04/27/2015 04:12 pm ET Updated Jun 27, 2015

A Pink Cast Heals More Than Bones


We've all been there. We have one of those weeks that make you want to stay in bed and cuddle your dog. Any combination of school, work, relationship, health, and personal drama seems unbearable as it simultaneously bombards you.

I am equally embarrassed and proud to acknowledge my week and embrace its lessons. I was wounded physically, mentally, and emotionally. My pride nearly dissolved with the acid of indifference and narcissism. My body broke with the ache of a fractured wrist. My confidence shriveled with my team's vanishing hopes of post-season competition. My eyes strained against the computer screen as I read yet another assignment due by finals week. Through everything, though, what did not break was my support system.

I cannot count the number of times in the past week that a teammate, family member, friend, or coach has gone out of their way to help. They offered shoulders to cry on, voices of reason, wise advice, tight hugs, empathetic anecdotes, and validation for my emotions. Collectively, they offered me a cast to heal my fractured pride. Even when they didn't realize it, these small interactions have made all the difference.

The most important aspect of my support system has been their unwavering confidence in me. They made me realize I am much more than any one aspect of my life. The depths of me are too infinite to destroy because they exist within so many these individuals.

Last spring, I lightheartedly wrote about lessons learned from my freshman year of college, but my sophomore year has proven to be even more educational. I found myself pushing to be better with the comfort that I am not alone. People may change, but those who care would never intentionally wound me. Sophomore year has taught me to be grateful for all these genuine friendships in my life that provide this foundation.

Sitting in the orthopedist's office this week, I was asked what color I wanted my wrist cast to be. I wanted a color full of life, hope, new beginnings, and resilient femininity; I chose pink. I chose to no longer perceive difficulties as failures, but as opportunities for sturdier regrowth. As a result of my recent struggles, I am changed and I am stronger. I no longer view the brightly colored cast lining my left arm as injury, but as repair. I do not see rough canvas, but the signatures and crude drawings of people who care enough to make me laugh. I proudly build myself up on the shoulders of others to become taller and stronger myself, and I am grateful for those who allow me to do so.