A Love Letter. -23

22 passed in the blink of an eye. It was a year of adventure and achievement, of high hopes and  disappointments, of blue breezes and silver storms. But really, it was a year that simply stopped being about me. 

With a global pandemic looming right outside my front door, most things that used to matter seemed to fade from view. For the first time since I moved out years ago, I went home to live with my parents and sisters for a few months. Anticipating lockdowns, there was nowhere I’d have rather been. Yet without the beloved staples of my life, I was left with so much time to sit alone and think. There were definitely moments when I’d rather not have thought at all, but as it were, I had plenty of time to consider what this past year has meant to me. 

Though it feels almost impossible to remember life before Corona, there are so many memories from this year that I don’t want to lose in the chaos. 

This year, I was all I needed, but I wasn’t all I had. 

I had my friends. I was more present than ever before, wholly devoted to being as supportive and loving as I could possibly be. I smiled as their hearts filled with joy and I held them when they broke. I listened to their secrets and their screams. I laced up their wedding dresses. I thanked all my lucky stars for the beautiful people in my life, and I thanked those beautiful people for cherishing me for who I am. We’ve been striding forwards in this insane world we live in, remembering who we used to be and thinking about who we are now. Who we want to be. 

This is my love letter to them. This is my love letter to Thanksgiving traditions and to overdue phone calls, to Ikea trips and to study sessions. My love letter to the paint parties, the dinner parties, the Taylor Swift listening parties, the power-outages in the middle of the parties and the pity parties. My love letter to the weddings, the wine festivals, the food festivals and the times we just spent all of our time together. This year would have been far less interesting without the pep talks before and the debriefs after. 

I had my family. I’ve spent weeks trying to find the right words with which to describe how much my family means to me, and I haven’t been able to. They’ve saved me, by always being there, always loving me, comforting me, guiding me. I guess words just can’t do them justice. Every word is my love letter to them. 

I had my home. There was a time when I thought I would have to move out of this apartment to get away from the ghosts that haunted it, but I changed my mind. I realized that all I needed to do was to fill it up with new light and new laughter. Make it mine again. On June 13th, on October 2nd, on December 26th. On countless occasions, I made this place my home. 

I had freedom.  The freedom to make mistakes, and regret them. The freedom to go where I wanted to when I wanted to (pre-Corona). The freedom to learn, to try and to take risks. 

I took a risk. At 22, I tried again. It took a lot of courage to be vulnerable again. He never ended up having my heart, but he held my hand. As a second man walked out of my door and out of my life, I realized how truly comfortable I am on my own. I’m not running from myself, or running towards someone else. I’m truly content to just focus on my life, and when something real appears – I’ll know it. I won’t let it pass me by. Though I’m still terrified of experiencing another earth-shattering break up like I did last year, I’m doing everything in my power to ensure that the fear does not interfere with my new beginnings.

With everything going on around the world, the last few months of my life have felt vastly insignificant. My thoughts have been focused on topics so much bigger than my life, for better or for worse. How can I feel sorry for myself for missing my last semester of university when people out there are dying? How can I mourn being away from my friends when I am so incredibly lucky to be isolated with my family? While so many are struggling to find stable ground in the unknown, how can I pity myself and overlook all of my good fortune? 

Though I spent such a long time picturing the triumphant last few months of my degree, it has taken me a surprisingly brief amount of time to accept that this story will end from afar. So long as I stay safe, and keep others safe, that’s all that matters. 

In February, after my last exam of the first semester, I decided to sit on the faculty steps in the middle of my campus. It was evening, and very few people were milling about. There was a full moon. Aware that I officially had only one semester left in my entire university experience, I had the sense that I should commit the feeling into my mind. The feeling of being a student, the feeling of belonging on that campus, of knowing my purpose and my goals so clearly. I had no idea that I wouldn’t be returning to that campus as a student, but now more than ever, I’m grateful for my natural inclination to be sentimental and focus on appreciating what I have while I have it. 

And so another huge chapter of my life is coming to a close. The end isn’t looking quite how I imagined it would. Despite that, and maybe partly because of it, I know that I’ll remember this chapter forever. What I’ll remember most, is how much stronger I am at the end than I was at the beginning. I’ll remember the nerve I needed to gather over these three years to make it through. I’m older, and I’m wiser. Everything I have learned in this degree will serve me for life, whether it be knowledge I gained from a book or from the unique experiences along the way (“I’m 9th!”). The opportunities I was afforded were truly once-in-a-lifetime. I’m grateful. For that, and for absolutely everything else.  

Another three years have gone by, another era has ended, and it’s time for a new adventure. As much as I hate goodbyes, I really love new beginnings. 

I guess this is my love letter to them. 

23 – I’m ready for you. 

~

Ella

“It was the end of a decade but the start of an age, I was screaming long live all the magic we made.” – Taylor Swift

Change My World

There’s a lot that I don’t know. I can’t even write a complete list for you because I wouldn’t know what to put on it. But throughout my entire life there have been a few things that I’ve always known, and one of them is writing. I will always have writing.

In the past half a year I’ve written more than I’ve ever written before (even though this blog doesn’t necessarily showcase it. Sorry about that), and it’s been so good for me. I have another world, separate from the real one, which lives inside of me. Worlds are created all the time, practically every time I read a book, watch a movie or binge watch a TV show. The difference is that this world is something I invented, the people living in it are characters I dreamt up, and the meaning of it is the culmination of many, many, inner conversations and turmoil.

The cool thing about my world is that I have writing. You see, I’m in the process of turning this inner world into a world accessible to other people by writing it. I’ve done this for nearly two years with my thoughts and feelings on this blog (this is where we all freak out and scream over the fact that I’ve been writing on here for two years. I mean, sheesh, I’ve had my driver’s license for a year! Remember that saga? I remember).

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I googled “freak out and scream” and of all the amusing photos, this one won

This is different though. This isn’t me sharing the thoughts I have on my life and my body and my situation. This is me sharing a story. A story I’m building, crafting, imagining, and loving. I really love it.

It’s cool to think that maybe someday, you will all read my book. Like, in an actual physical copy, with my name embossed on the front and the blurb about the author including this very blog. You’re all going to be famous!

I’ve had ideas for novels before but they were never real. This one is real. This one is serious. This one is actually happening.

On the list of things that I don’t know goes my plans for next year. I have __ months of high school left (I can’t bring myself to count). I don’t know what I’ll be doing, because stinking fibro cancels out all of my options. But I’ll always have writing. Who knows, maybe this is fate stepping in and making sure I won’t be able to move on to the next natural step so that I can sit down and write this book.

Will it change the world? Probably not.

Will it change mine? Probably.

Yours,

Ella

Song Quote:

I put my faith in me. –Long Shot, Newton Faulkner

Someone Likes Me!

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Something exciting happened, and now I get to tell you about it! Julie Ryan, who blogs over on Counting My Spoons, interviewed me for her Fibro Warrior Wednesday segment. She put it up today, and now you all get to read it!

Here’s the link:

Fibro Warrior Wednesday – May Seventh, 2014

Enjoy, and thank you very much :)

Yours truly,

Ella

Shining, Elegant, Weightless White

In an uninspired moment, I tried to think of something to write. My brain seemed to be tired of words. I’m scared fibro is taking over. I wrote this:

Like a thin sheet of aluminum foil,

Wrapped tightly around my forehead.

It’s thin,

But heavy, heavy, heavy.

Pain has turned it into a dark, somber, rusted gray.

 

I imagine white acrylic paint and a paintbrush.

I painstakingly paint every millimeter,

Over and over,

Until the layers are threefold thick.

It’s a shining, elegant, weightless white. 

 

I wave my magic wand,

Wingardium Leviosa,

And it floats before me,

As I observe it in all its glory.

 

When time comes to me,

I open up a stark white pouch,

Place the luminous pain within,

Open up my drawer,

Slide the pouch inside,

And bid it good bye.

 

Until I see you again.

Yours truly,

Ella

Song Quote:

Try and stay out of your head, I have seen you invent the damnedest things there. –Take a Bow, Greg Laswell

(My new ‘song of the week’ is waiting for you on the right side of your screen)