This Is A Journey

 Maria Navolio is a nineteen year old Lynchburg native whose works include poetry and personal essays—a lot of which read with a sense of both melancholy and humor. For her, writing started as a coping mechanism - now, she would like to encourage and thank those who listen.

Journeys are long, right?

Even if they aren’t, I can confidently say that I’m not done with mine. Aside from being young, my journey was paused for a substantial amount of time. Think of it like some strange mental hibernation, complete with a cave made from unwashed blankets and mascara stained pillows. Except winters go by and you never know what winter is gonna be the last one you sleep through, when the world is gonna stop being so damned sad and grey. However, I’m convinced that the idea of an existential roadblock is less foreign to be fond of for many people.

After a while, there comes a time when you stop wondering about the alternative. You stop wondering about your future. It simply doesn’t exist... at least you think it doesn’t exist.

Life sucks. Until it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, you don’t know what to do.

Now what?

The “why” doesn’t matter so much anymore; I’ve already done that. “Now” is much more important. Right now, I could give you a list of the qualities I consider part of my identity, something that sounds like a tinder profile or a political campaign that really really missed the point. I mean those things (the hobbies, the favorites, etc.) are part of my identity, but I have catching up to do.

The truth is that I don’t know who I am. It seems as though every day He gives me something else to uncover, another rung of the latter so I can keep climbing. Every friendship, every poem, every diagnosis, every pill, every opportunity has been gifted to me at precisely the right time. There is proof of a future.

Something is happening. I am living; I am breathing.

However, it’s not this earth shattering epiphany that makes my life turn on its heels. Instead it feels more like waking up after a long, sweaty, lethargic night of bad dreams; I’m not going to see the sunrise right away. It all starts with opening my eyes. At first it’s hard, painful even; the world is much brighter than the view from behind my eyelids, but that’s okay. Recovery (from anything) is a process. I just had to gain a little more strength before I could realize that, all around me, the world was warming up--it’s colorful and pretty....and not scary. In the grand scheme of life, this is still my good morning, and I want some nice folks to join me at breakfast. Together we take care of ourselves and prepare for the rest of our lives.

Cheers to those who have been hibernating. The roads are clear. It’s a breezy 72 degrees.

It’s time to get up and journey on. Don’t worry about the lost time.

To those still up, my dudes. Your journey isn't over.