My 20th Birthday

I smack my lips softly as I blink a few times before rubbing my eyes. A small moan escapes me as I stretch from side to side in my bed. My eyes trail off to my computer.

I see your messages. You tell me to go downstairs when I have a chance to. I cover my mouth in disbelief, “no way…you didn’t. no don’t tell me you got me something…” Tears start to build up in the corner of my eyes. I run downstairs to grab the package. I open it, and there it is: the pusheen that I wanted.

I start to cry. No one has ever done this for me. I hug the pusheen and cuddle it, hoping that maybe you’ll feel just how happy I am and how much I will treasure it. I laugh to myself before telling you that I’m going to name it JoJo. Short for your name of course.

I knew in that moment that I will remember this moment forever.

Two days ago, I had one of the best day of my life.

The night before, the 18th, was really hard. Every year my birthday reminds me of all the hardships I had gone through and the hardships that have yet to come. It has never been easy for me to imagine a life where pain and suffering isn’t a daily occurrence. I feel as if all my life I have been running away, and for the first time in my life I stopped to look back.

And what I saw was a life full of pain and suffering, but it was also a life full of happiness and little moments. And I don’t think I would have ever realize just how much more is in store for me without having my friends there for me.

Although life has been really hard for me, I’m starting to see all the good things that may happen. All the things I still want to experience before I die. And I would be lying if I said that I can’t help but smile every time I see JoJo. He just puts a smile on my face so effortlessly. Maybe it’s just the fact that he’s so freaking cute or maybe it’s the fact that the person who send it to me means so much to me.

I don’t even know where to begin.

He just a very special person in my heart.

Sometimes it’s a bit scary because I don’t like feeling so close to someone or having someone so close to my heart. I guess I’m afraid that I’m just going to lose them or going to mess things up to the point that we will never talk. Sometimes those insecurities get the best of me and I can’t help but just distance myself.

I know there are times where I cry because I’m so scared that all those things may actually come true. And sometimes it’s even more scary to be told that it’s not going to happen. It’s scary to be reassured and to trust in that reassurance.

But despite of all my fears, I continue to move forward. And there isn’t a day that I regret not doing so. My 20th birthday may have been my special day, but deep down inside, I feel like this birthday was really our special day because I can’t possibly think of having such a good time without him.

So if you’re reading this right now…

Thank you.

You’re the best ♡


Happy Birthday: A letter to myself

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

You are finally 19 years old. Can you believe it? 19 years old.

One more year and you will be 20. If you don’t think that’s amazing, I don’t know what else is amazing. You always thought that you will never live to see your 20s, but guess what? In one year you can. In 365 days, you will prove yourself wrong. To me, that’s amazing.

I know the day before your birthday has always been rough. In 2011, you tried to take your own life. You came home after being hit by the car in the traffic that you had thrown yourself into. You were limping, body covered with cuts and bruises, and face etched with tears. Your mom saw you, and you finally told her you didn’t want to live because everyone at your school bullied you.

It has been hard ever since. You grew distant from people, and you started to question whether or not people are just cruel. But you met her. You met your best friend. You met your other best friends, and you have been meeting so many amazing people along the way that is always wishing for your success.

Yes, it has been tough. I know. Especially last year when you wanted to take your own life the day before your birthday after having a huge fight with a boy you thought you love- after he screamed at you and dragged you out of his car. That day was horrible, and we both know that even though he treated you badly, you still found comfort in his arms when he came to see you after you told him you were about to end your life.

And I know it has been even tougher when you got your first boyfriend. You never been in a relationship before, and you are so scared that you might mess things up or that he might leave you for someone better. You had so many fears, and instead of dissipating them, he harmed you even more. You became another statistic. You were raped by the very person you trusted.

But you are so strong.

You are so strong for standing here today. You are strong for seeking the help you need when you arrived at college. You are “stronger than anybody even you can ever imagine.” Remember that line? In the poem you wrote?

You put yourself out there, and you have done things that you never thought you could. You became an advocate for sexual assault victims. You’re out there sharing your stories and helping others that are going through the same thing that you’ve have been through or are still going through. You performed your own poems in front of a group of stranger despite of your anxiety. You have allowed yourself to be open with people and trust in life despite all of the hardships you’ve been through.

You are so amazing for all the things that you’ve done and for all the things that you are still doing. You literally did everything those people didn’t want you to do.

You took control.

You took control back. And you’re doing all these things because it’s something you feel passionate about, which is so great. You took control back by deciding that you want to major in something that you love and not something that your parents want. You took control of your own happiness, and that’s all I can ever want you to do.

You’re succeeding and standing here right now when all those people want to see you fail and want to see you be held back by their hurt. You’ve been overcoming so much adversities in your life, and it’s about time that you realize just how strong you are and just how resilient you are.

So my birthday wish to you is that I hope you remember all of your strength, all of your beauty, and all of your love that you give to yourself and to others. You are an inspiration to me.

And one day in your 70s or 80s, I know you will look back on this time of your life and realize that you couldn’t have done things any better than you are doing right now. You will realize that you were wrong about not living to see your 20s.

So Happy Birthday, Jenice.

I know you’ll make a huge difference in the world.