Perhaps you are wondering what came next after my last post. Either that, or I am overestimating my ability to create suspense.
After graduation, I wanted to go on a big adventure where I could embrace life, travel, and see how others were living. From my difficult year, I knew life was really full of experiences that landed on a spectrum of impact. Life could be exciting, troublesome, boring, strange, unexpected, depressing, surprising, wonderful, hilarious, and much more. I wanted to experience it all.
Having just turned 17 and starting medication to stabilize my mental wellness, my mom told me I was too young to go to college. However, she had no reservations letting me join a program to travel the world with 150 young adults from 19 countries where every 4 days, I would go to a new city, live with a host family I didn’t know, perform in a musical, and volunteer for local organizations. The logic was…interesting, but there was no way I was going to question it.
That year opened me up to a life of adventure, healthy risk, awareness, social justice, navigating struggle, and practicing self-advocacy. The lessons I learned and things I experienced are with me to this day. I made lifelong friends. I see some of these friends pretty regularly.
I learned early on in my diagnosis that I was in charge of the direction of my life. Making it through that year, I promised myself that whatever challenges I faced, I would invite them to come along because I wasn’t going to get stuck in their ability to stop me dead in my tracks. I had a life to live, dreams to dream, and many adventures to come. Determined to move forward, I accepted my diagnosis as the super annoying shadow that would follow me in my life in the sun!
Stay tuned for practical ways and tips about how I have been able to stay well.
Much more to come