Wednesday, November 15, 2017

OOTD: 23

Photography by Cassidy Hopkins

I celebrated my 23rd birthday last Friday. Another year of my life marked, another sappy post contemplating the meaning of life and my time on Earth.
*Trigger warning: suicide, depression, and themes of mental illness*

This was the year I realized how long life is. A strange side effect of being suicidal, for however long, is that you develop tunnel vision when it comes to thinking about the future. Except there's no light at the end of the tunnel, so you're left unable to see, fumbling around in the darkness, only able to perceive the immediate steps you're about to take.

When you unwillingly spend your time and energy desperately wishing for your life to be over, it becomes impossible to truly conceptualize your future. You may not realize it, but you don't think you have a future. Your brain simply can't comprehend how to think about something so impossible.

I've always thought I'm good at planning for my future. So far, I've completed some pretty significant parts of my life plan: I've studied in Spain, attended a private university, and moved to New York. Without my realizing it, though, I'd slipped into accepting that my life would be cut short.

I'd think a couple months, maybe a couple years into the future, but the best I could do was have kinda fuzzy ideas about what my long-term future looked like (I like to write, right? People retire, right? Dogs?).

In all honesty, the experience of being unable to think into the future isn't uncommon in people my age. In the process of developing a sense of self, many teens and young adults unconsciously come to perceive themselves as invincible. They simply cannot conceptualize their future, because their concept of self has not evolved past the present.

My fuzzy concept of the future was a combo of both depressive symptoms and age. Since being hospitalized 2 years ago and subsequently attending intensive therapy, I've turned the corner and committed myself to not acting on my suicidal urges. That, as well as simply growing older, has left me struck with just how LONG life is. 

I could own several dogs! I could live in so many cities! I could have several different career paths! I could go back to school! I could reach a point in my life where I want to work out! Suddenly, 23 doesn't feel so weighty. 

I've also started taking care of myself little by little. I've been adding veggies to my diet and cutting back on meals consisting simply of candy. I've started saving money not because that's what my parents have always told me to do, but because I'd like to have money to travel and to retire. I go to the doctor for preventative care instead of just to take care of immediate ailments.

Without even realizing it, I've committed to sticking around. I didn't even realize I wasn't committed until my treatment regimen pushed me to truly conceptualize a future. I'm another year older, and truly thrilled to live out my future and continue to work towards it.

On the note of living out my future, I'm already planning all the ways I can wear this floral romper soon — it's definitely coming down to Arizona with me next month. The piece was provided by Top Tier Style. If you would like to purchase your own, use the coupon code BLOG15 for 15% OFF everything on their store!

1 comment :