Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, summertime meant camping. If the weather allowed it, our first trip to the lake would be the May long weekend. It was an experience to look forward to all year, especially when it came to camping meals. No matter what, one night away would be hot dogs for dinner.
Kindness Over Callousness
My mother grew up on the less fortunate side of things. Her father was an army vet turned jukebox and pinball machine mechanic, while her mother stayed home to care for the children. Her family was full of love, but the void of extra money for luxury. She is the oldest of five, with a large age gap between her and her youngest two brothers. As the years went by, it became apparent that her mother’s mental health was on a steady decline.
Make Time, Not Money
I was a people-pleasing, go-getting, workaholic and rather than show my vulnerability to coworkers, friends or family, I became a professional feelings hider. I worked in a demanding industry that threatened termination if you “couldn’t do the job” and learnt that wasn’t your capability of doing the job, but in fact, what are you willing to sacrifice for the job.
Mental HEALth Day
We have become so good at living in survival mode. Alarm! Wake up. Do the things. See the people. Regulate responsibly. There are people counting on you; you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Cope by any means possible: drugs, alcohol, food, sex. Sleep a shitty sleep. ALARM! Repeat.
From the Ash, We Will Rise.
During the summer of 2013, I was a complete mess, but let’s back it up to March. My boyfriend and I had been committed to each other for over three years. We knew each other’s families, friends, flaws and favourites. We talked frequently about marriage and kids, but our last year together proved troublesome and eventually I ended things, mere weeks after his birthday.
Couldn't Do It, Until I Did It!
It was seriously one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! Starting with a 330am pick up! We were driven to the base of the volcano, handed walking sticks and a good luck wish. I started off terribly! Immediately, the steep incline winded me causing the guide bringing up the rear of the group (but ahead of me) to constantly ask if I was okay in his sweet, broken English. I continued this way the entire two hour hike, with assistance from his little (I mean half my size little) friend, who could only say, “where you from” while holding my hand, for support, I assume, because let’s be honest, if I fell, I would have taken her innocent soul with me.