...when I realized how great the life I created is!

"My proudest moment is when I realized how great the life I created is!!

My childhood was pleasant enough. I grew up in a nice house with fun siblings and parents that made sure we never starved. I had friends and did well in school. That said, it was emotionally barren and I never got along with my mom. I seemed to need something from her that she couldn't give, and after being brushed off after asking if we could be closer, I essentially gave up on her.

Flash forward to high school and I'm not on the same page religiously with the rest of my family, I'm secretly bi, super ashamed about it, and desperate to escape my childhood home where feelings weren't allowed. We fought constantly. All I wanted was to be good enough for my family but no matter how many scholarships earned and piano pieces learned and Saturday nights spent at home, it seemed like my "shortcomings" always outweighed my virtues. I ran away to Iceland for a while and they cut me off.

My proudest moment depended on a multitude of choices and luck for me coming to pass: I moved away for college and told myself I would be completely independent. I took charge of my relationship with my family, I healed a little bit of the trauma and gave myself distance from everything that was still unmanageable. I moved into a cozy place with all my books and useless junk and filled it with yummy food and good friends. I met my partner, whom I love so very much, and we got a dog. My proudest moment was when I sat alone on my couch with some tea, a book, and my dog and realized that I did it: I created a space and an existence where I was happy, where I laughed more than I cried, where I was free to express myself, and where I was undoubtedly good enough for my chosen family." -Madeleine