Finding Ourselves

I’ve had this predicament ever since I started my teenage years. As a kid, I always was just who I am.

I never questioned how I acted or how I felt. If I wanted to go out without brushing my hair or even my teeth, I wouldn’t have a second thought (even though my mom would not let me leave the house without doing the two). I would wear whatever I wanted despite it being completely mismatched and downright embarrassing. I would dance and sing, up and down store aisles with a big smile plastered on my face while my mom shopped and not have a care in the world. I was just completely and utterly myself. 

But once you become a pre-teen and start going through puberty, it’s like a switch goes off. You start analyzing every feature of your face and body.

Noticing your crooked teeth or how you have a little extra skin on the side of your hips.

You start comparing yourself to others. With not only physical appearances but their minds.

You begin to change the way you think to fit everyone else. You no longer want to be yourself but a clone of what you see as ‘perfect’. And that’s when you lose yourself. This specific part is just the beginning stages. 

Once you try that and find that it’s not a path worth following and that being yourself is the only key. It’s then growing comfortable with who you are and really discovering yourself entirely. 

And to do that, it honestly takes time and a lot of experiences. Experiences that shake you to your core and make you realize that sometimes you are the only person that you can rely on. Moments where you see how amazing you are and how fortunate you are to have a beautiful life like this.

You need a mix of the good and bad to show what life is really about. 

How you act, the mistakes you make, and all the in between show you, yourself. 

You aren’t perfect (If you think you are, you may need a slight wake up call).

Nobody is perfect and as time passes and things go on, you realize that.

You accept the fact that you cry a lot. You accept that you are sensitive and emotions come over you like massive waves that pull you down. You accept that you’ve been in the wrong. You accept that you lash out and hurt the people you love most. You accept that you are human.

You will stumble and fall but you will also get up and conquer. 

You learn and learn and learn. 

I don’t think you ever truly find yourself until you are old and grey.

When you have seen the ugly and beautiful parts of life that leave you breathless. After seeing the life you made for yourself and all of the people you have loved throughout it; you welcome who you are with open arms.

Because every moment, every triumph, every fail, every person you meet, has led you to where you are; to the person, you were meant to be.

I am still figuring out who I am and I know it’s going to take a long time but I’m here for the ride.

Love, 

The Hard Times

All I could feel was shooting pain in my abdomen and chest as I awoke from my drugged daze. It felt as though I couldn’t breathe and I started gasping for air.

I had oxygen pouring through the cannula in my nose yet it felt like every breath was not full, the pain resonating through my body leaving me in tears.

I looked around me to see someone I loved or knew. I was so scared. All I remember were seeing the doctors and nurses talking, telling me to relax and that they will give me more medication to help with the pain. Then darkness.

The next time I woke up, my mom and my grandmother were by my side and I had never been more appreciative than at that moment.

It’s when you go through the absolute hardest things in life, you realize who truly has your back; the people that are willing to be there no matter what difficulties you may be facing.

I was and am currently going through one of those very rough times. I am in excruciating pain because of my gallbladder surgery. Getting the surgery done has also affected my lungs which have led to an endless amount of coughing and crying in pain because of it.

Recovering from a surgery results in a plethora of time with yourself and your thoughts. It’s easy to feel isolated when watching through your phone, the lives of friends, family, and acquaintances living their life. And it’s easy to feel even more isolated when some of the people you love don’t reach out nor try to lend a comforting hand when you are going through those hard times.

Yes, I am strong and can deal with many of life’s obstacles with a smile. But that doesn’t mean that I am not suffering or in need of support time after time.

Living with a life-threatening illness, there’s this heartbreaking moment that forces its way into your life. The moment where you realize the people you thought would be there for you through absolutely everything, wind up letting you down.

In a way, it narrows down the people who truly care about you and the people who don’t.

It also makes you appreciate the amazing people in your life. Those that hold your hand through the ups and downs. Those who wipe away your tears and tell you that everything is going to be okay.  Those who run to get you your favorite food at Chic fil a. Those who send you mail filled with love and prayer. Those who come over just to lay down on the couch with you and watch movies.

Those are the special people and I am lucky enough to have them in my life.

It’s also through these hard times, that I have seen an outpouring of love. From people sending me messages to Facebook posts to getting me little gifts that make me smile. So many amazing people that have honestly made recovering easier and has given me the most positive outlook.

So this is for all of those people who have had my back and have supported me recently (and always), thank you so so much. I honestly don’t know what I would do without all of your love. I appreciate you more than you know and I will always remember how you were there for me.

Love,

The Little Things

A little bit of a life update: I am currently in the hospital for a lung exacerbation and it sucks. It sucks more than the usual sucking because I had planned on traveling this week. Timing is the absolute worst especially when you try to plan things out, even more so, when you have a life-threatening lung disease.

It is now two days since I stepped foot into the emergency room of the hospital. I was in pain; every breath seemed to exert far more energy than usual, my head throbbing, sweating and then growing cold again, and my cough left me huddled in a ball trying to hinder the pain as much as I could. It honestly felt like it would never end.

With my mom by my side, we sat in the chairs waiting. My name hadn’t even been called to put in the system. I held a box of tissues in my sweaty palm while a mask covered my face making it even harder to breathe. And then the tears just came pouring down, I couldn’t stop them.

It was another one of those life-defining moments. Those moments where it seems you are looking at yourself from a third person view. Seeing myself, pale, hunched over, having shameless tears that were slowly absorbing into my mask. This was the Caity I didn’t want to see nor did I like seeing.

I wanted to be the glowy, happy Caity that only had to worry about school, her job, and the people in her life.

I wanted to be the Caity that could travel to any place and be okay.

But that wasn’t me and the reality of it all is this Caity is always going to be around. Cystic fibrosis is going to have an impact on me for the rest of my life. It will always be a part of me.

So although I may not like seeing myself in such a state, I have to accept it.

Because the thing about us, as people, is we forget that we are human beings.

Human beings that go through so much, the wear and tear of the soul and the body. Every day we are constantly faced with a challenge and it might not be a life-altering one but it still affects you and everything in your life.

You aren’t perfect and that’s 100% okay. Because it’s in those moments where you feel at your absolute worst where you truly see how strong and amazing you are. It shows that you are real and struggle and I find that beautiful.

I still don’t know for sure how long I will be in here (I will keep you all updated). I still find ways to appreciate the little things like getting sour patch kids or having amazing people come and visit me to make my day. The love from my family and friends through every platform (texts, phone calls, Facebook posts/comments, etc.) mean the world to me and I am so grateful for the people in my life.

It’s really the little things that help you push through.

Love,

Tell Them.

Have you said I love you to your mom, your dad, your brother, your best friend, your boyfriend/girlfriend, or any of your loved ones, today?

If you haven’t, tell them.

Pick up that phone and call them.

You never know when it may be the last time you will say those words. Whether something happens to you or the people you love, as awful as that may sound.

Life is so precious, all it takes is one accident or one thing to go wrong.

You never know what life can bring you and you have to be prepared.

Saying I love you may not seem like the biggest gesture in the world but it goes a long way.

Plus, saying I love you never hurts. It shows appreciation for the people in your life and I guarantee it brings a smile to their face.

Whenever I am about to hang up the phone, I always make sure to say I love you. Sometimes I don’t even realize I say it because it has become so habitual.

So go tell the people who mean everything to you that you love them. I promise you will not regret it.

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