Today I turn 28.
Though it doesn’t feel much different, I feel like I’ve grown up so much. Over the past year, I have experienced a multitude of complex emotions from a variety of experiences. I feel like I’ve really matured the past year and I am so grateful. Though the lessons were hard (and I’m still going through the experiences), I am thankful for the opportunity to grow past such challenging times and gain new perspective on life.
I entered a relationship in January 2017. This relationship demonstrated how easy it was to lose yourself in love; that you can forget about your priorities and self-growth because you get caught up in the need to intertwine your life with theirs. I learned a hard lesson in the dangers of being dependent on another for your happiness. It was my first relationship where I looked into the future and contemplated on a future together. We traveled together, we learned so much about each other and I think we really began to understand each other and where our individual behaviours stemmed from. Our love grew deep but our individual life pressures drove us apart. In the end, we knew that we needed to go separate ways due to competing priorities and the need to focus on ourselves. At the age of 27, I learned that love is not enough to keep two people together. Companionship, independence, respect and patience: these things help to nurture compassion within a relationship.
In June 2018, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Leading up to the diagnosis were two frightening flare ups, many tests and overwhelming fear. Though I am still battling with the idea of living with a chronic disease, I have found new appreciation for slowing down and self-love. I have learned that good days come with the bad but that still shouldn’t deter me from living my best life; whether that means staying in on a Friday night to rest or dressing up for a night out, it’s important to listen to my body to ensure I do not burn out. I have learned to say “no” more often, to take a step back and ask for help. I’ve learned the importance of a solid support system and its emotional effects it has on one’s well-being. I am so grateful to have such supportive and loving people around me.
And just last Thursday, my mum was admitted into a short-term care centre for a month while my dad is on vacation. I truly never thought it would be such a heartbreaking event–but it was. I still have a hard time feeling good about having her be there. Is it easier for everyone? Absolutely. Does it decrease the amount of stress for everyone? Of course. In September 2018, I learned that doing the right thing doesn’t mean it is an easy thing to do. My hope is that she will find comfort in being cared for by others and that she will remember that we all love her.
Needless to say, I am entering the 28th year with my heaviness in my heart but so much love in my soul. I pray that I will continue to carry these valuable lessons with me to help me get through tougher times.
I am grateful for all the people in my life who continue to make me laugh and love.