I Am From

I am from

Bedtime stories, lilac bushes, the smell of cakes baking. From living room plays and my little brother’s laugh.

I am from

The smell of horses on my clothes and the thrill of spying on my older sister. From anxiety pills, singing in the bathroom mirror and dreams of being a Broadway star.

I am from

Reading books until my eyes would hurt and growing up too fast. From late night phone calls, crying myself to sleep, and from losing myself to a monster hidden inside a man’s body.

I am from

Daydreams and parents that fought for me and never gave up. From the rush of freedom when you tell someone toxic ‘goodbye’. From therapy, from growing pains, from surviving.

I am from

The windy streets of Chicago, staying up late drinking wine on the deck and flipping off taxis that almost run me over.

I am from

Butterflies on the first day of college, from counting my last quarters to pay for the train. From Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and a cigarette before work.

I am from

The smell of an empty stage on the first day of rehearsal, dogs barking and dive bars. From the feel of leash in my hand and garage cover bands.

I am from

Packing up my belongings in the back of a truck and admitting when I need help. From the biting cold of Minnesota winters and the scorching sun of the summer.

I am from

Sweeping up hair in a high-end salon. From the night that I met him and fell in love. From finding each other and learning to trust again after all of life’s pain.

I am from

The new puppy crying in the middle of the night, the smell of bacon on Saturday morning and picking up dog poop. From floppy ears, wet kisses and going for walks.

I am from

Two apartments, one townhouse, then our home. From a diamond ring inside a Christmas ornament. From a night in November and an exchanging of vows.

I am from

A phone call that changed my life, fatigue, pain, and MRI’s. From Panic attacks, steroid infusion therapy, IV’s and the kind words of nurses.

I am from

PTSD, headaches and lesions in my spine. From being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. From getting back up when life knocks me down and learning each day.

I am from

Lesions in my brain, syringes, the clean smell of a hospital that makes your nose wrinkle. From injecting myself with disease modifying drugs and the painful hold of the MS hug.

I am from

The compassion of others, from faith in myself. From laughing so hard that we both end up crying, from flashbacks, kisses goodnight and wishes for sweet dreams every night.

I am from

Positive thinking, energy, vivid dreams and poems. From strength in the face of my greatest fears. From soft blankets, dog snuggles, and songs stuck in my head.

From determination,  finding a cure, walking for awareness and the power of love.

From becoming a woman I can be proud of.

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