New Years Eve advocates fresh starts through the notion of resolutions. Relationships that go awry lead to new beginnings. Children, amidst their innocence, experience a need for manipulating life, and do so in the form of “do-over’s”, and “backsies.” Because of the many trials, tribulations, setbacks, and mistakes endured in life, if given the opportunity, most would prefer to make wrongs “right” or to make things better by living their lives over again.
My first chance to “begin again” came when I was 14 years old. While others my age took pleasure in being teenagers, I took on responsibility of adulthood. I masqueraded as an emancipated minor and moved into my first apartment two weeks before my fifteenth birthday. Up to that point, I experienced regular displacement, was a victim of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, and thought it was quite unfair to be forced to live. After that point, I experienced no less. Because I was on my own, the manipulability of life was easier; therefore, I could “start-over” whenever it pleased me to do so. When something became unbearable, I would drop everything and move – oftentimes taking nothing but myself. After years of running, I could run no more. I was pregnant, and wanted to ensure my child’s zeal for life was authentic. For that reason, I turned to church. There, I learned of the only avenue in which one can truly “begin again.” through reconciliation with God.
After the decision to accept God into my heart, I thought life would miraculously be without issue; it wasn’t-I still cried and still had problems. After the decision to accept His word and will for my life, my breakthrough came. I discovered that walking under God’s care wasn’t about changing what I went through, but about changing how I went through it. It was at that point I realized I had spent all these years trying to change life, when life was supposed to change me.
This is my belief: Life should be lived as is, with no “take-backs,” no “I wish I haddas,” and no “do-over’s.” The undesirables of life: trials, tribulations, setbacks and mistakes have purpose. They carry with them teachable moments in which something valuable can be learned. Depression brought me unhappiness, but I take from this unhappiness, uncircumstantial joy. From abuse came pain, from that pain I learned of empathy. And from displacement came loneliness, because of loneliness I learned to persevere.
These lessons leave me with knowing all struggles and burdens, no matter the degree of pain associated, add definition to life and hold ability to strengthen one’s sense of self. All that I have experienced yesterday has prepared me for today. And what prepares me today, gives me hope for tomorrow, thus proving life’s worthiness of being lived as is. In other words, I am who I am. But I am who I am because of what I have gone through. And this, I believe.
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