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I’m going to start out with some real honesty here: summer is my least favourite season.
You read it right, my least favourite season. I know, I’m crazy. How could it be my least favourite? What about the long days, the warm breeze, the activities? You can finally get a real tan! How can it not be your favourite season?
Summer was when my depression started…
The date was July 1st. It was a hard summer. I moved to a whole new city where I knew no one. The heat was stifling, the air conditioning was too cold, and summer passed in an unpleasant, awkward haze.
I don’t know definitively, but I think that may be one of the reasons I don’t really like summer. And because I can get a sunburn just thinking about the sun. In fact, I think I need to go find some aloe vera.
For most, summer is a break from routine and the hustle and bustle of the previous months.
It’s a time when your calendar collects some welcomed dust and the days somehow become structureless. You can do whatever you want.
In terms of my recovery, summer is the hardest for me because I need the routine in order to keep my depression at bay. So I end up enjoying some spontaneity, but with mostly structured days.
However, this summer is much different.
This summer holds incredible change for me. Now, another moment of honesty: Before this year, I hated change. In fact, I vehemently opposed it.
I liked living in my box, knowing what tomorrow will hold. I only acted spontaneously if it had little to no impact to my future.
But, this year has been one of huge growth for me, so why not have a whole bunch of change at once instead of a little at a time, right? Right?
This summer I will be moving away for school, going to Haida Gwaii as well as the UK and Europe, only loosely planning where I am going. I’m quitting my job here in town to find another one in another city – hopefully. I will also be jobless for a few months, something that hasn’t happened since I was thirteen. And during those months I will still be paying bills, insurance, my next semester of school, and moving expenses. So yeah, lots of change all at once. And honestly, it scares me.
Don’t get me wrong. I am so excited for school, traveling, and moving to a different city (and yes, in that order; I’m a nerd through and through). But the thought of all this change at once gets my heart beating fast, and my breath becomes shorter as I think of it all. However, for the first time since I was diagnosed with depression six years ago, I am embracing this change wholeheartedly.
This summer will be crazy, but I am looking at the change with a smile instead of a grimace.
I realized I let change hold me back from so many things. I missed out on opportunities, relationships, jobs, and extra circulars. I would say no, paralyzed in the fear of the unknown change brings. I never wanted to become a slave to my depression, and the fear of change came from my depression. So instead of being chained to my depression, I was held captive in a different cell but the same prison.
This time, I am choosing to break away from both and be excited for the change coming this summer.
Instead of shying away from change, I’m going to boldly approach it.
Sure, I may stumble and fall, and I may be rejected, but I know now the awful things I used to say to myself will be kept mute. I will instead get back up, and keep going. Because how boring is life without some change?
I realized when these changes were precipitating I never wanted to look back at my life and say “look at how stagnant I was.”
Life was never made to be static. It was meant to be dynamic, constantly evolving around me.
I don’t want to be the one thing anchored in fear and depravity. I want to look back on my life and ay instead “Look at the amazing life I lived. Look how much I have grown and morphed into the best version of myself I could be.”
Doesn’t that sound so much better?
So I would encourage you to embrace the change in your life. We were never meant to live desperately clenching onto the things we have right now. Instead, we should unclench our hands, let go those things that cannot be changed, and instead love the change around us.
Through change, you will learn more about yourself than if you never embraced the change in the first place.
So maybe in a few months I will look back and change my mind about my favourite season. Because this summer will be one of the best summers of my life, full of exciting change and new opportunities. I hope yours will be the same!
All it takes is one small change.
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Mark is currently in high school and hopes to study International Law in the future. He struggled with depression for four years until finally winning the battle. Upon first hearing about Libero, he made the decision to bring his story about depression and how he has dealt with it in hopes to spread awareness and bring support to those going through depression. With still being in high school, he will offer a teenagerʼs perspective on depression and relationships through sharing the many challenges and victories he has faced with both. Mark hopes that through his writing he can help others understand that brokenness can lead to wholeness.
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