I used to be her. Bubbly. Full of life. A mischevious laugh. A big – yet charming – flirt with guys and a best friend to all girls; especially to the shy introvert. I couldn’t help but adopt them. I was an extrovert – loud, brash, mouthy, cheeky and filled with rainbows, forest green glitter and bright pink lollipops.
Then I got a brain injury in 2009 and it changed me.
I became wary, depressed.
A careful planner and no longer a risk-taker. Risks mean long stays in the Trauma Ward of our main hospital so they got folded up and put into my back pocket instead of up on my vision wall.
Then my Dad died last year.
So whatever was left of the girl before is gone completely now.
I miss her.
Sometimes I hear her when I speak about something I’m passionate about. Sometimes her laugh echoes when something catches me off guard and makes me happy. Sometimes that twinkle tingles in my soul – mostly when I’m singing, writing or if I encounter a young person and my ‘youth worker’ pops up to relate to them and laugh with them.
But mostly, I’m the girl after.
The one in an uncomfortable shell who doesn’t quite know how to stand, where to put her hands or where to find her place in a noisy, busy world.