Happier

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I have a love/hate relationship with the On This Day feature on Facebook. It reminds me of my secondary school days where I was free and the only thing I had to worry about was passing my geography class test, or having enough money to go see the latest Twilight movie with my friends. However, it also reminds me of my progress. It shows me photos of my past self. I was young, naive and sheltered. I had not yet discovered who I was, the real me, my true self. But today, as I write this post on a train to Galway, I’ve realised that I am happier than the girl in those photos, and that I have changed a lot.

I no longer watch Twilight movies. I finished school and passed my Leaving Cert. I got that B2 in English that I worked hard for. I have new friends. My skin has cleared up. My mousy brown hair is now copper. I’ve developed stretch marks and scars and cellulite. I’ve ran marathons. I’ve studied both creative writing and journalism. I’ve had work published in newspapers and on websites. I’ve read tonnes of books and watched many new movies. I’ve drank tea with my grandparents and pina coladas with my best friend. I’ve danced at concerts and cried at concerts. I’ve hopped on planes, trains and buses to new cities. I fell in love and I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve battled with anxiety and depression and I won. I discovered an unknown love for coffee and The Clash and Hygge. I wear red lipstick and often buy clothes because they remind me of The Bratpack. I daydream about living in Canada, Cork and Copenhagen. I worry about my grades and my family and my friends. I sing along to Radio Nova with my Dad in the car. I call handsome actors dishy just like my Mam does. I adopted a cat. I’ve had one tooth taken out. I have fallen in love with the simplicity of spending time by myself. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with John Hughes movies. I’ve sent a message in a bottle and heard back from the person that found it. I’ve fallen both in and out of love with my life. I’ve experienced euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows over the past twenty two years.

But most importantly, I am happier and stronger and wiser than the girl in those photographs from the past.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Dear July

Last year I was inspired by Emily Diana Ruth’s ‘Letters To July’ series so much that I wrote my very own letter to July. It’s one of my favourite pieces of work and I couldn’t help but write another this year. So here is my second letter to July.

 

Dear July,

It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since we last spoke. At this moment in time I feel okay; not great, not good, but not bad either. I’ve said the phrase ‘I’m fine’ a lot this month, July. Unfortunately I’ve been having one too many bad brain days lately. I feel like I’ve taken a step back progress wise, but I am hopeful that I will get better. There’s something different about me this year, July. I am a lot stronger and a lot more determined. When we last spoke I was just discovering who I truly was, but now 365 days later I finally know who I am and what I want from life.

It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve had work published, I’ve traveled, I’ve made new friends, I got a part time job, I started volunteering, I’ve started studying at a new college and I’ve become a happier and braver person. I love who I am, I just wish my brain felt the same way. The bad brain days have gotten severe, so I’ve decided to start seeing a counselor- a terrifying, but wise decision.

One thing you’ve taught me, July, is that no matter what things will always improve, even if you struggle to see a light at the end of the tunnel. On the 31st I went to Galway for a solo adventure. When I was sitting on the train travelling back to Dublin I felt content for the first time in over three weeks. You showed me that there is so much hope and potential out there, July, but you need to get out to find it. I discovered that sitting at home alone is no use. Going out on a walk, catching up with an old school friend, volunteering at my local charity shop or hopping on a train to another county is what I need to do to get myself out of this rut.

I know I will get better and the happy days will come back, the bad brain days will decrease and my mind will be clear again. Thank you for reassuring me, July. We had our tough days where I cried and where my heart ached, but we also had our happy days full of content moments and Cheshire cat smiles.

Thank you for showing me that the best is yet to come, July. I’ll see you again next year.

 

With Love,

Kat.