I'm going to be a mom.
I'm going to be a fucking mom.
Do you know how crazy that is? To go to sleep each night knowing, that it brings you one day closer to having a tiny hand around your finger? That the love you will have for this small being, will make you realize you never have actually known the true meaning of love?
Ask me 5 years ago where I thought I would be at 21.
I can tell you that the answer wouldn't be “I'm going to be a mother.”
In fact, the answer would have been “Eh. I don't know.” and the truth is, I didn't know.
I didn't know if I would even make it until tomorrow, let alone 5 more years. I probably planned my funeral more than I did my wedding day. For a 16 year-old girl, do you know how screwed up that was?
I was ruined, I was failing at school, I had no friends, I took any chance I could get at having a love life, that I made myself vulnerable. I became horribly depressed in a world where mental illness was a joke. How could I possibly tell myself that I would be a mom, that I would be in love, that I would be living in the mountains? That things would turn out okay.
Now ask me how I feel about the possibility of bringing a daughter into this world.
The second I meet her she will be the most beautiful girl I have met, but she won't agree. She will grow up to be smart, caring, talented and strong, but won't believe me. Instead, she will be told that her hair is too long, her nose is too small, she's too skinny or too fat, and she will believe it. Her clothes will make her look “too sexy” or “like a boy”, her natural beauty won't be attractive. She will have demons of her own that I won't know about, because she will be told that telling me how she feels is wrong, and childish, because that is the kind of world we live in.
She will never be enough.
She will never be strong.
She will never be successful.
She will never be beautiful.
My daughter will not see herself the way I see her, because my opinion is not as important.
No, I'm not saying that my future child will think I'm not important to them, or that I won't tell her every day how much I love her, but have you ever said to yourself, “What my parents think of me is important.” I highly doubt it. But when it comes to friends, colleagues, teachers, lovers, it's, “What if they don't like me? What if I do something wrong? What if they leave me?” you will take their opinion over anyone's, why? Because they are the ones who see you every day, they are the ones that see you challenge yourself and judge you the hardest. They are who see you when you leave mom and dad's after breakfast.
I am terrified that my daughter will grow up to become depressed like I was, I am terrified that she won't reach out to me for help, because the idea of me hating her fills her mind. I am terrified that my daughter will kill herself before she gets to understand that things get better and that I can prove it to her.
I will teach her that she is worth any sacrifice, that if someone doesn't like her, it's not her problem. That if a boy calls her ugly, to walk away because he was not taught how to speak kindly.
I am not going to teach her that she is selfish if she wants alone time, that if someone doesn't like her, it's her fault. That if a boy calls her fat, to be happy because he just likes her and doesn't know how to show it.
But what will that do? If we keep allowing others to tell her it's all wrong. Instead, she will be told that being a confident women is completely frowned upon. That her mother was lying, That I was just telling her that to make her feel better. How is this okay?
My daughter will go through highs and lows, but she will be taught that I will always be there for her to talk to and help her through it. My daughter will feel ugly, but she will be taught that her beauty does not define who she is. My daughter will have her heart broken, but she will be taught that it will not determine her happiness. My daughter will fail, but she will be taught that she needs to fail at least once, in order to succeed. My daughter will become weak, but she will be taught that her weaknesses make her stronger.
I have over come mental abuse, bullying, self-harm and body shaming. I have survived days that I didn't think I would. I made it to a point where I am happy.
I was an artist, a musician, a creative writer, a sister, a daughter, a friend. But I never once saw myself as any of these things. I saw myself as anxious, depressed, ugly, fat, lonely, unwanted, etc. I had so many labels, but not one of them was right, not one of them was positive and not one of them was self created.
Am I where I want to be? Not at all, will I get where I want to be? You better believe it. I will have my dream home, I will get married, I will become a leader, I will do what I love and I will be damn good at it and I will be a mom.
I will learn to love myself and everything I have to offer, I will draw again, I will sing again, I will play piano and guitar again. And I will live to tell my story to my daughter so that she understands that things DO change and get better and by the time she understands this story, I hope the world has changed. I hope that she will be able to leave the table after breakfast and know that when she walks out that door to go to school, work, or a friends home, that she is more than a label, that she is more than a number on a scale, that she is more than her looks.
That she is my daughter.
She will be enough.
She will be strong.
She will be successful.
She will be beautiful.
She will be whatever and whoever she wants to be, and she will be damn good at it.
My name is Jadzia Cardinal, I am an artist, a musician, a fiance and a friend. I have depression and anxiety, and I have figured out how to manage it and live with it. I will have my first child in November, I will be getting married August, 2018, and I believe that everything happens for a reason. I am still learning new things every day, and I can't wait to see what else the future will unfold for me, but for now:
I'm going to be a mom.
And I'm going to love every minute of it.