The years of 2000 and 2001 were pretty rough for me. For part (or all?) of 2000, I was in college without any sort of accommodation for my learning disabilities. I was also working two jobs.
One of the up-shots of those years was a trip to the Pacific northwest to visit friends. We hit the Oregon coast and the Historic Highway in Washington state.
Gorgeous, gorgeous area. My husband and I returned for a casual honeymoon three years later.
The young woman in that picture was happy to be in such an amazing place and to be surrounded by some amazing friends. She loved her boyfriend, and was grateful for the wonderful things his family did for her.
She was also in immense emotional pain. She was confused, depressed to the point of having difficulty eating and entertained thoughts of suicide from time to time. She didn’t know about the struggle to come, and if she had, she probably wouldn’t have made it through her sorrow.
She also didn’t know about the joys to come. She recognized the blessings she had, and she held onto them as tightly as she could. Eventually, she learned how to build upon them and grow as a person.
I still have that jacket, and sometimes, I still have those old smothering thoughts. I now have skills to deal with those thoughts, and wisdom from those experiences. I have gratitude for the mistakes that sad young woman made, and a greater love for those closest to me.
It’s hard to believe that image is from fourteen years ago. Just under two years after that image, that young woman moved with her boyfriend and college buddy into an apartment. Three years after that image, that young woman married her boyfriend. Four years after that image, they became homeowners.
Dyslexia stayed with her in various forms. It influenced how she fared at work and her relationship with the educational institution.
Now that I look back, my neurology had a massive effect on how my life went. The treatment garnered from how it impacted my work had a powerfully detrimental effect on my mental health, which in turn effected my physical health. The way I viewed the world was, and is, heavily influenced by my wiring. That’s okay. I’ve come to see it as pretty awesome, actually.
It’s odd thinking back on those years. I’m tempted to say I’m looking at a stranger, but that’s not true. I’m just looking at myself at an earlier stage of development. I had to go through what I did to become who I am today.