Reaching 21 Will Have Never Felt So Good

When I was 15, I had sworn to myself I would not reach the age of 21. Not because I didn't want to, but because I didn't think it fathomable. I was at the height of my depression and cutting was how I felt something different. If you've never had chronic depression, you couldn't possibly understand what I mean by this, but, basically, there's a void. In your heart, your head, your emotions...everything has a black haze around it, as if you're going through the motions, not really there. The emotions you do feel are numbed and only hopelessness and loneliness remain. It doesn't matter how many friends you have, how great your life is, depression can effect anyone.

Since then, 21 had been this mystical faraway age that people would comment on and look forward to, but for me, I never actually thought that I'd be the one actually getting to it; as if I'd stay 20 forever. I had been so sure that if my depression hadn't gotten the best of me, something else would have. As junior year rolled around, 21 still seemed far away, even as the months ticked by and June 24 came closer and closer. Now, as I sit in my bed as the day comes to a close, I can't help but to think 'I did it.. I made it.' Not because I can finally drink, or because I'm a 'real' adult now, but because I allowed myself to make it. Twenty-one is such a big year for me because I survived.

As anyone with depression will tell you, it's a life-long sentence. It never goes away, but with therapy, medicine, and self-exploration, it becomes manageable and surviving becomes an every day affair. Survival may seem melodramatic for some, but it really is survival when you look at it in the sense that every day, you've made it that far, you've conquered your illness one more day and it's a little victory at the end of each day.

With this goal I've reached, I've decided that I can do anything... conquer the world even if I wanted! I dedicated a day to making an Ultimate Bucket List and a Travel Bucket List, as well as writing down my goals and aspirations. I want to make this a year I'll never forget because I earned it, because teenage Jassi let me get here. I am going to be kinder to myself, allow myself imperfection and criticism, while respecting my body and mind. I will love every second of every day and appreciate every small thing. I will cry because I can, because there are a such thing as happy tears and life is beautiful. I will laugh loudly while throwing my head back and get red in the face. I will wake up early to watch the sunrise and do naked yoga so I can feel the morning breeze on my bare skin to remind me of my mortality. I will dedicate 10 minutes of every day with no technology and only nature because we often forget the science of the Earth. I will enjoy my youth to the very best of my ability because I am older now than I was yesterday and younger today than I will be tomorrow. And mostly, I will thank God every night because I am in the here and now, and what better way to celebrate that than to thank the person who allowed it to be so?

I will mess up every day because I am human, but I will continue to do this because I deserve it. This year I want to feel like 21 was worth it, and that every year after will be just as meaningful and bittersweet. I am so proud of myself for reaching this point in my life, for realizing the important things, and for being a little less selfish and more introspective. I am in love with my life, finally, and in love with myself for allowing it to be that way.

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