When I was 13 years old, at the peak of my depression, self harming so badly, just wanting to end it all, I never thought for a second that I would ever make it to 14, let alone 17.
I remember on the first day of junior year, when I got home from school, I just cried. I broke down crying of pure happiness and shock. The 13 year old in me was so proud. At that point, I just couldn’t believe it. That feeling has carried out through this year, especially.
This year – junior year – is what I like to call The Year of Change: Part 1. Growing up, this is the year that everyone kind of dreads and also talks about how important it is. It’s the one where you have to start deciding and planning your future. You have to start looking at colleges, and writing essays, and applying, and volunteering, and making sure your grades are in tip top shape.
Senior year is what I call The Year of Change: Part 2 because it’s the year where your planning and all the things you’ve spent the last 18 years preparing for, is a reality. I’m not quite there yet, but as this year begins to end, it becomes all too real.
I’m in such a weird place in my life right now. I’m in the process – a very long and tiring one at that – of redoing my room. So many people ask me why I’m redoing it and spending all this money if I’m just gonna be gone in a year, and well, I’m not really sure. I think that I’ve gotten to the point where I’m a whole different person from who I used to be and I wanted a room that really showed that.
This past weekend, I finished painting. The room that I’ve had since I was in 4th grade, is now a whole new room with a whole new identity to go with a whole new me.
Around 7th grade-ish, I decided to paint my room. I was in love with the color purple so I begged my mom to let me paint, and finally, she gave in. So we painted my room purple and boy was it as purple as it could get. It had purple curtains, sheets, walls, pillows. Basically, Barney puked in my room.
As I finished up painting it a new color, I became rather nostalgic and sad at the same time. When I finished, I just stepped back and my room felt new and refreshing. The way I see it, this room doesn’t hold any emotion, only potential for new memories and feelings and journeys. My old room, though, held so much. I went through some of the hardest things in my purple room. I went through the peak of my depression, the beginning and the end of self harming, I struggled with eating and my body image, I cried, I laughed, and I fell apart so many times.
It is the craziest thing in the world to see how far I’ve come.
In this whole process of redoing my room, I feel the need to say goodbye to who I was. This room is no longer the room of a depression, anxiety-ridden 13 year old girl. But is becoming the room of a strong, independent, ready for the future, almost 17 year old, and that’s really exciting to me.
I will never forget the person that I was, simply because she made me who I am today, but I am far from that girl. I am so ready for my future and what it has to offer, I am excited to see where I go, and loving my life so much. I am the luckiest girl to have such great people in my life.
To the girl I was, thank you. You’ve taught me so much. Not only how to be a better friend, a better person, and a stronger woman, but you taught me how to fight, how to let people in, and how to ask for help. You will always be a huge part of who I am, and I am forever grateful for the things we learned.
I don’t know that anyone understands how proud I am of myself to be sitting here and writing this post. My 17th birthday is a month and 19 days away. I never thought for a million years that I would make it this far, and the fact that I did is so astonishing to me. I couldn’t be more proud and excited. I cry often at the thought of making it to junior year. I can’t wait to be a senior.