When I first moved to Pittsburgh to go to college, I was excited to leave the house and begin something new. I didn’t know that three years later I would have my life crushed and would have to start over.
A few years before moving away to college, I had bought a violin that cost $10,000. I had been playing violin for nine years and it was so precious to me, I even named it. When I got to University of Pittsburgh, I auditioned for the school orchestra but wasn’t accepted. The rejection devastated me and I feel into a deep sadness and started cutting myself. While that self-harm was bad at the time, I now see the scars as a badge of honor for everything that I went through. Toward the end of my college years, I got a tattoo of a phoenix on my left shoulder to remind myself to never cut myself again. A phoenix is an immortal mythical creature and, still today, my phoenix protects me.