Three weeks ago, I moved to Europe.
In case this is an “eh” moment for you, let me explain why it’s such a huge deal for me.
I spent the majority of my first 20 years of life in the same suburb of Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, I am forever grateful for having a safe and relatively “normal” childhood, but I itched to get away, to explore, to experience life in different places and with different people. So, I studied in Florence and London for a semester in college. I moved to Florida for a year, then Malaysia for 7 months, following a job that gave me room and board (and a lot of anxiety).
Though I had never (yet) moved to another country on my terms, I loved it anyway. And then the shit hit the fan.
August 2018. I returned to Chicago following the death of my grandfather, preceding the birth of my nephew. I broke off an unhealthy relationship, moved back in with my parents, was unemployed once again. At first, it was a time of rest, recovery, and introspection. I was ecstatic to be able to hug my parents, laugh with my sister, and entertain the only baby in our family. I grew closer to my grandmother, healed a broken relationship with my other grandmother, and—against all preconceptions—discovered new friends. I gave myself a minimum of 6 months, and a maximum of 1 year, to figure out the next big step. And then, I fell into a deep depression.
It came in small doses at first. After a day or two of feeling an equal mixture of sadness and apathy, I would pick myself up and force myself to be happy. With a combo of a psychology degree and an interest in spirituality and self-improvement, I knew what the steps were to stave off depressive episodes. Nobody, including myself, could have guessed that I was about to have a full-blown meltdown that lasted a solid two months.
But I know your attention span is at it's limit, so that's all for today.