Welcome to the story of a girl who struggled with anxiety for 34 years. Also, welcome to the story of a girl who’s happy to be alive, has found her passion in life, and feels loved by the people surrounding her.
Years ago, I went through a traumatic and violent event that planted the seed for my anxiety to grow and flourish. I was 14 years old and naive when it happened. As a child, you never expect bad things to happen to you, for the world is merry and bright. With this came the loss of my childhood innocence at such an early age. My perception of the world changed much faster than it should for a child. My world went from white to black in a matter of seconds as I made direct eye contact with my rapist.
Years passed and the tree of anxiety continued to ground itself firmly inside my mind; its roots grew thick and strong. There were many contributing factors that watered this tree. To name a few: insecurities, paranoia, social anxiety, peer pressure and trauma. But if there’s one thing I have learned on this beautiful journey called life, it’s that we are all affected by them at one point or another.
For a long period of time, I was confined to the walls of my anxiety, feeling safe in this big, black hole that kept getting deeper and colder as time passed. I hated the situation I was in. I felt like I was stuck inside a well, but at the same time, I was incredibly comfortable and collected as I pushed myself away from the world I saw as cruel.
Crazy how the mind contradicts itself, right?
At this point, my anxiety had completely taken over. My mind was never silent and I always thought thrice before doing anything, even if it was as simple as choosing a pair of jeans to wear with a plain white tee.
Years passed and I continued to work on my myself and feeling okay again.
By finding love and comfort in dance, music and writing. I realized then that my true passion lay with words and the incredible adventures they can create.
Growing up in a small-minded, judgmental society, I was criticized for liking things that were different. These included my tastes in books, music, and movies—basically anything that made me happy. But after realizing I genuinely did not give a damn about other people’s opinions, I kind of saw the light at the end of the longest tunnel ever.
Slowly but surely, I began to ignore what people said to my face and especially behind my back. So I spent more time in my room and less time in the social scene. Inside my own little mind palace, I started to discover many things I never knew I loved so much. I began to travel the world as I flipped through the pages and learned about the many opportunities that were at my fingertips. I got lost inside my own little realm of reality that no one could modify in the slightest or take away from me.
When I was 13, I said to myself, “I’m going to be a writer when I grow up.” Forty years later, I finally gathered enough courage to begin sharing my words with the world.
Was I completely terrified about publishing my writings and opening up my own Instagram page? Absolutely.
Did I shake each time before I hit the “post” button? You bet.
And well, here I am now, writing about how the darkest part of my life got me to where I am today—possibly the most content I have ever been with life thus far.
In this world, we are all far too important to be unhappy or displeased. Life is alarmingly short and sometimes ends in the most unexpected way. Today, I invite you to discover what is it that makes you happy. It can be as simple as lying barefoot on the grass whilst analyzing the clouds or it can be as complex as skydiving or starting a new business. In a world full of lies, anger, distrust, hatred, and violence, it is what makes us truly happy that keeps us from falling into a well of despair, because believe me, it is so easy to be influenced by what is happening out there.
You are special, different, and offer something new to this world, something no one else can bring to the table. Remember, you are one in 7 billion, so make it count. Today, do something that makes you happy regardless of what other people think. Whether you are struggling with a personal problem or just feel like browsing through this article, remember that we are a ticking clock. We never know when time will stop, so focus less on what brings you down and more on what makes you feel more alive, happy, and human.
Forty years later, here I am, telling you that there is a way out of everything.
For many years I kept searching for the answer to one question“What is the key to happiness?” Throughout this journey, I’ve answered it myself. The true key to happiness is finding your passion and running with it, so don’t ever let anyone take that from you, no matter how big or small your ambitions may be.