In simple words, you can say that I am a young lady. But really, I am a young lady who has had her struggles in the past. In life, everyone has their struggles as life would be boring without them because they make us who we are. Now my struggles might not sound too extreme to you, but they are unique to my life. This winter, I will be turning 27 and I know that I’m still at a young age so I will have more struggles in the future.
When I was younger around the age of early elementary school, I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism, which in basic terms means that my lips were sealed at school and I would only talk at home or at school to people I was comfortable with. I was put in speech to help me try to be more talkative and open up more. My speech teacher was amazing. She even gave my parents her home phone number, so I could call her at home at nights. Even though it has been many years since that age, I can still remember that calling her at home and talking on the phone to her was much easier than talking in person. Thinking about that now, I’m not sure why that was, maybe because someone wasn’t looking right at me and making fun of how I was talking. Beside my speech teacher, my general teachers were always so supportive and encouraging. The never forced me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with.
Throughout middle and high school, I was still a quiet person but I feel like I improved since elementary school. I still got that gut feeling in my stomach when I was called up to do a presentation, but I remembered getting up in front of the class and looking at whether teacher I had for that hour and just took a few deep breathes and thought to myself that even if I am a little quiet and maybe the whole class and the teacher can’t hear everything that I say, that I still got up in front of everyone and tried my best. There is one teacher that comes to my mind when I remember getting in front of the class. I had her for Social Studies in my sixth grade year. We had to do current events and present them to the class. If I recall correctly, I think I declined out of doing the first presentation but then I presented the next time we had a current event presentation. I knew beforehand that I had to present because she had drawn sticks with our names on them, and had our names on the whiteboard. The day came when I had to present my current event. I got up in the front and just looked around and looked at her, and begun. Before I knew I was finished. When she passed out our current events back to us, I had a smiley face drawn on mine. Just by looking at that showed me that she truly cared about me and was proud of me.
Going along the same lines of my Selective Mutism is bullying. All throughout elementary, middle and high school I was bullied. I’m pretty sure I was bullied because of how I looked and the way I talked. Being bullied really sucked and was something that I struggled with. I actually transferred school my senior year of high school due to being bullied. I didn’t tell the principal or anyone the real reason of why I wanted to be transferred to the other high school in my city. You could say that I let the bullies win by transferring but to be honest I don’t care that they won in that sense because in my opinion, I won even more I met a ton of new friends and the teachers were amazing (not saying that my teachers from my former high school wasn’t amazing as well).
I have had some personal family struggles as well that kind of affected my whole immediate family. The summer before my sophomore year of high school, my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. That changed a lot to our family. She wasn’t able to drive anymore due to her reflexes. She also walked slower, her penmanship wasn’t really legible anymore and she had to get glasses. A few years back, she actually had Deep Brain Stimulation and had a pace maker put in her chest. Also, in 2015, she fell and broke 9 ribs resulting in her being in a rehabilitation center from early October to early December. I know that it was only a few months but you still don’t know what could happen throughout that time.
When I was in my early twenties, my parents separated and got a divorce. Even though I was in my early twenties, it still affected me a little. No child at any age wants their parents to get a divorce. But I knew that it was the right thing to do. My older brothers and I were actually surprised they stayed together as long as they did as we thought they would have been divorced years back. Sometimes a marriage doesn’t work out and parents need to separate but their child(ren) should never blame themselves.
The final topic I wanted to chat about is friends. We all need friends in our lives. One thing that is important to remember is that friends change over time. Your childhood friends might not be your adult friends, and the same goes with your friends from high school or even college. Everyone has their own path and journey and should be allowed to do something that they love and makes them happy. There were many friends I had in the past and in recent years even that I’m no longer friends with and even though that makes me sad, I still hope the best for them.
If you’re ever walking around outside or in a mall, and perhaps you are a people watcher. Even though you are a people watcher, you don’t really know them deep down and personally. You might see them laughing and smiling with friends but they might be going through something serious. A key thing to do each day is to make someone’s day different. You don’t even have to do much; a smile or a “Hi” goes a long way.