I’m taking a break from packing, moving, and breaking my back to talk about turning 40. When I was fifteen my abuser told me he’d come back to “celebrate” my 40th birthday with me…he was very excited about this. A bunch of years went by and he went to prison for 125 years…so he won’t be spending my 40th with me.

Neither will any of my other abusers. Because I’m moving and they don’t know where I am going, and neither do I. It’s exciting, isn’t it?

I am scared and frustrated that I don’t have more control in my life at this age, but given what I’ve been through, it’s pretty much expected that this is where I ended up. It could be a lot worse.

I have a great support system, better than I thought I had, and I am not worried about my future anymore. I am going to take every single day as it comes and breathe through the trauma so that I can get to the healing part as fast as possible, and before I know it I’ll be in the place I want to be so that I’m on course to get where I am supposed to be.

I don’t know where this mindset came from. I just am super calm about everything that is going on, and I am also super proud of myself. I didn’t know I could be so calm. Yes, I’ve been having panic attacks, but they’re loud and short, so that helps.

I recognize that I am facing anxiety, depression, misery, and shame, but I also know that I am doing everything I can to do better as I move forward.

I am excited about the new furniture, and I am ready to get rid of the old, even just today I threw away a ceramic bear that an old abuser turned friend, turned abuser, turned never talk to this person again, gave me. I have no regrets.

I am holding onto a picture of Mario from Mario Brothers that my one true friend gave me, but everything else went out the window and into the trash. I regret nothing.

Naturally, and maybe this is because my mom is descended from the Roma people, I like to travel. Traditionally, I like to explore the world around me I love to go for long walks and get lost in the city or the forest. This is who I am, it’s always been a part of me.

The tattoo on my left foot is a series of six arrows pointing in different directions that I drew, to remind me that I am not born or meant to stay in the same place for too long. I was born to see as much as possible as fast as possible.

I may not get the chance to live in Vancouver again, but since I have it now I am going in full on pretending this transition is the one of my dreams, because I truly believe it’s going to lead to something greater.

And you know what’s crazy? I know precisely how pretentious this all sounds, and how cliche, oh lucky you, you’re moving ahead with your dreams, la de da, but like I’ve always wanted to live in Vancouver? And now here I am headed for the city away from all the bullshit of my past.

It doesn’t feel like running away either, it feels like moving on. More than likely I’ll end up back in Surrey as soon as possible because this is where everything comfortable is, and because there are really beautiful apartments here, BUT until then, I am trying to think about the positives instead of dealing with the negative alone.

The sun is shining today, and my auntie Michelle’s energy is all around me with the reminders of gifts and tokens she left us with throughout the years, I feel her presence deeply today, I always do as my birthday comes up because that’s the day she died.

April 9th, the day before my day of life is always hard for me, because she was the only one to understand me, but today I think she’d be very proud of the changes I am making in my life.

I hope you are too.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall, The Loud Mouth Brown Girl

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