Personal Philosophy: Becoming Beautiful

12801327_10154148110877439_130584359062320303_n       On September 5, 2015, my sister died.  Her name was Nikki. There have been many ups and downs since then, but I always fall back on a line from the movie, Mulan: “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”  My sister led a life that reflected the influence of this in her life.  I want to do the same.  However, it took me quite a bit of time to implement positivity in my life.

At first, my entire existence was numb and apathetic.  I became robotic.  I distinctly remember the numerous occasions on which the parents I nanny for would look at me with eyes of pity and tell me that I just didn’t seem like myself.  It was almost as if I wasn’t there at all.

Everyone avoided using Nikki’s name as if it was on a list of curse words.  It made me feel like people were trying to pretend that she never existed.  She did.  I wanted to talk about her and searched for any opportunity to bring her up.  Half of the time, I was trying to convince myself that I was fine by bringing her up in a humorous fashion which generally made people uncomfortable because they didn’t know what to say and the other half of the time, I was trying to convince everyone else I was fine.

Eventually, I regained emotions, but they were heavily overcome with anxiety.  My sister died in her sleep without any known cause.  For months, I was convinced I, too, was destined for a similar fate.  I refused to sleep.  This only made the anxiety worse.  After six hospital trips in a matter of months for what I believed to be heart attacks and strokes, but were merely crippling panic attacks, I knew I had to find a better way of life—a life of quality.

I slowly began to seek ways to find happiness, even in the smallest doses.  I decided I wanted to stare down the adversity in my life and make something positive of it.  The idea of it seemed so simple, but it was much harder than I thought.  I constantly questioned myself and my existence, constantly asked myself if I were truly facing adversity instead of being controlled by it.  I slowly began to seek solace through art and exploration.  I’ve always been very artistic, so I started my life change with painting.  The first few paintings were riddled with unadulterated, messy emotion.  After months, my paintings would become beautiful.  Painting became my therapy.  Not only was I creating beautiful things in my sister’s name, but I was becoming a beautiful and well-rounded human.

Naturally, I find myself saddened when I remember I cannot tell my sister about the exciting things I’ve been doing, but that sadness becomes my drive.  Her death led me to the quote that would change my path.  I have blossomed into a person similar to the sister I admire.  Nikki left behind a beautiful legacy of life, love, and beauty.  Every day, I stare at the now distant eyes of adversity and continue becoming beautiful.