Sunlight vaguely passes through my broken curtains. The increasingly colder New York air fills my lungs. From the other side of the crowded and hot subway carriage, a young girl smiles at me. Hope and happiness is combined, and I smile back. The city, with all its weirdness, colors, sadness, fates, broken dreams, ambitions, creativity, spoken and unspoken words, inspires me. The lights are blinding, people are shouting, the city is oozing urine, sewage and garbage, but I keep smiling. This is not just another day. It is never just another day. It is another day where I get to live my life. Another day where I get to choose how to live my life. It is freedom. And every single day, I wake up, ready to face whatever challenge may come, because I am liberated, at last. I have overcome my heaviest battles and worst fears. My wounds are my armor, and my weaknesses have grown to become my strengths. I am strong enough to fight the resistance life serves me, and strong enough to get back up again. I choose not to let darkness overcome me. I say no to an everyday filled with self-destructive behavior, narrow-minded opinions, tyrannical pressure and depressive thinking. Instead, I celebrate fierceness. I celebrate empowerment. I celebrate freedom.