I have taken solitary steps in despair on a path that I never forsaw myself traveling down. Through this journey I have learned to mend hearts and clear heads, although I don't believe a heart is ever truly healed. There will always be a scar, that trace of pain that eludes reparation as evidence that at one point in time, love existed, whether it be familial or romantic. They say time heals all wounds but time only masks the intensity of emotion that once charged ever molecule of your being. Pain becomes increasingly more of a dull ache as a reminder of memories that have long passed and moments that will never be. What is born out of this pain is what matters. Loss is what gives life meaning and purpose. From these tragedies in our lives we become different people. We think differently, we love differently, we are opened up to a new way of existence. You can inevitably go two ways with who you decide to become from these experiences of tormentous loss. Some people choose to make the conscious decision that love is not worth this degree of pain. They believe they are saving themselves but quite often our own defense mechanisms are our downfall. You will stop seeing the world for what it truly is. We may live in a world of cruelty, hatred, and sorrow but we also live in a world overrun by acceptance, love, and tremendous beauty. Myself, as an individual, could never begin to imagine a world where I couldn't feel the love and support that surrounded me. This is where I choose to grow from my pain. I was told once that "I am becoming". I am always changing into a better version of myself. I choose to love without hesitance and extend myself to those who need me. I harbor hope that love is the reason for living in such a seemingly dark existence. Although I have been cast aside in anguish and tribulation, I rise from the ashes more enduring and unyielding. You will not take my hope from me, nor my love. These determinations are my salvation. I wake up every morning and I know that it will be a good day because it will be a day where love exists in everything that I will do. It is my foundation that grounds me and no matter how life twists and turns and who it takes from me, I will only grow stronger in my love.