It’s been a weird sort of day.
I hadn’t really thought about it till I realised it was Jo’s 21st birthday.
My life has been a roller coaster of tumultuous relationships and failed attempts at “succeeding” like every one else around me has managed. I haven’t made any kind of break through in my life about where I’m going or who I am or what I want. Hell I don’t even know if I’ll have money to buy dinner tonight or get petrol tomorrow. I’ve felt more depressed and broken in the last 6 months than I think is fair for anyone to feel but today, today that heavy darkness that hangs around me is a reminder that I’m alive.
I have next to no money, I live pay check to pay check, I don’t get along with my parents, and I have a relationship with my mother that makes her seem more like a utensil in a kitchen drawer than the woman who brought me up to be who I am. I’ve crashed a car, lied, cheated, stolen things, drank till I was sick, and tried to over dose on more than one occasion. I have times in my life that I would rather forget, people I wish I’d never met, and nights I wish could be done again and then never left. I’ve been surrounded by friends, yet never felt more alone, I’ve been sitting on the London unground and realising just how trapped you really are and I’ve done everything the hard way. But I’ve done it, I’ve felt the pain, broken my heart more times than I’m willing to admit, cried myself to sleep and woken up hollow. But right in this moment. Looking back. I realise how lucky I am.
Two girls in that photo will never get to feel the pain, the anger and the loss of being cheated on. They’ll never feel the excitement building up to their 21st or the butterflies when the finally walk down the isle. Today, you would have been 21. The big right of passage that apparently suddenly makes us an adult and capable of being adult-like. But instead of celebrating your 21st, we’re remembering your 21st. We are raising a glass in your memory and missing you more than ever.
So today I’m being alive.
I’m lighting a candle.
And I’m remembering that I am lucky.
Depression or not, I’m alive.
Until my cat got too close the flame and set his eye browns on fire.