Three months ago today, May 18th, at 1:55 PM, my daughter Olivia was born. She was supposed to be born on February 7th, so needless to say, she made a fashionably late appearance.

She has fair eyebrows, the biggest brown eyes, and a little pink Cupid’s bow. She measures tall, a little over 2 feet, but underweight, only 10 pounds at her pediatrician visit last month.

She keeps me up at night, both with her feedings, and my anxiety. Truthfully, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Thanksgiving last year. That’s me trying to think positive. I probably never got good sleep.

Depression and anxiety are hell of things, aren’t they?

The depression, I attribute that to lifelong. Anxiety, a little less so: that occurred in adulthood. Stunted growing up, I have zero social skills. I only went to one birthday party, and that was in kindergarten. My mother reminded me what a pain in the ass it was to buy that child a gift, like I had income being a five-year-old. I barely remember the actual celebration itself, just the disappointment and anger my mom exuded. I always felt her and my grandmother’s stifling led all my sisters and myself to lashing out. My sisters stayed out late, slept around, and I know at least 2 of them dabbled in coke and marijuana.

But I moved away at 18, determined to make something of myself. My sights were on UCLA. Nothing was going to come between me and the shimmering future.

Except I did. I was the one that came between it. Didn’t count on that, or compensate for it. “You’re never too old to go to college.” And true. You’re not. But I have no income to even pay for applications. I earned 9k last year.

I feel like a loser. A bullet through the brain would be better. So long. Thanks for all the fish. But I am a mother now. Her dark brown eyes look at me with such trust, love. Unbridled. Complete. Zero discrimination.

I will be better. I will rise. For her. And maybe, finally, for myself.

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