two years ago today i was in a new city, without my family for the first time, and i was breaking. a traumatic experience left me with no friends, the onset of PTSD, and a crippling, life-annihilating depression.

a year ago today i was grieving the loss of my identity, the death of my best friend, the sickness of my godmother, and struggling to cope with my new (and very extreme) mental illness.

but today? today i am new. today i have finished my first week at a new university. today i feel reborn.

i have purpose, now. i’m (technically) a sophomore at seattle pacific university, majoring in exercise science with a minor in psychology. i will be attending grad school to get a master’s in occupational therapy so i can work with kids with a variety of physical and mental disabilities.

i have a smile, now. months of extensive therapy helped me regain my trust in the world. though socializing isn’t necessarily easy, it no longer terrifies me. i talk and smile and laugh as if two years ago i wasn’t praying i would wake up dead.

i am new, now. no one on this campus knows about my past. they don’t know about the loss, the pain, the constant upward battle. all they see is what i want them to see. i have been blessed with an amazing opportunity to re-write my story. i have a clean slate, and fully intend on using it. at seattle pacific i am able to separate myself from my mental illness; it is no longer part of my identity. that part of my story is no longer at the forefront of my mind.

i have hope, now. i have faith that my life played out the way it did so that i would end up where i am today. i have hope that on this campus i will make the connections i was devoid of at gonzaga. i have hope that here i can build a community of supportive and like-minded individuals. i have hope that i can be happy here.

writing from my desk, in my new dorm, with the sounds of the city playing in the background, i feel like i’m in a dream. if you had told me two years ago today that i would beĀ here, i would’ve said you were crazy.

but the universe works in mysterious ways, and for that i will be forever grateful.

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