I died today.
It was a bittersweet moment as I took my last breath, exhaling everything that crippled throughout my past. Within the last few moments of 11:59 pm, November 24th of 2016, I see everything flash before me. The mountains I’ve climbed, the barriers I’ve broken. And needless to say, I’m incredibly proud of myself.
I found myself grinning from ear to ear.
Then, I died.
The clock struck 12 am, November 25th of 2016 and I died.
I turned 18 today. And although some may call me crazy for considering a birthday a death date, it all makes sense within the premises of my brain.
You see, the milestone of turning 18 has a different meaning to everyone. For most, it’s the year they officially become an adult. They can buy cigarettes, lottery tickets, spray paint, and sharpies. They can vote. They can make their own doctor’s appointments (not that they will.) And while yes, all of these reasons are still true, the year of turning 18 has a totally different meaning for me.
I’m not proposing that I should run amuck with red, white, and blue sparklers while flying on a bald eagle. Not that kind of freedom. But instead, freedom from everything that has held me back in the past 18 years. I feel as if this is exactly how a prisoner feels once being released into the sunlight for the first time.
No longer am I restrained by cold, steel bars of a jail cell. Rather, I can run as fast as my feet can carry me as the wind flows through my hair, my feet flopping against the dark pavement.
I’ve been waiting for this age for such a long and weary time. 18 means freedom. 18 means I’m free of being controlled legally by someone who wanted nothing more to do with me than to control my life.
I died today because I no longer have to be that person, surrounded with fear and unstable surroundings.
I feel secure, stable, and most importantly, I feel blessed. How beautiful of a life this is.
For the past years of my life, I’ve lived in fear that everything I have could be ripped from my reach at any point. It was highly possible. As long as I can remember, it had been me counting down the days until I was finally free from my father. Until 18 finally made its’ way into the picture. And here it is.
My, is it lovely.
I woke up to a different point of view today, because no longer was there a heavy weight on my shoulders. I don’t have to worry any longer. I’ve always told myself “He can’t hurt me anymore.” But now, he really can’t hurt me.
Everything, from this point forward, is up to me. I choose. I choose happiness instead of fear.
I feel lucky to say the least. There have been dark times. I owe almost everything to the Hilson/Hill/LeBeouf family for being the light at the end of the tunnel for me. Also my mother, sister, and brother were the ones who stuck through my entire life. I thought that whenever the majority of my family left, I’d be left with only a handful of people. However, with the loss of them, I gained a family ten times better than the one I lost.
For that I am eternally grateful.
I used to think of my life, and back into a corner. Things weren’t in the cards for me, because I was constantly being controlled by someone who wasn’t even physically around.
Anything can be in the cards for me now. I am in control of my own life.
The biggest part of this birthday for me is seeing that I made it. I did it. Unless you’ve struggled to stay breathing, you won’t fully comprehend the gravity of another birthday. 365 more days of breathing. Sure, it’s the simplest task known to man. I take my life breath by breath. There’s not much else we can do. Change overwhelms us. So I take it breath by breath by breath by breath.
18 years of breathing. That’s one hell of an accomplishment, I’ll say.
Today marks a new chapter in my life. I’m the author of my own story, so I’ve decided to name this chapter “Free” for obvious reasons.
Who knows what the next 365 days of breathing have to offer me? Maybe it’s phenomenal. Maybe it’s horrific. Maybe we just get through it, and that’s all we can really wish for.
Like I said, all we can do is keep breathing.
Welcome, 18. I’ve been waiting for you.
Until next time,