As I write this, it's August 24. My 21st birthday.
I went in to renew my license today. I saw the date on my old license, 2014, and was reminded of how long ago that was.
It's only been four years, but it feels like so much more time has passed.
An insane amount has changed in those four years. I've changed a great amount in those four years.
Four years ago, I was a senior in high school without a clue. Now, I'm a senior in college who wishes I could ignore the knowledge negative experiences in the last few years forced upon me.
Four years ago, I was still learning who I was. Now, I know that I am a writer, an actress, a theater lover, a good girlfriend. Someone who has come to love herself and is making strides in taking better care of herself.
Four years ago, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Now, I'm an official mass communications major for public relations, with a minor in theatre arts to keep what I love in my life. I joined the Odyssey and learned how much I love writing, and use that to push myself forward every day. I've worked two internships in two different areas of communications and learned a lot from both. I've refined my writing skills.
Four years ago, I didn't know what I was good at. I now know that I can write. I can sing, dance, and act. I'm good at organizing. I'm a solid barista.
I'm good at being someone who cares about others. Someone who loves with all her heart even if it means getting hurt a lot, because it's worth it to care that much about others. Someone who can stand up for herself and refuses to be walked over.
Four years ago, I finally made friends after spending most of my life rejected and alone. Now, I no longer have those friends in my life. My number of friends is significantly smaller than it once was, but I've learned the truth behind the saying "quality over quantity" when it comes to friends and the people you keep in your life.
Four years ago, I hated myself. I was just coming to terms with the official labels of "anxiety," "depression," and "OCD" that now applied to my life, that explained all the mental turmoil I had been dealing with for years with no knowledge about what I was dealing with or why. I was happier than I had been just a year before, but I still got depressed and occasionally had suicidal thoughts.
Now, I love myself. I still have days where I find myself hating myself and my body, but those days happen significantly less than they used to. I'm back in therapy and started medication, realizing that both are not signs of weakness and are important to taking care of my mental health. I've embraced the fact that my mental diagnoses are a part of me and will always be in my life, and am learning to live with that.
Four years ago, I was a very different person on the verge of her whole life changing yet again. Now, I'm exactly who I wished to be four years ago.