I’m Not a Taylor Swift Song Anymore

We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
It’s miserable and magical.

Truer words were never said- or, rather, have applied to a year quite like the lyrics from Taylor Swift’s song “22”.

But now I’m 23.

It’s been a long hard year of “firsts”: first serious relationship (long-distance, nonetheless), first college application (Yay indecision!), first credit card purchase (AND payment ON TIME!!), first medical bills (YIKES!), first time building a new prosthetic leg as an adult (I never realized how much my mom’s presence helped me in explaining my requirements),  and first existential crisis and eventual spiritual renewal.

Over the last 365 days of my life, I’ve learned that I am not complete. While it’s obvious that I am physically deformed- literally missing pieces that complete the puzzle of human anatomy- it’s not always as obvious how lost I am. I don’t have all the answers. Looking inside myself won’t uncover the mysteries of the universe. I don’t have a supernatural power source in and of my own being that helps me conquer everything that keeps me from achieving perfection.  And that’s okay.

I don’t have to  do it all on my own.

I’ve had amazing people by my side, on the other side of a screen, and at the end of a phone line to keep me in check, support me, and encourage me. Even now, I write while listening to a playlist comprised of songs sent to me by dozens of people, most of whom I have never met, who found time to humor me and make me feel happy. These people have become some of the greatest friends you could ever hope to discover hiding behind avatars and ambiguous  usernames. I’ve found that while I am physically unique, I am normal. Whether it be my disabilities, writing, silly antics, music interests, nerdy fanaticism, or emotions, my whole world is weird. And I love it.

And though my world extends into the friendships I’ve made, who I am is rooted in where I came from. My beginning. My deformities. My orphanage. My adoption. My parents. My dad. My mom. These things ultimately shaped the person I am today, right now, in this moment. I wouldn’t be here without the love that led a Christian couple to step out in complete faith in the face of the unknown and raise me to be strong, proud, confident, and open to the love of God that changed my entire life this year. The attitude I started the year with has transformed into a completely new outlook with which to boldly step into this fresh new year ahead.

Not only is my mind more optimistic, but my spirit is re-energized. My heart is engulfed in a fiery passion to fulfill my life’s purpose of being that person that can make a difference with a smile, a word, or an embrace.

This was the year of independence. Doubt. Fear. Release. Humility. Discovery. Empowerment. Decision.

I’m still not complete, but that’s what this year taught me: that we’re not ever complete on our own. Without friends, family, goals, passions and a great love, a deep and intimate peace, there is no perfection.

“You is a work-in-progress. You think you’re going to reach some day when you wake up and you’re like, This is me! It’s not going to happen. So accept who you are today, and do you that day, and accept that you on Tuesday might be different from you on Wednesday.” – Jennette McCurdy

Thank you to all who been a part of my day-to-day life discoveries and those who continue to make me feel happy.