Why I Celebrate

Today a large majority of people dress in green, wish one another “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day”, and participate in many forms of merriment. All in all, it’s a fun holiday. But March 17th is a day I celebrate for an entirely different reason.

I’m pretty open about this topic, but I realize some of you have no idea what today means for me.

This year makes it ten years. That’s a full decade everybody!
At the lovely age of 17 I was desperate for answers. Desperate for direction. Desperate for meaning. Desperate to understand what my place in the world was. As a typical teenager, I was lacking answers. As a result, I felt entirely lost, confused, and as though I didn’t have a reason to live. March 10, 2005 my parents sat down and approached me with something I had written just a few days prior on an online journal I didn’t think they knew about. It gave them reason to think I was going to end my own life. What I had written alluding to my suicide was true, I had been feeling suicidal for some time and was ready to do it. For months I hid the fact I was depressed and it became so intense I didn’t want to continue to live. My parents were concerned enough for my safety that they (against my will) admitted me to a hospitals psychiatric ward for clinical depression. I spent one week in the hospital talking with so many doctors and students in the medical field it was disgusting and annoying. After a few days though, I began to see the light. I started to understand that my life had only just begun. When I was released on March 17, I knew that every year I would reflect on what happened. For the last ten years I have not only reflected but I’ve also celebrated.
I celebrate being alive. I celebrate the good and bad times each year brings. I celebrate the fact that I am here, and as a result I make an impact on others’ lives. I celebrate the experiences I’ve had. I celebrate my life. I celebrate.

If you would have told me then that in ten years time I would have been to Europe almost ten times, driven cross-country twice, impacted thousands of lives, found my true desire of working with children and become a nanny, gone to school for early childhood education, become engaged twice and married once, let alone experience any of the other things I have… I wouldn’t have believed you.
But here I am.
Alive.

Depression and suicide are both very serious issues. If you struggle with depression, don’t think it will go away on its own or it will get better with time. Take action, talk with people, share with those closest to you what you’re thinking. There are people who love you.

Against the grain (Update!)

This post is over 8 months in the making. Rather difficult to believe it’s been that long but nonetheless, time certainly does fly!

Mid-June there was a desperate need of a move from the city into the suburbs. Rather than keeping the window treatments closed for fear of who was outside, the curtains are open to trees. Taking Ava (the dog) for a walk means fresh air and no concerns about the convicted sex offender who lives a few doors down. Night no longer brings bangs, swearing, and fights outside the window but now there is the noise of crickets. Such peace and contentedness now!

More important than a move… I am so thrilled to be able to share that my dear barista, Bruno (first mentioned here), and I have joined one another for life. We were engaged June 28, 2014 after a whirlwind day and our proposal took place via a PA system on a plane mid-flight! Yes, the proposal was caught on camera. While it had been our hope to be married in 2014, we hadn’t set any plans in stone prior to the engagement as we understood that sometimes things don’t happen when you want them to. Alas, between the two of us and our experience in planning events, exactly three months from the date of our engagement we married. I’ll share more about the rush in another post, but for now just revel in the fact we put together a wedding in such a short period of time!

For the first time in two and a half years, a semester began this January that I was not considered a full-time student. In addition to putting together a wedding in three months, the Fall semester of 2014 I managed another perfect semester wrapping up all but one class to earn my associates degree in early childhood care and education. My final class, practicum, will be completed this summer.

Such a relief to have free time and cognitive function, I found that only working as a nanny was a bit boring. Picking up a part-time job only made sense, especially when Bruno started taking classes. (Haha, yes… The first semester of our relationship I am not in classes, he starts.) With no problem I found a flexible position to teach some classes at a children’s gym while Bruno studies.

For two years now I’ve dealt with having Celiac disease and therefore have been pushed to lead a healthier life. While it could have been a challenge for me to face alone, Bruno has stood by and supported me by following a gluten-free diet as well. This is most advantageous for me because I do not have to cook any meals that contain something I’m seriously allergic to. Constantly discovering new recipes is a joy. I love that I have my own kitchen to cook any combination the comes to me. I rarely make the same meal twice because I never follow a recipe completely. Throwing in my own twist is a necessity. It is for this reason that I probably am so terrible at baking!

The life I have walked for the last few years has in no way been an easy one. There have been personal, professional, emotional, and spiritual challenges. Through it all I have pushed on and persevered. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for those closest to me, my family and friends (those near and far).

Oh life…