get me to a place where I was ready to accept it, and I was ready to turn it inward, to love and accept and nurture myself.
As a biologist, I’ve got to tell you that it is a phenomenal miracle that each of us are alive. We are made up of the tiniest, most complicated pieces, working in the most complicated (though perhaps simple if we could find the right perspective) ways to build actual living beings, capable of emotions and love and a life.
Since I’ve only got one, I thought I’d take this time to share how phenomenally lucky, complex, and remarkably ok each of us are.