13 Reasons Why (I Chose Life)
Life is a tricky balance of experiences, moments, and memories that all accumulate and mix and mold onto each other to form us; our lives. Some people choose to exist. Existing is just breathing, eating and sleeping. Its life without living. And some people choose to live by loving and feeling and expressing because some people haven’t been tainted by Life’s cruel curse. Some people can’t comprehend mental illness or sadness and thats ok because those people are living a life of their own. But some people choose to end life. This means that neither existing or living have become a feasible option in their eyes. Some people were born without life. They entered this world sad beings with a predisposition to mental illness. And some people become sad because of the hand they were dealt. I am one of these people.
Everyone said growing up, “Oh Hannah! You are such an old soul. You’ve lived many lives before this one,” and maybe that made me susceptible to negative experiences because if I had truly lived before this life, I would’ve had the tools to deal with my problems and move on. But I think a lot of the things that have shaped me are not normal things to happen to a 22 year old girl in her lifetime. My past lives couldn’t provide me with the support I needed and thats okay. Because I found ways to survive. Maybe because I am my strongest version of myself.
1. Costa Rica
I’m not starting at the beginning of my life but instead I’m starting with one of the things that greatly impacted me and still does. Moving to Costa Rica was the best decision I could’ve ever made when I was 18. I can truly say that I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t left Canada. Costa Rica saved me when I didn’t even realize I needed saving.
2. Marjorie Gabrielson
When you died, I couldn’t imagine beginning to continue living. But life went on and it went on without you. The reason you’re on this list is that I could never take my life away knowing that you didn’t have the choice when yours was taken. You’re a constant reminder every day that life shouldn’t be taken for granted and that we should live instead of exist.
3. Yes Camp
I haven’t talked much about this camp on the blog yet but I know I will when the time is right. All I can say for now is that this organization saves lives every summer and I see it right before my eyes. Through lessons on self-awareness, communication, and leadership, I learned that my life was worth living. People actually see me as a gift to Earth at Yes Camp and that has given me motivation and inspiration to live.
I don’t really know what to write here except thank you. You were the first man to ever love me for me. You never ran. You were never dishonest. You only cared for a broken girl with a broken heart when she had no one else to turn to. You were the first and only of many men who saw me as a human with real feelings. Thank you for making me feel loved.
5. Mrs. Carnrite
When I was thinking about this list and reaching way back into the catalogued memories of my mind, your name popped up. You really did save me in a dark time when I was lonely, unloved, and unseen. I would’ve never made it to graduation had it not been for your love and support. You guided me to a better future through books, talks of travel, and nature. Thank you for being my guardian angel.
6. Heather Dotto
Dance was a weird thing for me in my adolescence. I was bullied by teachers, told I’d never be good enough, but you showed me that I was without sugarcoating it. You showed me that dance could be art and that art was expression. You gave me an essential tool that helped me survive through to graduation: reassurance.
7. Fort Langley
As a lonely young girl in her senior years of high school, I didn’t have many friends. After months of being bullied, I took to the streets of Fort Langley during spare blocks to be with myself and this small town allowed me to. For a town with history, heritage, and life, it was the friend that I never knew I had and never knew I needed. I never felt alone when I was sitting by the water or walking through your streets.
You were my first nephew. Your bright, young eyes remind me of the endless possibilities that life has to offer and for that, you saved me. You have given me hope that life isn’t all that bad and I love you.
When I began therapy, I was in the darkest time of my life. I didn’t see a possibility for my future and in all honesty, I saw my life as bare, bleak, and unworthy. But therapy gave me the boost I needed to bring me back to a place where I could live again. And though it didn’t work out in the end, it made me realize that I have options and that I can live in the place that I am.
As cheesy as it is, Disney has always saved me. It saved me when I was a little girl, it saved me all throughout my adolescence and it saved me this year. The prospect of working at Disney makes me… happy beyond words. I, Hannah Jeffery, was chosen out of thousands of people to work for the happiest place on Earth. The fact that someone believed in me, and said “yes, this girl has potential to succeed in Disney World,” makes me feel like I have a future and that I am really capable of great things.
You don’t realize it, but you’ve always saved me. You stood up for me when I was being bullied at Glenwood, you held my hand when all the boys broke my heart, and you left your best friend because you believed my story. You have always had my back, even when he tormented me and made my life a living hell. You chose my side, instead of hers. And though nobody knows what we’re talking about, you do and I was really on the brink in September but you saved me.
12. My Parents
I know our relationship isn’t normal. We have our fights, our disagreements, and our silence. But at the end of the day, we are family and I love you. When you cry, I cry for you. When I cry, you cry for me. You have never lessened what happened to me and I’m sorry that it did. You don’t deserve to have a child that has been hurt like this. But your experiences, moments, and memories have saved me. Because if two people like you can go through what you have and come out strong… I can live another day.
Hi self, its me Hannah. You’ve been hurt, you are weak, and you are broken. But you have still put the necessary blocks up to protect me. You made me forget what he did to me and you made me remember when you knew I could handle it. Thank you, self, for continuing to survive even though the voices in our head say otherwise. You have the beauty of a West Coast sunrise, and the grace of fresh dew on a Spring day. Please, for our sake, continue to blossom in the storm.