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  • Writer's pictureDINA HAWTHORNE


It's 4:42 am, and I am thinking about how my 30s has been such a tumultuous experience, causing me to wonder if my 20s was simply a preparation for the pain I would battle within my 30s.

              I thought I knew pain. I thought I knew heartbreak.

My life leading up to where I am in my life now, I know only one thing is sure, "God is real!" I look back at the fires Christ put out, the mountains he moved, the hills he helped me climb over, the deep waters he pulled me out of before I drowned and out of all the other experiences I have had, saving me from the darkness that I embraced because the pain I felt was too bold and too big and too suffocating; I didn't know it was possible, I didn't believe I could experience joy or happiness.

        Was this experience real? Am I to pretend to be happy for the rest of my life? Is happiness laughing all the time and having a lesson in life that did not hurt?

I wouldn't know, because moments I felt were happy were always attached to ulterior motives mainly, drowning out moments that may have been genuine. After all, despair tipped the scale. The early part of my life was reminiscent of the blindfolded woman of justice, with her weighted levels, always hanging in favor of those who can afford to get out of trouble – I was born into a deficit, made to make something out of colorful lies.

I ran towards being adult because I thought, I believed I would be able to shake the trauma, bury it in moments I will create to eradicate the pain inflicted on me. No one told me it would follow me; it would challenge me in ways that scared me, push me to pray to God to close my eyes and usher me into a death-like slumber. They say God answers prayers, I learned, as I got older, according to his will. So, as I am still present, I believe when it is my time to go, it would be his will then. Until then, I must be present in each transition period I am allowed to partake in.

          I think of my 30s now as the time in my life to unpack and put down, to look God in the eyes and say, "Ookay, prepare my heart for despair and grant me peace and comfort as untimely events occur, and if it may be that you know, it is too much for me to handle, close my eyes and let me rest, and have my family take me to the sea and scatter my ashes."

So, I step boldly into this newness called happiness. I finally figured it out. Happiness for me is reflecting on all that you've endured and still being able to have the ability to dream; to know your pain didn't destroy your ability to dream. My dreams don't fulfill me, it makes me happy, it makes me feel alive, and that's enough for a tortured life, such as mine.


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