I don’t remember a lot of my childhood. I don’t know why that is. My sister is the one who pointed it out to me when she realized I only seem to remember bits and pieces. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known. I thought it was normal to only remember little pieces. Apparently, it’s not. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been through so many traumatic things or some other reason. Anyway, I just don’t remember a lot of things. But the things I do remember were good, great even. I seem to have created this awesome childhood based on the bits I do remember. I remember exploring my town on my bike, going through forests, and playing in fields. I remember playing in the water all day long. So much so that it felt like I was floating on water when I finally went to bed at night. I loved that feeling. I remember dad building skating rinks in the yard and awesome family trips all over. Even day trips to the chocolate factory and trying to eat our chocolate before it melted in the hot car afterwards. All of these memories are happy ones.
I built a whole childhood out of happy fragments. Seems like a wonderful thing, doesn’t it? The problem is, I’ve never been able to live up to it. I’ve been struggling to try to make my life that good since just after I had my heart transplant. I tried so hard to hold on to things but failed every time. Things change, people leave, life goes on, and I didn’t want it to. I wanted it to all be like it was before. Even now, I keep signing up for things, learning new things, going on trips, moving, meeting new people, and more. Those are great things to do, and I will keep doing them. I’m just realizing now that all of those things will never overwrite all of the challenges. The challenges that were surely there during my childhood but that I just don’t remember. I’ve been striving for something impossible. Now I’m living in a pandemic, isolated, depressed, and have been without power or water in my apartment for 9 days.
I remember in the fall of 2020 praying we wouldn’t get a tornado. We had had one in the Fall of 2018, and I just didn’t think I could handle it during a pandemic. The 2018 tornado took out our power for two or three days. That seemed like a long time. It was our whole September long weekend and then we were back at work Monday when the power was restored. Terrible timing in my opinion.
About a week ago, I was sitting next to my friend’s large window, munching on the bacon and eggs he had just finished making me. The wind started to pick up and within seconds I couldn’t see anything but brown swirling air. My friend, just finishing up in the kitchen, walked over and said, “Is that a Tornado?” My heart was racing as I started stress eating my bacon. I was convinced it was a tornado too. I think we were both in a bit of shock because we just stood there like dummies watching it swirl in front of us instead of trying to protect ourselves in any way. I remember thinking honestly “well ok, this is an interesting ending”. Certainly not how I pictured it but while I sat there watching, I really did think this could be the end. Something came crashing off the roof and the power went out which snapped me out of my doomsday daze. I resumed breathing and then the storm passed. It felt like it only lasted a few seconds. It came it like an actual wrecking ball and slammed its way through the city. It wasn’t even an actual tornado. Shortly after, I found out I didn’t have power either, or water. I actually found out my “luxury apartment building” is kind of a disaster lol.
The crazy thing about this storm is it’s the most excitement I’ve had in like a year. I don’t necessarily mean excitement in a positive way. It certainly has shaken things up. I’ve had to do a lot of things differently. I’ve been staying with that friend who regained his power on Tuesday, so I really haven’t been suffering like the people who don’t have anywhere to go. I’ve actually been good. It’s almost been like a vacation from my life. I’ve been happy and doing more things and going for more walks and having adventures. This incredibly horrible storm has helped me learn how to heal in a way. I’ve been trying to for months but now I actually am. I didn’t think I was capable of it, but I had lost hope. It’s finally coming back.
Sometimes I forget I can do things. Not just things, anything. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I don’t have to be unhappy, overworked, bullied, or anything else just to “make it”. I can go for a walk in the woods on a Wednesday night with the boy I like and have a great time. I can order groceries and learn how to cook more interesting meals. I can create happy memories amongst the hard ones, just like my real childhood must have been like. I can invent the life I want even as a transplant recipient, even during a pandemic, and even while healing. I don’t need to wait. Whether things are good or bad, the storms will come anyway. So, why not believe good things will too?