Twenty Two

Twenty two years ago today…

So much has happened between then and today, lifetimes worth of happenings.  Some of those happenings have been enjoyable, joy jilled, exciting, energizing. Others have been heartbreaking, devastating, destructive to the soul. It hasn’t been an easy road, and there have been so many times when giving up seemed like a better option. There hasn’t always been a bright side, a way around, strength to carry on, or peace. It hasn’t always been the way it is now. And even now has its challenges.

As I reflect on my journey, I wonder how it is possible that I am, how it is possible that I exist, how it is possible that I live the life I live now.

You see, so much has happened that wasn’t supposed to happen.

I wasn’t supposed to be conceived.

I wasn’t supposed to make it to 21.

I wasn’t supposed to live through violence, abuse and exploitation.

I wasn’t supposed to survive attempts to end my life made by others, or the attempts I made.

I wasn’t supposed to graduate high school or college, earn additional certifications, or make a career.

I wasn’t supposed to finish and publish books, win awards, or make a name for myself.

I wasn’t supposed to find love, get married, or build a family.

I wasn’t supposed to have my own thoughts, make my own path, or change my name.

I wasn’t supposed to hold my own boundaries or anyone else’s, feel anger when mistreated, or question authority.

I wasn’t supposed to challenge systems, change laws, or lead a movement.

I wasn’t supposed to get clean, or to heal.

By all accounts, I shouldn’t be here.

I’ve got news for you, friends: I am here.

To be honest sometimes I have to pinch myself just to be sure, but I know that it is true, I am here. I don’t have answers for the inevitable why’s, and I don’t know that I need them now. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and am not sure even about the rest of today.

I do know that right now, in this moment, I am here.

And I am grateful for that.

Sunrise over water. Photo by Rachel Pointer.