I was 13 years old living in California with my Grandmother and Motherly. It would be the only time I would ever have a tan. I was a developing teenager and eager to flaunt my stuff. I wore bikinis, makeup and flirted with all the boys in the neighborhood. I went to the beach, amusement parks and Las Vegas on the weekends. At school I was badly bullied. Inside I was reeling from abuse that occurred only three years prior. No one knew.
10 Years Ago . . .
I was 18 years old living in New Mexico. I was an "adult" and recently evicted from Motherly's home. I was in a rough patch when it came to boyfriends and I turned away from "the one" and fell for the "wrong one" all too often. I worked at McDonalds and spent so much effort trying to find out who I was. I had my heart broken too many times, and I broke too many hearts myself. I painted and wrote poetry and made lots of mistakes to learn from.
5 Years Ago . . .
I was 23 years old and a married woman of four years. Happily married to "the one" and recently graduated from college. Working as a health editor for an online woman's media group, my own health problems were beginning to crush me. I crumbled under stress and hid my mental illness from everyone, blaming myself for things that were out of my control.
3 Years Ago . . .
I was 25 and broken. Overworked and overstressed, I fell to pieces when one more straw was too much. Scared and scarred, I turned to my blog for comfort and unleashed a tidal wave of truth about my depression, anxiety and OCD. Because of a growing agoraphobia I spent over a year locked up and afraid of the world around me.
1 Year Ago . . .
I was 27 years old and healing. Recovering from my mental breakdown and conquering my fears, I found faith in myself again. I also found faith in God, friends and family. I developed a passion for beauty and used it to come out of my shell. I began healing the past and looking toward the future, and doing so I began looking at my health from a different point of view.
The Past Year . . .
28 years old, I found beauty in the awkward. I stopped thinking about what others thought about me and started doing what made me happy. In doing so, I tried to be an advocate for others who understand the darkness and the pain. I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. I got answers about my health and began building knowledge to plan for the future. I put to rest many pains of the past, and realised that some will stay with me forever. But I carry on.
Yesterday I . . . Celebrated the little changes that have brought me to a better place in life.
Today I . . . Will embrace a new year with new possibilities and new challenges to overcome.
Tomorrow I . . . Will take small steps on my path to progression, because one small step forward is still moving forward.
The Day After Tomorrow I . . . Could actually fall back a little, have a bad day, but that's okay. Because bad days happen.
In a Year I . . . Hope to still be myself, but a better, stronger, more kind and loving version of that person. I hope to still embrace the awkwardly beautiful. I hope to be healthier, wealthier and wiser. I hope to live each day with love, and never fear to follow my dreams.