Consistency has always seemed like a luxury I could not have. I learned at an early age to seek comfort in the things that (to me) never seemed to change. As a child, that was space. I used to stare out my window until I fell asleep; the night sky itself my mobile. I wanted to study it and unveil its mysteries. I was too afraid of heights, even then, to even consider being an actual astronaut, but I was perfectly content with the idea of studying it from the ground. Of course, once I took an actual astronomy course and realized how much math there was, I decided to go on admiring the abstract of it and the lore, because there was no way I was unveiling any mysteries with my terrible math skills.
Years later, space came back to console me during a breakdown. Shortly after my borderline personality disorder diagnosis, I sort of lost it. I felt alone and like BPD would ruin my life. I was lying on the driveway, watching the sky and trying to will myself to be lost in it. I thought that if I tried hard enough I could dissolve into starlight and slam myself into the night sky, becoming my own constellation.
It was this idea that gave me a revelation. I realized while looking at Orion (my favorite constellation) that feeling small didn’t matter because no matter how big or small I was, I was always a part of something bigger. Stars larger than our massive sun could still be a part of something even bigger than them. It might sound silly now but, at the moment, that was what I needed to feel less alone.
Since then, space has permeated so many aspects of my life that I found it hard to pick just one to write about. It bleeds into my aesthetic with sparkly nails, eyeshadow palettes named for the galaxies, and a bright nebula splashed onto my leggings. It seeps into my educational life, when I stay up until 4 AM reading about whatever we’re classifying Pluto as these days, or marveling at the discovery of a potentially habitable solar system. And, of course, space dominates my hobbies in the form of gaming. As a kid this came in the form of “Lunar Lander” and now it’s the much more attractive “Mass Effect.” Through “Mass Effect” I’ve been given the opportunity to bond with other people over a love of space. Once again, my love of the cosmos showed me that I wasn’t alone. Maybe one day we’ll all depart this planet and get to explore a new world together but, even if we don’t, it’s comforting to know that while I’m on this world, space has got my back.