The English language is amazing. There are hundreds of thousands of words, yet some words and phrases in other languages simply cannot be translated. Sisu is Finnish for the extraordinary determination in the face of adversity. Sadly, I found this word through a BuzzFeed article, but really it spoke to me.

All of the challenges in my life have shaped me into the human being that I’ve become. Today, I am twenty two, and I’m reflecting on all the things that have happened in my life. When I was young, I was wild. I was carefree and lacked any of the knowledge and experience I’ve come to realize hinders our imaginations when we become adults. I lost my mom too soon and the floor was ripped out from underneath me. The bright and light-hearted girl my friends and family came to know started to dim. Responsibility and reality hit, and it hit hard.

The one human being I loved more than myself was gone and with her, she took my heart. Some days my heart still isn’t whole. Yet, other days, my heart is bursting with love and joy. My dad always told me that there is a balance in life. With all good things, there must be bad things to balance us out and helps us appreciate all that we have. That’s reality. We can’t live in a world where only good things happen because then we would be unable to distinguish the good from the bad.

Losing my mother was my bad, but with that I gained a better sense of who I am and my little brother Paul. Paul makes me see good in the world. He is my light at the end of the tunnel because with his innocence, I was able to forgive and move forward. My sister, Katherine, is my foundation and my brother is my hope.

The word sisu reminds me of myself. Or rather, it makes me hope that I possess it. I suppose twenty two is still quite young and I have many more obstacles to overcome, but hindsight is 20/20. I want to have a steadfast determination when it comes to facing my challenges, and now I will be conscious and aware. I appreciate who I’ve become, love my life and family, and look forward to what the future has in store.

~ I’m feelin’ 22.

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