Slow Dancing With My Darling

I have been depressed ever since I can remember. I would sit on the playground alone at age seven and tell myself I didn’t deserve friends. I would toss people to the wind as I convinced myself that the only way to live was through a mask. I grew up feeling inadequate in every way and joined the ranks of burnt-out ‘gifted’ kids.
But every day I wake up and, at some point in the day, realize that I am truly grateful to be alive.
Things never got magically better for me. I almost got kicked out of college and I came home with a report card that was dismal at best. Hell, two months ago I wrote a suicide note, threw it onto a pile of trash and dirty laundry on my floor, and walked to the roof of the dorms, foiled by a locked door and an unknown fear of ladders.
Yet, as I sit in the rubble of my freshman year, I am glad to be alive.
If I had killed myself, I never would have discovered who I really am. I would have died as a straight woman. I would have died a pushover and a coward.
I never would have gone on crazy adventures with friends and lovers. I never would have broken into the local public pool and skated around the empty chasms. I never would have driven to a bridge at midnight and slow danced with my darling to soft music playing from my phone. I never would have gotten to help my best friend decorate her graduation cap or gotten
to cry at our last dance show together.
I need to be here. Without me, who would protect my young friends from the older members of our dance studio? Who would help my sister figure out what she wants to major in during college? Who would hold my partner tight when the world was falling apart, and who would hug my mother after she got into a fight with my brother? Who would complete the group costumes we plan on Halloween or be the swordfighter on our Dungeons and Dragons quest?
I live and I love for others, it’s true, but soon enough that became enough to live for me. I dream of making even one person feel less alone, and this makes the hell that is music teacher training worth it. And sometimes I think it is my duty to live the best life I can, so I can raise up those around me.
I have lived through so much pain, but I have also lived many lifetimes in my short years. I am passionate, witty, and kind. I have more friends than I can count on two hands and I have connections that run deeper than the water of the river under the bridge I often walk to at midnight and stare over the edge of.
And I am so grateful to be alive to live through it all.

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