There are days that happen in everyones life that will always hold some sort of meaning. That will always act as a bookmark so to speak to your life.
February 22nd is one of those days to me. For so many reasons it seems insane.
1)Growing up this day was the birthday of my best friend in the whole world. We were born 1 year and 7 months apart to the day. We went through a lot of things together. Saw each others firsts in so many regards. We challenged each other, we weren’t always close but there was always love, always appreciation. We may not have always seen eye to eye but we had enough respect for each other to come out of those situations better. We are still connected in so many ways and I still count her as one of my forever friends.
2) In 2003 this became the day I would always remember as my first date with the guy I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Turns out 9 years later this date would hold something of a bittersweet feeling. I can look back on that first date and smile, we were sooo young. I was sooo in awe of that boy. Things seemed simpler then. After years of hardship, after years of good memories and fights the love that started way back when, ended.
Bringing me to the 3) reason this date hold significance to me. This one is a little more difficult to talk about. 4 years ago I would say I hit rock bottom in my life. After everything that happened in 2007, the loss of both my grandfathers, my aunt diagnoses with cancer and the ending of my relationship discussed in #2, the beginning of 2008 became some of the roughest terrain I would try to brave in my life. It is during that time that I lost my footing.
February 22nd, 2008 is the night my life changed forever. It was a night that I went searching for the answers to all my problems in the bottom of a bottle of vodka. Now I have never been a big drinker, I can handle my liquor pretty well but I am not one who likes to “lose control” so it was never high on my priority list. That night I didn’t care. I heard a song on the radio and it just triggered all the pain I had been feeling, it triggered a million and a half memories that I couldn’t handle and I wanted to forget. I didn’t want to deal any more. I most of all didn’t care if I woke up the next morning. Now this is the part of my life I am not so proud of. Yet today on the 4 year anniversary of that day I realize that I woke up that next morning for a reason.
That every day I have woken up since has been a gift and should be treated as one. The person I was before 2008 and the person I have grown into are different. I fight each day to over come old habits I had formed over years before that fateful night. I realized that I have no desire to go back to my old ways. That even on my darkest days now that I am not anywhere close to those dark days leading up to the vodka bottle. That I have become secure in the person I am. It is on days like today that I take time to reflect on that.
This day did not used to be so easy to look back on, it used to break my heart knowing what I had almost done. That I had been so reckless, that I had allowed myself to become so lost in the pain. It was a reminder of who I used to be, a person I was not always proud of admitting to being. Each year this day has meant something different. This year it has offered me the opportunity to reflect. Allowing yourself the ability to reflect on who you were, who you are, who you want to become gives you the best opportunity to grow, to better yourself, to believe in the greatness you possess.
Everyone has a past, everyone has things they are not proud of, everyone has made mistakes, it is what they do after that is really what should count for something, it is how they stand up after the fall that should define them more than the fall itself. On the 23rd of February I woke up, I took one look in the mirror and asked who the person was looking back at me. I realized that day that I had 3 choices, give up, give in or to give it all I could.
It was a battle I decided was worth fighting.
I was worth fighting for that day.
I have days that I still get down, I have days I wonder if I made the right choice, we all do, but it is on those days you get the chance to see how far you have come, you get a new perspective. My choice was worth it. Because of everything good that has come into my life since, because of the way I view life now. I wouldn’t pass those things up for anything in the world. I am truly grateful and lucky.
Don’t be afraid of your past, it is part of what makes you you, beautifully, incredibly, strong, wonderful you. Keep moving forward, know that you are never fighting that battle alone. Allow yourself to see the beauty in yourself and in the world around you.