For dramatic purposes, imagine that it is March 2017 again.
For a very long time, I was in a very dark place emotionally. I have gone through so much in such little time. I’m only 21 and yet I was fucking exhausted. I literally have a whole life left to live. Ideally, I have only lived about a fourth of my life. Up until very recently, I could not imagine the next 60 or so years of my life. I wasn’t quite at the point of being considered suicidal, but I could not imagine my life continuing much longer. It was very hard for me to even picture myself in the next few year. (Yes, I know I worded that weirdly, but you get what I mean.) I was tired of suffering and saw no hope for it to ever get better. At one point, I stopped trying to improve my life at all. I stopped working, stopped going to class, stopped eating, stopped leaving my bedroom, and stopped caring about anything. I was literally just alive. I did not want to kill myself, but I didn’t want to be alive either. Sometimes, when I actually went somewhere, I would drive without a seatbelt and hope that if someone was driving drunk, they’d hit and kill me instead of someone that actually enjoyed their life. My logic was, it’s going to happen anyways, hopefully it’ll be me not them. Looking back, I guess I didn’t want to kill myself but I kind of hoped that someone would do it for me so my family and friends wouldn’t be that mad at me.
Prior to getting to the point that I was in that I just described, I applied for a study abroad program. I got accepted and somehow payed for it (Thanks for the $500 mom). When I payed for the trip, I was already deep into my depression. I was kicked out of my parents’ house, barely working, depleting my savings account, and extremely unhappy. At one point I ever ran away to Texas for a couple weeks. Yet, somehow I clearly still had hope for the future. This was December 2016. The trip wasn’t until spring break of 2017. Those 3 months were really a blur. I think there’s a little dissociation going on in my brain because I don’t remember much aside from being miserable. I wasn’t even all that excited about my trip. It was kind of a whatever thing to me. I had no idea what I was in for.
My trip to Spain completely changed my life. I was only there for like 9 days and I didn’t do anything extremely exciting. One night in the middle of my trip, I was in my room talking to my friend, reflecting on the day and I literally started to cry. I was crying because in that moment, I realized that I hadn’t felt any of the pain that I had been incessantly feeling for the past 8 months. I was happy. In that moment, I realized that there was an entire world out there. There was so much beyond the four walls that I had been restricting myself to. I also realized how accessible the world is. In my worst moments, I managed to make my way thousands of miles across the Earth to Spain. There’s no telling what I can do at my best. The world just opened up to me. I realized how temporary those feelings were. My time in Spain got me excited for my future. It reminded me that I have so much to live for. The feelings that I felt in this moment re-motivated me to work hard so that I can give to people the feelings my trip gave to me. The feelings are so strong in my heart to this day, but it is so hard to put into words. I want to be responsible for people realizing what they have to live for and to be excited for. I want to open the world up to others and show them that there is a light at the end of their tunnel. I want to give them the relief that I felt when I was in Spain.
I won’t lie and say that I was better after the trip, because that is simply not the case. I came home feeling just as depressed as I was when I left. The only difference was my mindset. I had an entirely new outlook on life and I became excited for the future that I had just recently started to envision again. I will forever be grateful for my first international adventure. I am so grateful for everyone that made it possible for me to take that study abroad trip. I am even more grateful for what it taught me.