I am broken. I feel nothing and two different things at once. I feel selfish, but selfless. I feel generous, but greedy. I feel like this could be the beginning or this could be the end. But beyond crossroads, I feel pain, maybe not for the first time, but I am finally perceiving it as pain. Where have I been? Where did I hide? I buried myself so deep unto myself. I suppressed feelings. I numbed myself. I fronted. I made it look easy. I learned the hard way. In the past, I’ve put myself in positions of trauma and hurt and now I am left with scars.
Scars that I never dared to reveal. Therefore, they became scars that nobody knew I had. That is why people never see me struggle, mad, sad, angry, or fail. People think I’m “lucky”, “spoiled” or someone who just gets her way. But believe me, I have cried myself to sleep on so many nights. Trying to figure out my emotions, mistakes, failures, insecurities, and planning for my future. Trying to get answers to why things happened the way it did or why it happened to me. Fighting demons I never knew existed. Reflecting on my times when I did wrong when I should’ve done right; doing right for the wrong person or at the wrong time.
Today I realized that I am strong because of those lonely nights, because of those tears that tasted so salty when it passed me, because of my past history of being abused, because of traumatic things I’ve witnessed as a child, because of past relationships and through all of those trials and tribulations… this is who I have become.
Being heartless has left me so numb and fucked up. I want to feel again. I want to trust, love, and grow. I want a new feeling. Something beyond me, something deeper than me.
I have been humbled by the situation and positions I’ve found myself in lately. At times when I have the least, I find myself unveiling this unconditional love for myself. Building this foundation for my growth. Reinventing my strength and courage to reach for a higher state of knowledge, experience, and life. I would also encourage others to take the same approach and reflect on your privileges when you feel less and have less.
Life has hit me for the first time in years. Today I realized that it is okay to not be okay. I learned that you don’t always win every battle. Frankly, you don’t have to win it all in order to win, you know? Don’t we all wish for a Miami Dolphins 72′ outcome for everything we wish for ourselves? It is just in our innate being to expect that result and when we don’t get it, we collapse. In the midst of my challenges, going face-to-face with my opponent, I did not collapse. Instead, I used my situation to allow me to see others more clearly.
I have been constrained by money like most Americans, most college students, and many others dealing with life. However, the difference is I am genuinely happy and my mindset can accomodate some plasticity. I have an amazing support system, a higher education experience, and a great job. I am grateful because my basic necessities are met. Moreover, living in my dream city, being walking distance to my work and clinical placement at Swedish and Harborview, and most importantly a debt-free, loan-free education. Priceless.
However, I see where many do not have the pleasure or privilege to say the same. As I reflected on my situation of living within a budget, I also saw my privileges clearer and the challenges of others got more sharper. As a public health student and aspiring nurse, I am taught to pick up those inequities and meet people where they are in life and help them build from there. Thus, in every unfortunate situation I find myself in, I always negate it because someone out there is dealing with the same thing, but may not have the support system, the education, or the resources to bounce back. These socio-economic disparities put vulnerable populations at more risk than they can understand. As someone who has connections to these resources, I am socially responsible to reflect within myself and to extend help where I can. The lesson here is count your blessings and appreciate situations that humble you. A flip of the ego will keep you grounded.