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New Beginnings

May 1st is my least favorite day of the year.

At least it used to be.

One of the best, worst traits I obtain is the ability to remember dates. I remember birthdays, anniversaries, milestones. All of it. I also remember exact dates of things I don't necessarily care to remember.


Failing exams.


It's a blessing & a curse, really. May 1st is an anniversary that I don't care to remember, but it's a day that has shaped me into the person I am now.

A nine year old me said, "goodbye," to my dad in the Holiday Inn parking lot in Elkton, Ohio. It wasn't a normal farewell--the kind where you see the person in a week or so. It was a longterm farewell--a farewell that had a timestamp of 151-188 months in federal prison.

For the purposes of keeping this post sorta short, I won't go into too much detail about his case. I will say, though, that that day changed my life forever. Everything that I thought was "normal" was no more, & a life with a single mother and periods of financial instability began. It felt like my life was completely torn apart.

Every year May 1st rolled around, I'd feel a weight that I couldn't explain. It was a sadness that consumed my thoughts & sucked the energy out of my body. The worst years were high school when I'd have dance performances on that day. I'd cry because I knew that another year was passing without him being in the audience to cheer me on. No amount of encouraging words could fill the empty space.

For the past three years, May 1st hasn't left a bitter, hollow place in my chest. It's mostly because my dad is home now, but I'd like to believe that I've grown mentally stronger, too. I look at today as another chance to create better memories & feelings that'll make me feel nostalgic when this day rolls around ten years from now.

Thank you, God. Thank you for another chance to start fresh.

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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