I Don't Want It To End;
Today is Project Semi Colon Day. A day where people, across the world like me, get to wear their semi-colon's proudly. Not that we don't everyday – the little symbol that is nestled on the right hand side of my left wrist means a lot to me and I won't hesitate to tell you about it if you ask – but today we get to put a name to it.
Which is fitting, because my first thought upon waking up is how much I don't want this to end. And that hasn't always been the case.
I say this to refer to both my life here and life generally. I've never been actively suicidal, but I'm going to screw up my courage and admit to the internet (and lets be fair, people who know me IRL) and say that there have been a fair few times where I have wondered if I'd be better off dead. They're called passive suicidal thoughts, and it can be a terrifying place to be in.
One of the things I do, in the weeks or months after those feelings, is observe the moments where I felt utterly happy, and remind myself of how much better it can get. Because it always has gotten better, maybe not immediately but sometime later there come the moments where I couldn't be more in love with life itself and I grasp onto them with both hands.
I've come a long way in four years. Being at this school tested me emotionally more than I ever thought possible, and somehow I not only managed to cope but I actually learnt to thrive, even with a brain that doesn't seem to like me very much. I used those feelings constructively, found ways to be honest about the hardest topics so that I could help others, and built a life for myself that feels so satisfying. I actually believe that people like me now, and trust me when I say that's a bloody miracle.
I don't want it to end, but I have no choice. In somewhere around six weeks I graduate and am thrown into the real world with a big question mark standing where my future should be. The days are racing by and each happy moment is tinged with a touch of sadness for the impending departure. No matter what happens, things won't be like this again. I don't want it to end.
But my semi-colon tells me I can do this. It may be a cliched tattoo but I got it because it matters infinitely to me, this proof of how far I have come. Every time I wonder whether I can put one foot in front of the other, whether I can move forward into the great unknown (FYI I hate change) it tells me yes. Because I did it before, when I came here, and I could never have predicted this beautiful, messy ride that my life became. And so I can't predict the future, I can only embrace it.
Perhaps it's better this way. If I were miserable I would probably be desperate to throw on that gap and gown and march across the stage, but then I wouldn't have the rich tapestry of memories that make up my time here. I wouldn't have the deep contentment of finally feeling a part of the community, something I desperately wanted for so long. It hurts because it's been so good. On the flip side of that is how much I have gained from my hardest moments, they've given me my passion for wellbeing and sensitivity to the suffering of others. It's good because it hurt.
I say all this not to attention seek or freak out my family (I hate that I have to put this is as a qualifier) but because of the strength I found in people's stories like mine. There is so much power in being honest and the only way I'm going to break the stupid stigma that I despise is by being brave and sharing these thoughts.
Whether it ends or not, every experience I have becomes a little part of how I am. The good and the bad intertwine to make up me, and I learnt how much power I have to help myself even in those moments where moving forward feels impossible. I don't want this to end, and I'm bloody glad about it.