Essays and poetry Student Productions

My One, Gifted Life

My one, gifted (breathing) life

One year.

I gifted myself one year to embark on a journey of healing. But it didn’t begin by my own design. More so, it was an eruptive start formed by pressure.

On the night of June 7 of last year, that pressure was released in a flash of violence. This pressure wreaked havoc on my body, mind, and soul and bursted in to a moment of clarity. There was nothing else I could do but to save my one, gifted life.

Here’s the truth: my dreams, my body, and countless surrounding signs pointed to a need to break away long before that rock-bottom night. But, I felt trapped. Even though I had two premonitions revealed through dreams, I didn’t choose to listen (I didn’t make sense of those dreams at the time, but understood when both events actually later happened in real life). Meanwhile, my ailing body fought to tell me that I deserved more: Symptom after symptom and even an emergency hospital stay all were signs that my body was crying for me to take flight and fight for my breath.

But, on the night of June 7, I realized I had no greater responsibility than to make sure I can breathe. Within 72 hours of the incident, I found unknown strength to pack a hitched 4’x8′ cargo trailer and my two dogs and began my North-bound trek.

The thick South Florida rain clamored on my slow-moving Outlander. My vision was skewed on what lie ahead. It was a breath-by-breath journey— each moment, each mile marker revealed safety and comfort in my choice. After a few hours, the rain lightened and my rearview mirror reflected a most striking sun setting on the day that I finally chose my own breath.

Choosing this journey also meant letting go of any other toxicity in my life that I once invited via unfortified boundaries. But what I gained was the gift of time to sojourn, to listen, to heal, and find my voice again (when for so long I forgot that my opinion even mattered). It was a year of intentionally shattering past decision-making models that led me astray into the most self-destructive situations.

I slowly regained inner strength through the embrace of loving family, friends, community, and a listening ear. Over time, I was able to unearth thin layers of understanding and revelation.

For all of us who carry invisible wounds, know that time does help heal, but we must use this time intentionally to understand, to process, to forgive, and release.

The truth is we owe it to ourselves to be happy and healthy. We shouldn’t never ask another to create this for us—that’s co-dependence and it’s unsustainable.

Also—how others tell your story is irrelevant. What matters is that you are honest with yourself and all those around you. Don’t concern yourself over winning the acceptance of others at the cost of your health.

I share these words so that maybe somebody else can find a tinge of strength to choose their breath, their voice, and their one, gifted life.