I'm so glad that you were able to find a way to believe that it wouldn't always feel like you were set up for pain and heartbreak. All those times when it felt like the hurt and pain would consume you, when you cried till you couldn't cry any more, and would wake up and go to school with swollen eyes. All those times you felt misunderstood, misplaced, unappreciated, at home, amongst those you happened to be around at school. The struggle to understand what friendship meant. Was it hanging out with people over break time? Sleepovers? Weekend hangouts? You were always in search for a deeper meaning of, well, everything. "Too mature for your age." You felt so lonely, even around people. Was something wrong with you, you wondered. You tried the rebellious thing as a teenager, and found some solace of sorts in that...but even that wasn't enough.  And the many times you wanted to talk back, fight back, and the words just wouldn't leave your mouth. More hurt, more pain, more tears. It was scary, it was lonely. Pain became a familiar companion as you searched for a sense of belonging, a place to belong.

Funny how things play out. How that pain and struggle to understand everything beyond face value. God. Family. Friends. Beauty. Dreams and Desires. Career paths. A lot of it seemed already decided for you. It didn't make sense. "God created everything...but who created God?" No one could answer. Why a doctor or lawyer, and not a musician?   "Because you have the grades, because that's where the money is." Those answers just didn't make sense. So you found a way to guard a space to think and ask, and to imagine for yourself what you wanted. Then you started to push back, to fight back, slowly. It was so difficult, but so relieving. You learnt, amidst the pain and confusion, to guard your thinking, your curiosity. Baby girl, that has turned out to be your greatest strength.

You learned to manage your expectations, not to wait on anyone to anticipate your needs--whether parents, siblings, friends, frenemies, colleagues, lovers--you are not ashamed to say what you want, and how you want it. Sure, it's still uncomfortable, but one day, something clicked. Much as it seems and continues to seem that the world favours some more than others, that some get all the attention, what they want -- birthday surprises, the latest cool thing in Spice magazine, the latest TLC album--that didn't always make them happy. It was so interesting to learn that, by their own confession. Those weren't the things that guaranteed happiness or satisfaction. They still aren't. 

And now here you are. Content. The age-old cliché proving true: what doesn't kill you...(and many times you wished death upon yourself). You are strong. You know it, others know it and call it out. You don't seek contentment or happiness in people or things, they enhance what's within you. You love your solitude, perhaps too much. You don't do dependency well, but you are learning that it's ok to rely on others for care, companionship and even love. It's ok to let people care for you, even though it felt for the longest time that no one really cared. You still hurt, you still struggle. You don't yet have all the answers. You still struggle with friendship, with love. You find it easy to give, but not to receive. And you are still scared. But you have a tougher heart, and strong resolve to not only survive, but also to thrive. You made it. You are making it. It gets better, though not necessarily easier. You are marching on. And you are beautiful, you see it now. :)

Proud of you for not giving up on yourself. 

It gets better. It got better.


Older, wiser, happier Nia.

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