Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, most people probably don’t think of 11 year olds even having plans for their life, but I know you do and it’s quite a detailed plan actually. You often lay in bed or sit in class with the future running through your head. You’re going to be a midwife or a journalist (okay so maybe the details haven’t been completely pinned down, but still…) you also have dreams of being a singer or an actress, but you know that may be reaching a little far (though you’ve been told you have a certain flare for the dramatics). You want to go travelling, either before or after you’ve gone to university, traveling is something that you’re certain you’re going to do one way or another. There’s this itch for it under your skin, you can’t imagine a life stuck in one place, this world is too big to go unseen. Secondary school is just a starting chapter in the book you’re about to write, you’re excited for life, excited to see where your plans take you. How growing up’s going to feel.
I’m so sorry to tell you that your life couldn’t be further from the way you planned it. An illness that no one saw coming is about to make itself known. Your secondary school years are in fact some of the most defining years of your life, just not for any reasons you’ll look back on with a smile, so much happens to you throughout them. You are in no way prepared for the battle that’s about to start, yet you have no choice. There’s going to be pain and despair. So many nights laying awake confused, no longer excited for the future just fearing it. You’ll have to make some of the scariest and bravest decisions for yourself, decisions even an adult would find overwhelming , it’s going to be tough but you’re a fighter. Don’t get me wrong there is joy during this time, there are days where the light reaches you and it doesn’t seem so hard, they just don’t seem to come as often as they should.
This battle is one no child should have to go through, hospitals, operations and so many needles yet you and so many other children face it all head on. It’s going to make you a not- so- nice person for a while there’s going to be tears, rage, frustration, so much hate for yourself and for the universe. Everyone around you is going to take the brunt of the whirlwind that are your emotions, especially your family so hold on to and never forget the love and understanding they show you during this time.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though I promise you, you will find yourself eventually. The clouds will lift and the fog will disperse, you will be able to see the colour in the world again, there will be a time you can look at your reflection in a mirror and it won’t show you a distorted image. It will show you the beauty in yourself. You’ll smile again one day and it’ll reach the corners of your mouth and crinkle your eyes like it used to.
It’s going to be hard, it’s going to break you, it’s also going to show you just how much fight you have in you. You’re tougher than you know because you make it through. You may become someone different than you’d imagined, yet you’re someone so much stronger and more resilient than you could have wished to be.
I promise you this life you’ve been given is worthy of living.
An older battle scarred, but smiling