My life is made up of multiple stories, all of which have shaped me. I could not tell you one story without bringing up another. My life is an intricate web of heartbreak, lessons, and empowerment.
I could tell you about what it was like living in Connecticut, with 11 acres if freedom. A decently sized log cabin set on a hill with rock piles and a garden and ducks roaming around to control the raging tick population. A creek close to the house that, when not dried up, had a thriving tadpole population.
I could tell you about the move from Connecticut to New Jersey. How I had to leave my bedroom decorated with horses and Disney princesses. How I had to give up my dog because we were renting. How I cried every night because I missed the house, my friends, the freedom the country seemed to have compared to the suburbs.
I could tell you about how difficult it was for me to adjust to school. How I was made to feel dumb about being homeschooled in Connecticut. How I was held back because of that. How I blamed the move on every misfortune that happened in school.
I could tell you about being diagnosed with Chron’s Disease. The loneliness that came with my diagnosis. The insecurity that no eleven year old should have. The embarrassment I felt when I opened my healthy lunch and all of the kids wrinkled their noses in disgust. The social anxiety that slowly took over my life because I didn’t think anyone would get it.
I could tell you about how I was a part of the first class at my high school. The stress of the honors courses that I was not prepared for at first. The starting of new clubs and traditions that now continue in the school. The laughter and singing that filled the halls almost constantly. The joking and getting off topic with the extremely patient teachers, who seemed to enjoy a break in their teaching sometimes.
I could tell you about my silver and gold awards. How they were the focal point of my 12-year Girl Scout career. How happy it made me to read and do crafts with kids. How overjoyed I was to give dolls to young girls in hospitals and shelters. How they taught me what it means to fail, and then how to get back up. How the most important lesson I learned was doing something you’re passionate about is extremely rewarding.
I could tell you how I made it onto a national team for 4h. How I studied about horses for state-level competitions every year with that one goal in mind. How I competed in horse knowledge competitions since seventh grade because it was fun to me. How I waited in anticipation every year when the awards were announced, and the disappointment I felt when I didn’t get chosen to compete at Nationals. How unreal it felt when I was when my name was said the last year I could compete and I got to go to Kentucky to “battle it out” with all the states on the East Coast.
I could tell you about how horses save my sanity. I could tell you about how discovering my favorite YouTubers helped save my life. I could tell about the impact Selena Gomez has made on my life and how empowered I felt at her concert I went to over two years ago. I could tell you how a receiving an American Girl doll impacted more in the future than it did the moment I got it.
Those are some of the most important moments in my life. I could get into much more detail and I could tell you more stories. But, I could not tell you one without mentioning part of the others. If I was not held back, I might not have gotten the opportunity to go to my high school. If I was not laying in my bed sick from my Chron’s disease, I may not have discovered Lilly Singh, a YouTube creator who has changed my perspective of life in the best possible way.
My life has been a looping roller coaster and, surprise, I am afraid of heights. But, I would not be in the same place I am right now if it were not for all the events that have happened in my life. I am grateful for, not only the ups but the downs as well. So, I could tell you one story, but it would not be complete without starting another.