Times Are Changing

Life experience changes the person

I understand that the title of this post may make most people go “duh”. I totally get it. Every life experience is different and changes every person in a different way. It’s the culmination of these life events that shape, mold and change a person. As a psychology pupil I learned that Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the body’s response to a life altering event. It’s the mind’s way of dealing with what has happened and takes it out on the body, moods and actions of the person. It happens from soldiers of war to a girl who fell into the pool once when she was seven years old. Ok, PTSD doesn’t apply to everyone. One life experience doesn’t give you this disorder but it does change you.

The science of PTSD still applies to these events. Something happens to you, you process it, your mind decides what it will do with said event and then your mind affects your next actions, thoughts and moods from that. How many life experiences have you had? How many would you like to forget? How many have you forgotten? How many enter your mind every morning when you wake up? There are a plethora of life events and for every one they are different. You can chalk it up to child hoods, parents, schooling, friends, family, so on and so on. The levels of life events are mind boggling.

For one person they don’t experience something life altering until they are into the mid to late 20’s. Others experience these events early on in childhood. For me my first life altering event was when I was eight. A woman from my family’s church passed away from cancer. I had known her my whole eight years and had grown very fond of her. She taught my sister piano and became a mentor and role model for her. To me she patiently tried to teach me piano and was nothing but kindness and the epitome of elegance and grace. She died and I was old enough to understand what was happening. I hated it. For me this was the beginning of  many life experiences that molded me and shaped me.

While I won’t go into all of them, I still have them tucked in my “not right now” pile, I will say this. I am 24 years old and I feel like I’ve had enough life experiences to last me a life time. I’ve loved and lost in more than one way. I’ve grieved and cried for friends taken away from this world far before their time. I’ve mourned family members that completed life’s journey. I’ve seen beautiful views from my back yard and I’ve taken risks that were worth taking. Yes, with every one of these experiences I’ve been changed from a little bit to… a lot bit. I learned that my family and friends will love me no matter what I do. I appreciate little things like groceries and heat. I’ve loved and been loved in return. I wake up every day with a purpose and go to bed every night knowing that when the sun comes up I have a reason to do the same.

As I was typing this it did seem dramatic and over the top. I’m only 24, how could I go through all this already? To be honest I’m not sure. There were some days in there that I wasn’t sure how things would come together and was terrified that I would just fall a part. I then realized that I had to let my life events change who I was for the positive. That with every action comes an equal and opposite reaction. With happiness comes sadness. With tears comes laughter. It’s a cycle and I can either accept it or go running for the hills. I can either accept the change that is a head of me or let my “not right now” pile become my whole life. Which way will you go? What change will you make?

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