If you had told me even just a few months ago that I would be spending my 30th birthday stuck at home during a global pandemic, jobless, while non-stop nationwide protests carry on in support of black rights and against police brutality, I would not have believed you. I would have called you crazy and said that no way that all that stuff could be happening at the same time. But that’s what happened. The times we are living in seem so surreal and honestly terrifying. But with each day that passes and the time I take to care for my mental health and sanity, I look forward to better days ahead.

Even though the last few months I’ve experienced days where I have been at my lowest, I can at least say I survived them. I’ve felt in those moments pure helplessness but here I am today feeling better than I was in that moment on that day. I’m still not at 100% and I likely won’t be there for sometime, but what I can say for a fact is that regardless of the current situation and how things feel in the moment, there is ALWAYS a light and the end of the tunnel.

The last few months have devastated me mentally. There were so many things I had planned to do and see in 2020. Coming to terms with losing out on literally life-changing moments that could have happened for me has been tough. But it is what it is.

So now as I turn 30 while sitting at home with my family, I grieve for the 2020 that could have been and now continue to make do with what I have and play the hand I’ve been dealt. Since the day I was given notice that I would be furloughed from my “stable” job, I made the decision within myself to not be a victim of circumstance and go into action mode.

The last few months I’ve accomplished incredible feats of personal development and reached goals that only I know I am able to accomplish because I believe in myself that much. I am my own cheerleader and biggest fan as well as my own worst enemy and biggest critic. But even so, I don’t allow myself to be too hard on myself. I give myself time to breath and regenerate that mental strength that has literally gotten me to where I am today as a person and creative.

Only I am able to do the things I have done. There is no one else like me and never will be. My ability to take on challenges and grow and still have a smile on my face and make people laugh at the end of the day is something that no pandemic, no missed opportunity, and no situation can ever take away from me.