Wednesday, June 8, 2016

On turning 30

4 days until I turn 30...

Sometimes I still don't feel like an adult, then I look around and I realize I have a house with a mortgage, I'm married and planning a family. It's crazy. Jeremy keeps asking how I feel about turning 30, something he struggled with ; me, I'm happy. I have come such a long way to become who I am today and it took 30 years to get here, I have earned it! In my teens, as all teens do I was struggling to find my identity and figure out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I also struggled with depression and anxiety. Then I started college and my first program, Professional Writing. I also found myself moving from country life to city life which was a huge culture shock. I had always been pretty independant so being away from home wasn't too bad, and I made some really good friends.I had discovered the identity I had been missing in high school and learned I fit in really well with geeky, nerdy types into fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming. I finally had the sense of belonging I was missing as most of my classmates were of similar tastes. However I was still struggling with anxiety and depression. I had finally gotten an official diagnosis upon leaving high school, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression. I was on medication but had insomnia (I was sleeping only 4 hours a night), and there were many, many nights I sobbed myself to sleep. Trying to work 18-20 hours a week at a grocery store, go to school full time, and get homework done took its toll. I wasn't doing well in my classes and in my 3rd semester, just one semester away from finishing the program, I quit. I wasn't interested in it any more, I didn't feel it was going to take me where I wanted to go and I had convinced myself I was in love with my then boyfriend and that was all that mattered. Then we broke up, which only sent me further into depression. I had quit the medication as soon as I felt happy again and continued for some time working mostly minimum wage jobs. Then It felt like I had gotten a break. I got a data entry job entering TV listings for a local company. I got to use some of my writing skills to write synopsis for TV episodes. I was still struggling but it felt like things were getting better. Then my Grampa got sick. Its still a time in my life that is really hard to look back on, he was only 61 when he died of cancer. He had ignored the signs for too long and there was nothing the doctors could do. There are simply no words to describe that pain. Shortly after I was let go from the data entry job because I was not doing enough work, even though I was getting my assigned listings done each day. From then I tried to look for work but I had little luck. I was more depressed than ever and was really not in a good place. I was living with family and had no job, it felt like I was going nowhere.

Eventually I went to live with my Grandmother, who was living alone with my Grampa gone. I decided something needed to change and went to get career advice from a counsellor at Algonquin College. I chose a few programs that sounded interesting and my Grandmother paid the $50.00 application fee. I started work at a Tim Hortons to save money to pay for my tuition and September 2008 I started the Library and Information Technician program - this was pretty much the first day of the rest of my life!

This program was an amazing fit and I pretty much excelled in it. I still struggled with my GAD and my depression was more under control. My Grandmother was my rock and really helped keep me motivated through my studies. I owe a lot to her. I didn't really connect with my classmates outside of school, but I wanted to focus on my studies. I stopped using dating sites for the same reason. Eventually one semester away from graduating I decided to delete my dating accounts and had a message from a guy that sounded nice. I made an exception to my 'no dating' rule and ended up meeting the love of my life. I got back on my GAD/Depression medication and really began to heal, I graduated from college...got married, and the rest is history.

I am such a different person today, I am happy...and thriving, life is good. It took 30 years to learn, change, and grow to get to where I needed to be. I feel like I can really leave the negatives in the past behind me and start a new decade as the person I was always meant to be. I can't wait!
Jessie

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