What Would I Warn My Younger Self Of?

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Dear Olivia,

You're going to travel to hell and back...literally! You're the miracle baby. Your mother experienced 4 miscarriages before you. You're going to know what it's like to overcome obstacles at a very young age. It's going to be all you know.

You're going to be bullied for having Tourette's Syndrome.

You're going to suffer from seizures for 10 years.

You're going to be diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder, making school and traditional settings extremely difficult.

You will enter high school at a 4th grade reading level. 

Oh, and you will have speech and language delay.

However, all of this is nothing compared to what you're going to face in your 20's. Your 20's will be the worst years of your life. 

You will unexpectadly lose your best friend at 23 years old, your father. It will forever change you. 

You will self medicate with alcohol because you want to escape the grief and numb the pain. 

You will fall in love with a heroin addict, who is a girl. She will be the first girl you experiment with and this will make you question your sexuality. She will be the best and worst thing that ever happens to you. Your relationship with her will destroy your relationship with your sister because your sister is scared for you and doesn't want to watch you inevitably go down a dark path. It's a happy time for your sister because she is starting a family, but you will be entering the toughest years of your life.

You will continue to remain in this toxic relationship for 5 years. You will endure so much pain, while witnessing  loved ones take their final breath and you will suffer from depression. 

You will get kicked out of college.

You will lose hope and be at the end of your rope. 

You will become so isolated and wish you would just die. You can't imagine a better life than what you've been shown. 

But little do you know, you will not only survive, you will thrive!

You will graduate college. You will publish 2 books in honor of your father. You will begin public speaking after overcoming speech and language delay. You and your mom will turn your pain into a purpose by starting your own business called Staying Sain; a resource for those who are going through tough times. You will start an LGBTQ support group because it was a group you were searching for but couldn't find. You will continue to give back to the community because it gives your life meaning.

These experiences will give you life skills you never thought you were capable of. You will be shaped by the good and the bad experiences. 

A piece of wisdom I've shared before...

It takes a long time before we learn a positive message and grow from adversity. We discover so much about ourselves we might not have ever discovered if it weren't for loss. 

Someday we’ll look back on life and understand how life events carved the person we are today.

Appreciate your struggles because it’s part of the self-discovery process. It’s what shapes us. It’s what makes us humble. It’s what makes us grateful and it’s what makes us work harder.