This post may be triggering. Mentions depression and suicide. Please read at your discretion.
In a month and a half, we enter a new decade. Once upon a time, 2020 sounded like a thing of the future where cars probably drove themselves, possibly flying cars? and robots checking people out at grocery stores.
I wanted to take a little bit of time and look back at how life has gone for me in the past couple of decades. It’s been quite the ride, to say the least. I am so incredibly blessed with the life I have, and the opportunities that I’ve had. Were there things I wish I could’ve done differently or could’ve gone differently? Absolutely. I have to keep telling myself that nobody leads a perfect life, hearts break, jobs are lost, people get sick, but it’s natural to react and feel all the emotions that come with each situation. It’s healthy to feel.
Something I want to be better at starting in 2020 (Actually I’m planning on starting right now because why wait?) I want to start practicing and showing my gratitude. I want to write it down and be able to look at it when I’m feeling grumpy and ungrateful. I want to be more mindful and patient with myself and others. I know these goals are attainable, I just have to be persistent.
Here we go:-
- I was 4 years old when this decade started. LOL. I honestly don’t remember much from the year 2000 other than being in kindergarten lol.
- I started playing the violin at age 5. My love for music grew even bigger after picking up the gorgeous instrument.
- Picked up a sport that has taken me on so many rides, opened many doors but has also broken my heart.
- Late 2005, I experienced something incredibly traumatic that I buried for a very long time. In all honesty, it’s still buried. I can count on one hand the people that know what happened. I am starting to process and heal from what happened but I know I still have a long way to go.
- In October 2006, we moved across the world, back “home.” It may be my parent’s home, and the country that’s stated on my passport but the country we left was all I ever knew and this transition was incredibly overwhelming and hard.
- I started High School. At this time I’ve spent a little over 2 years in this new country and have made a few friends.
- Sports becomes my best friend and a go-to place to get away from the tough moments.
- For the first time, I experience what I now know as depression. I hid it well and knew that I had to put on a front because I had “nothing to be depressed about.” I picked up horrible coping skills.
- I played in my first professional tournament (as an amateur) It was one of the best experiences of my life. I will forever be thankful for this. Even though I experienced extreme anxiety moving forward (try going back to junior and amateur tournaments with all the media and eyes on you.) Every move I made was being watched and when nobody prepares you for that, it’s overwhelming.
- I went through a time where I didn’t think I was going to make it for awhile. I felt so alone and sad but nobody understood how I could possibly be feeling that way. I was a walking, empty, numb shell.
- I graduated from High School.
- Started University as a student-athlete, 9550 miles away from home. This new beginning allowed me to come out of my shell and try again. I wasn’t “(insert label) girl” anymore. I wasn’t the “local girl with the foreign accent” anymore. I could be me.
So as I sit here and really think about how much I needed university and to get away from my new home, I can’t stop sobbing. I was 100% sure I wouldn’t make it to my 21st birthday.
- I loved the moments I got with my team and the tournaments I managed to play in. Playing on a team and for the team when you’re used to playing as an individual was so intriguing.
- 3 surgeries definitely did it for me as a collegiate athlete but it taught me many life lessons and really showed me who my true friends are.
- I graduated from college with so many wonderful memories. I also gained a new family that took me in as their own when they didn’t have to.
- (April 2019) We suffered a painful and shocking blow as a family. Dad had a stroke. We are still so thankful he’s okay and recovering.
- (August) I made the choice to defer my Masters to next year so I can be around for my parents.
- (November) Accepted to a couple other programs but having to decide which path I want to follow is proving to be difficult.
So this is where I am currently at in life. I am alive. I still get depressed. But I am learning to work through the motions. Sure it doesn’t last forever, but it sure as hell hasn’t completely gone away. (Not to sound negative and demotivating. It’s the truth.)
Making decisions isn’t easy for me because I want my loved ones to be happy too, but sometimes I need to choose what’s best for me and my future. The perfectionist in me is never happy no matter how good I try and be at something. I know regardless of what I choose to do as far as post-grad goes my parents will be supportive, I have to put my mind and heart into it and make a decision.
I am grateful for the hardship, the lessons, the opportunities, the hills and valleys that have presented in my life. I am thankful for the places I’ve seen and people I’ve met, I am thankful for the sacrifices that were made to give me the best chances.
Accepting the big move we made is STILL hard. 13 years later. I still believe we could’ve done some things differently because it would’ve most likely lead to different outcomes today. But just because one door has closed doesn’t mean another one won’t open.
All I can say is – keep knocking and the doors will open.