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, 

overwhelmed

I hope that whoever is reading this feels a sense of calmness in their life. A sense of relief or happiness. It could be from the smallest of things in life; finally finishing exam week or seeing that life-long friend that you hadn’t seen in a while. Any brief momentous happiness, I hope it captures you today.

This week has left me at a loss for words. I am trying to appreciate every facet of my life. The fact that I am here, living and breathing; that I have family & friends; a roof over my head. But I am still left befuddled.

Most nights now since the hospital, has been spent with widened eyes and fears that I will never get my life together or that my life will not be what I have always wanted. I stay up with tears in my eyes wondering if this aching in my chest will dissipate or will turn into my nightly routine.

The things that used to make me so blissfully happy, don’t seem to do the trick. Everything is so unsatisfying and I have no idea what to do about it.

The people in my life tell me that it makes sense as to why I am feeling the way I am. I’ve been through a lot recently. It can not only take a toll on you physically but even more mentally.

What the doctors don’t mention to you once you get off of your IV antibiotics and out of the hospital is the depression that latches onto you. You don’t seem to notice it at first because you are so excited to be free. You take ahold on every little thing you missed; driving, going out to eat, going out with friends, wearing whatever you want, being independent etc. But once you get off of that inch of a high, you are smacked in the face with reality.

Going back to the normalcy of life isn’t as easy. You are met with new qualms and challenges that make you want to crawl into bed and never face life.

I am trying my best and pushing through. Putting a smile on my face and taking every challenge, day by day. I will just continue to love endlessly and spread as much of it as I can and just hope that everything will work out in the end.

Love,

 

First Tattoo

July 19th, 2018

3:59 PM

England, United Kingdom

Kings Crossing Tattoo Parlor

With a brief Instagram story of my beaming smile and tightly closed eyes laying on a tattoo parlor chair, no one but close family and friends knew the words that were being written on my ribs.

The word, fighter, in the handwritten script of my mother and father. My dad wrote the beginning of the word while my mom finished it off.

I’ve been through a lot in my life living with cystic fibrosis. Situations that have left me weeping in my bed, holding back tears while my body is crying in pain, and times where I questioned if I would ever be able to come back from the trauma I had been through.

Well here I am, aren’t I? Still smiling, still holding a positive outlook in life despite it all.

I am a fighter.

I got this tattoo to symbolize all the strength that I have and the ever-growing strength that will come throughout my life.

I want to look in the mirror and see that tattoo as a reminder of everything I am. No matter how hard things will get in life, no matter how much I think I’ll never be able to push through; I will be reminded that I am someone who never gives up. I will get through anything and everything.

I may only have myself at the end of the day but there is comfort in knowing that I am capable of overcoming.

I will fight to live a long life. I will fight against this disease. I will fight for every single person I love in my life.

I got my mom and dads handwriting because I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I wouldn’t be on this earth, gifted with this beautiful life. They have given me the foundation to live a life that I will be proud of one day. They have covered me with love, appreciation, a home, a family; what more could I ask for?

Getting this tattoo was essential while I was in Europe because I knew it would be a time in my life that I wouldn’t want to forget.

The tattoo artist (who’s card I am trying to find to give credit to) had a family member who also suffered from cystic fibrosis. I had been so nervous that the pain would be too overwhelming and I wouldn’t be able to take it. Everyone had been hyping it up that the rib was the worst place to get a tattoo.

I asked him if it was going to be too painful and he responded with “This is going to be nothing compared to the pain that you’ve been through in your life.”

And he couldn’t be more right. The pain was near to nothing in comparison with a PICC line dressing change or the surgery recoveries that I had been through. It felt like a little bee sting for 15 minutes and then it was done.

A smile was etched on my face the entire time. I was so incredibly happy and content with how it came out and how good it felt to have it done.

 

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Have any of you had one done or have a first-time experience you want to share? Leave it in the comments!

Love,

Scotland

If there is a place that I love more than anything now, it has to be Scotland.

It is truly beautiful, inside and out. There is so much history hidden behind the walls and curves of every road. It honestly feels as though you are in a movie or a book. There are so many nooks and crannies; from alley ways to hidden walkways that lead to unique shops and cafes.

You can see the beautiful Edinburgh castle, resting on the edge of a cliff. Looking as if it is about to tip over into the picturesque town. Brief glimpses of the castle pours through the spaces in between buildings.

When we had first gotten here, a smile was plastered to my face. I couldn’t help it, Scotland has a way of doing that to you.

So far we have gone on the infamous Harry Potter tour (which is free by the way), a night ghost tour, Edinburgh castle, New Town, and Old town.

You could sit in a cafe, reading, writing, and even people watching for hours at a time. The streets are filled with stores and covered with merchants in small tents. You also have the entertainers doing magic tricks, playing instruments, or simply just having a very cute dog with sunglasses on.

We are leaving tomorrow and we have sadly only been here for one full day but it was completely worth it.

I am in shell shock and wish endlessly to spend more time here.

Love,

Caity

P.S. here are some pics from the trip 💛 https://breathingwithcaity.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/img_2336.mov

A Whole Other Level of Happiness

To think that only a few weeks ago I was just getting out of surgery to the present, where I am at the most beautiful city is completely insane.

So much has changed in just the little bit of time and I couldn’t be happier. I have only been in England for a total of 5 days and have experienced more than I ever thought possible.

I have met the loveliest of people. All of the people I have met from this program are so kind and loving. We all just have this want to explore and travel as much as we can.

Honestly, I was completely apprehensive about doing this program because I was going alone. But I am so happy with the choice I made. There’s this new level of independence and responsibility that is starting to grow on me. And I wouldn’t have been as open to getting close with other people.

I just scheduled a flight to Scotland with three other amazing girls! How crazy is that?

All of these beautiful people were brought into my life from this experience and have already changed it; I couldn’t be more grateful.

We have done so many things within London and I will go more into detail in the next post but for now, here’s the video I made from the past few days!

Love,

in London, England

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,

Letting Go

People make it look so easy. I can’t tell you the number of people I have seen/heard of who come right out of a relationship only to go into a new one or hook up with a bunch of randoms to feel something.

But that just isn’t me.

When I love someone, I love them with every fiber of my being. I give them my all and sometimes it leaves me more vulnerable and hurt in the end.

That’s the risk you take when you decide to be with someone, isn’t it?

You risk getting heartbroken for the beautiful, all-consuming love. Falling in love with someone can never be a mistake. For falling in love is one of the most amazing feelings in the entire world. Nothing beats the feeling of having someone who loves you just as much as you do them. To know that they have your back and it’s both of you against the world is indescribable.

Falling in love changes you. It pushes you past limits you didn’t even know you had. It makes you question yourself and the morals you held before.

It can build you and break you down, all at once.

There’s never been a moment where I have regretted the love I have put forth regardless of the pain that it has left behind.

Letting go of that love is nearly impossible. You can’t simply unlove another human being. You can try and block them on everything, never see them again, and to never think about them again (also near to impossible because you are human) but that feeling will always remain. It may fade as the years go by of not seeing them. And yes, you will fall out of love with them eventually. But you will always love them and care for them regardless of the situation that was at hand before.

Those moments you shared with them can’t be erased. They are etched within your brain and heart.

But you can move forward and accept that the love you had will always be a part of you. It can teach you lessons and make you treasure your next love even more.

Letting go and moving on is a necessity, at times. Whether it’s relationships that just didn’t work out or relationships that outgrew one another, it ends and you have to go on.

It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to cause you so much pain but you have got this. Whatever the situation may be, just keep pushing through.

All you may see right now is darkness and negativity. Holding the belief that you will never find someone else again.

But you will. You will be happy again. You will venture out of the darkness and into the light. You will be able to love again, to open your heart again. And when you do, it will be even more open to love. Give yourself time, do not rush.

Just let go and keep moving on. Focus on bettering yourself as much as you can and everything else will follow through.

Love,